I wanted to give this a romantic name, like Last Light Before the Storm, but the fact is, this is just a disaster! The only thing I like are the bright trees and the sky’s gloom, but altogether, it is overworked and definitely not very good.
More work with wet-in-wet, this time accompanied by using frisket to keep the areas of the birch trees white, and to keep a few other bits white, too. First step was to paint the sky across the trees, then the orange bracken and other foliage. From there – just a few details, some negative painting, and so on. I think there could be more contrast on the birch trees, but stopped to keep myself from overworking it.
I haven’t really done much painting over the last several weeks, and it shows. There really is a disconnect when you don’t paint and practice. This is just a messy sketch (mess-a-sketch?) to warm up. Frustrating to do, but it feels good, too.
Today I dug out my old Pelikan opaque watercolor paints – they are so much fun! What is it about something that looks like it is for kids that lets you kick back and just play? In reality, this is a very well-designed set of paints – a balance of warm and cold variations of colors, along with a tube of Chinese white.
By nature, I am quite impatient. Maybe just not patient enough? What I mean is that sometimes I work too fast, rather than thinking ahead. In watercolor, timing is important, as is speed, but with patience thrown in. If I look at what I am doing, some are tight-ass line drawings, and others are just messy and rather free form, without lines. Here, I used a basic tree shape with cutouts to remind me where to not have leaves, so as to have room for sky and branches. I also worked for shadows.
Altogether, I worked too fast. I wanted to make some nice washes of the leaves, to show the color shifts from green to the glows of autumn. I also need to test out colors on a piece of paper. This is painted in a notebook, so the back of the previous page is a good place to do this (I keep trying to remind myself). Accomplishment, though, is no mud.
Colors were fun to use, too. I mixed together an especially interesting mix of Payne’s Grey, Carbazole Violet, and Burnt Sienna. That is part of the pleasure of a sketch book – playtime and exploring.
I will be doing a lot of trees as I move along, but will need to do some stilllifes as well.
This is a view of Mirror Lake in Yosemite National Park and some artistic license with color thrown in. Here, I used a sumi-e brush and watercolors. Yes, lines. No mud. This is the first picture, other than my pencil cup, that I really like since I started this project.
I began with a photo, then drew in some lines, used the ink brush to create the bones. Then it sat overnight and in my sleep I imagined how I would paint it. Parts worked out, parts didn’t. After the colors were applied, I went back with my sumi-e brush and redid some original strokes and then added others to create contrast and so on. Colors include phthalo blue, indanthrene blue, organic vermillion, hansa yellow, quinacridone gold, Hooker’s green, carbazole violet, cerulean blue, and ultramarine blue.