Friday was a busy, busy painting day! Quick sketch in the morning, class in the afternoon. More last night. And this morning I did this using only a flat brush, learning about its characteristics and such. I even got into using it really, really dry, which I had forgotten about. And the side – the edge of the flat – to make little dabs, such as in the pink flowers. It was great for wood texture, and fun for the sky. This was done without a preliminary sketch nor lines drawn on the paper.
If you have been reading along, you know: I make mud, I need lines, and I cannot get white space at all. Well, in a moment of mad inspiration, I realized snow is white. Let’s paint snow! In my part of the world (California), we are in the midst of a hideous wildfire, which fortunately bypassed our neighborhood, but which could be visited by a fire any time. Crazy winds and no rain make for dry and dangerous conditions, and certainly the last place where you will expect to find snow.
Thus, snow. I went to my favorite place (YouTube) and searched for “watercolor snow” and there we were! Lot of them. In particular, I found Peter Sheeler, whose videos are simple to follow, and quite lovely. He uses a minimal palette, and just paints. Subtitles let you know the colors and the technique. Pleasant music moves you along. Here is my version of his painting.
Peter Sheeler has another video that I used as well. It was a bit more complex, but not only was it great for shadows on snow, he has very strong light – dark colors, another problem I struggle with.
And here is my version of it. I was really intimidated by the dark trees and the rocks. Besides using only Ultramarine, Yellow Ochre, and Burnt Sienna (even though Sap Green is in his video’s palette), Peter uses a 1/2 inch flat brush. I have some flat brushes, and they scare the hell out of me. I think people who love flat brushes are nuts. No more: I bit the bullet and pulled out my flats and did the entire painting in a flat brush, varying sizes as necessary. And I used micron pens, too, as did Peter.
I am feeling a lot more confident now about colors, white space, limited palettes, and flat paint brushes. I think I will continue to follow along with Peter Sheeler’s videos – he is a really good painter, I like his style, and am confident I will get a lot out of his videos. And Peter, if you should come across this, let me tell you, “Thanks!”