This one I struggled with a bit along the shoreline. Only when I added more dark coloration along the shore, at the edge of the water, did it get a bit of the pop I think it needed. Of late, I am working on skies and depth. That’s all for now. It just feels good to have a brush in hand again!
This is by far the painting which took the most time to produce. There was – gasp! – actual forethought and planning done. Can you believe it? Does that mean I’m progressing or something?!?
Anyway, what I did was consider what I wanted to see. I also thought about some things I have observed other watercolorists do, namely underpainting. I also have been reading and seeing many painters lay out light colors, in a general way, move into medium washes with perhaps more detail, darker areas, and finally the details. This is what I did, but, before painting, I put down a lot of frisket in the shape of dots. Then, the first pale layer of wash. Between the third and fourth photos, I did more frisket. Dots again, but I also used a toothbrush for splatter, and drew lines over the green washes, to retain colors. Then the fourth layer. At that point I stopped for the night.
This morning, I rather knew what I wanted to do. I laid down a pale wash over the grassy areas of quinacridone gold and sap green. It was necessary to pull the grasses together. Finally, I removed the frisket and did a bunch of details complete the painting. Total time – about 5 hours! All of it was fun, and not a lot of frustration. I think because I took time, and because I am less “serious” about my stuff (knowing it won’t be what I envision) really helps.
Below, a gallery of the steps I took in the painting, if you are interested in the process.
I really liked the reference photo I had for this painting. It was hard to really see at first – kind of busy with vertical and horizontal / diagonal lines. And then it came into focus. In retrospect, I think using frisket for the plants would have made them stand out a bit more, but in the photo they were a very pale wheat color without a lot of contrast. I made them more contrasty and added darker browns and some greens for a better (I think) effect.
Water is a tricky subject – until you look at it a bit. Flowing water is a series of colored shapes. Reflections have some rules, but I have to re-read about those. I am not too sure how I would express ocean waves crashing on the shore at this point, but flat water with a few ripples seems easier each time I attempt it.