The miracle of green always happens in the last of the year and the first of the next when the rains come and new growth begins to emerge in the hills of California. After months of dry weather and fading landscapes. color erupts almost overnight. Soon, wildflowers will begin to tinge the hills from green to orange and purple and yellow. Here, a view from the hills toward the Pacific, with the Channel Islands in view, lost in the coastal fog.
For some time I have considered the possibility of doing two studies for each painting, one in watercolor and the other in gouache. Today’s painting is exactly that. I took the same study in gouache (yesterday) and painted it in watercolor. It was a really interesting experience!
First, I am doing all these studies in a 7×10 sketchbook. The paper is not really good for really wet watercolors, but is very nice for gouache. Knowing this, I kept my paper as unsaturated as possible, but also worked to use wet-in-wet where I thought necessary, such as in the sky and fog bank, but being very careful about the amount of water I used. In other areas I did small, quick forays into wet work, but kept it to a minimum while allowing for bleeds, or coming back to work a bit more, such as on the right side where the grasses are in contrast to the road (lower right side).
Problems continue with depth. The middle ground hills and the ones against the fog are muddled into each other. While I made things simpler in the distance, the colors remain the same in intensity. Atmospheric perspective needs a bit of boost in this one.
Look forward to more of these studies.
This may be the last post for a few days as our house is torn apart and put together. The bathrooms, closets, laundry room, hallway, and bedrooms are getting new floors on Tuesday. The studio is bare. I have a small box filled with a few brushes, some paper, some paint, but who knows if I’ll be able to touch it for several days!
Because of this, I decided to end my weekend with a small ink and watercolor painting, derived from a photo I took last year of a barn in the hills nearby. I started by laying in pencil, then color, knowing I planned to deliberately finish with ink. I’m rather torn about the bright white of the roof – but it was in brilliant sunshine the day I took the photo. The windows are rather awful – looks like the barn has an eye infection!
Maybe I will tone the roof down later and fix the windows, but for now, it will remain as is. After I post this, it’s time to finish clearing out the studio, the closet, and put together little boxes so things like soap and toothpaste are available for kitchen use – we will have no bathroom sinks for a few weeks!