It’s chilly here with rains to begin at midnight. Snow is on the mountains outside the valleys around me. I miss the smell of a winter of snow and pine, in the eastern woods, Rockies, high desert. This is a simple morning sketch, iron gall ink, a water brush, some watercolor to recall the wonder of a mountain winter.
I have to admit, I am on a winter kick. Cold, chill. And loneliness. I don’t tend to paint or photograph people or civilization, but as far as painting goes, I need to get into painting them. I’m doing okay with moving inland water. But buildings, people, and oceans leave me baffled for now.
So, the open spaces of the flatlands between mountain ranges. Harsh weather, blasted heaths, winter and wild weather. The hint of spring.
Inktober continues apace, but I have been going 100 mph for the past week. No time to focus on a theme. This morning, though, I thought about cold mountains and winter – where I live, it’s in the mid-80s to low-90s, and I could use a bit of blustery weather.
Here is a mountain – inky for Inktober
And here is the same scene, in cold and wintry colors.
I used to do a lot of Chinese painting, and I tried to incorporate the clouds in a rather Chinese-painting fashion, in ink and watercolor. Hints, not direct; subtlety rather than blatant. I’m not sure if it worked for the clouds between the mountains, but I definitely like the chilliness and fogginess of the scene overall.
One nice thing about working in only two colors, you don’t get mud. You get dark colors. You get light colors. You get medium colors. I find that this is actually harder to do, in some ways, and easier, too. Harder because I have to decide on value (light, dark) and which direction to push the color (blue, brown). It’s easier as the decisions of color are already made for you (me, the painter!). Here I have limited my palette to Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber, as in the earlier studies from Ted Kautzky I did last week.
After looking at the scan, I realize that some of my darker trees in the foreground sort of float in space! The lighting at present makes it hard to see, but I will probably go back and correct it later on.