The Mountain

Yesterday was a watercolor day!  I warmed up with a copy of Wesson’s painting, and then moved on to more water.  I am not intimidated by water in the form of lakes or streams, but do need to learn how to do oceans and waves and white caps.  I am trying to get a grip on reflections and how water and reflections interact.  I think reflections appear longer when the sun is behind you rather than in front of you, like shadows.

Here, a mountain and a lake, with some very deep shadows.  The distant mountain is quite bland to my eyes and would like to liven it up with deeper greens and richer browns.  I didn’t.  I tried to keep it more simple than the actual photo.  I did to a point.

I think most painters will always find faults as they know, as they paint, what challenged them while they painted and what their vision was, versus what they put down.  My life.

A Study After Edward Wesson

Edward Wesson was a master English watercolorist.  He is renown for the simplicity of his work – clear color masses, defined work.  It is his economy of color and shape that are attractive to many painters as he says a lot with very little.

I, on the other hand, am prone to overdo and use rather bright colors.  My perspective is often wonky.  To counter this, I look for painters, such as Wesson or Seago or Hannema or Kautzky whose work I admire for its elegant use of colors or lines or both.  Copying another artist is good intellectually, as it requires thinking about what the artist did, and how.  Great practice!  Today, I chose Wesson.  Below is my interpretation.

My mountain in the distance is more detailed than Wesson’s.  I chose to make the trees on the shore in the midground lighter than in his painting as I think he meant to do it, but had laid in the dark of the hill on the left already.  My beach comes nowhere as beautiful as his – too much detail.

My husband remarked that this is definitely something he would define as NOT “my” style.  I agree.  I was looking to create something a bit spare, and to a degree I did, but I had to blot the sky (too dark) and re-wet the mountain.  I like the middle ground green hills, and the reflections on the water.  My beach sucks!  All in an afternoon’s work.

Storm Over the Wetlands

Water and sky are the major themes these days.  I really like them anyway, but have to work on reflections in particular.  For instance, along the banks, the reflection of reeds is very important, as in the distant water / tree line.  I try to be simple in my approach and perhaps a bit less dramatic or intense in my colors, but that seems to be really hard for me to achieve!  I had a lot of fun with this painting, though, and am rather pleased with its outcome despite the fact it is not quite what I envisioned.  But, it does catch that peculiar storm light, I think.

Building, Tree, Flowers

Springtime – moving into summer – and after finishing up a sweater I just had to cut loose.  The watercolors were out, a piece of paper that wasn’t too warped from another painting, and I just went to work.  This wasn’t really planned, but I did use resist to keep areas white, as well as decided to throw in a building, flowers, and a tree.  A transitional world – sweater to watercolor portending hot weather next week.

Jachelt

This is one of the most stunning images I have seen on Pixabay, which has a lot of wonderful royalty-free photos; here is the direct link to it:  https://pixabay.com/photos/fog-moor-moorland-birch-tree-mood-1717410/ 

This photo is moody and mysterious, and you can certainly imagine how spooky it could be to come upon suddenly, lost in a whirl of fog on a lonely moorland. I tried to capture it in my own watercolor.

This painting is significantly different than some of my other paintings.  I used the wet-in-wet technique throughout the painting, creating several layers of glazes before adding the details of grasses.  These I did using negative painting over the washes.  Then, more solid brushwork for the tree, branches, and scrub in the lower corners.

16 x 20 Arches 140# cold press paper.

 

Reflections on a Still Day

Today is a calm, slightly muggy day.  Where I live, no open water running through a flat land, few clouds.  Instead, there are mountains and the little bit of green we get with spring rains is giving way to brown.  Much as I love where I live, and find its austerity beautiful, I also crave wet, hot days.  This will have to do.

 

Nowhere Barn

Addendum!

This is the second scan from the final one below.  I changed a bit of the elements after doing a preview scan – don’t know why the one on the bottom of this post is so, er, intense!

Now, let us continue . . . 

More perspective studies!  Today I did a single point study.

This time I created a single vanishing point.  This one is below the building, and above the road.  The idea for this is that the road ends up going over a hill or slope before the horizon, at eye level, is met.  I did a pencil sketch and erased it a billion times.  Finally, when I liked what I did, I erased most of the lines after inking it in.

Sort of a value study combined with a color study to see what I might like for color mixes in watercolor.  This paper is mixed media paper, so it is not the heavy Arches 140# cold press I like for most work.  I think the perspective works pretty well.

Well!  Aren’t these colors intense!  The scan for some reason just came out like this – the original is a bit more subtle – but I rather like it as I think it expresses the intensity of color that sometimes comes with lowering clouds and a storm.  Makes me think of my time as a kid on the plains of the midwest.

So, the final study does have decent architectural perspective, and perhaps even some atmospheric (lots of atmosphere, but more like pressure type!) insofar as I tried to simplify things.

I will continue my focus on perspective, and using it in different media.  Watching videos, referring to books, and just doing it is helping.

Nowhere House

Another perspective study from hell.  Where do you put the vanishing point on paper where the horizon doesn’t provide one!?!

I used 2 point perspective here for the most part.  To figure this out, I drew the basic sketch onto a piece of paper that was larger than the final sketch.  I decided my horizon line.  Then I drew the building, uprights and then angles for the roof line and base of the building, both on the left and the right.  For the wall, I did the same thing, aiming it at the horizon line and trying to get the top and bottom to line up.

Ummm.  Not sure.  It looks okay in a lot of ways except for the wall – too wide nearer the building perhaps than it should be in the lower left foreground.

And getting into perspective.  I don’t have depth perception – eye docs confirm this.  But I do get distance – I can guestimate a distance and when it is measured, I am pretty accurate.  This makes me think that a sense of distance and depth perception are two different things entirely.