Marsh Light

I'm a great admirer of the Tonalist painters. The Wikipedia definition of this style says "Tonalism (1880 to 1915) is an artistic style that emerged in the 1880s when American artists began to paint landscape forms with an overall tone of colored atmosphere or mist. Dark, neutral hues, such as gray, brown or blue, would usually dominate such compositions. Two of the leading painters associated with this style are George Inness and James McNeill Whistler." Most of the tonalist artists were oil painters and since I love watercolors and want to stay with this medium, I try every now and then to create tonalism in my watercolor landscapes. I love the mood it creates and the harmony it brings to a painting. I was quite pleased with this attempt, inspired by the marshes in Mill Valley, CA, near where I live. I first did an underpainting of raw sienna on Arches hot-pressed watercolor paper. Over that I painted the sky with brown madder, burnt sienna and cobalt blue grayed with a little Payne's gray. The marsh was painted using burnt umber, burnt sienna and Payne's grey. I had to go over the sky with a glaze of cobalt blue to tone it down to achieve the atmospheric look I wanted. Size: 13.5" x 10".