5.30.2011

Savannah Dawn





In this watercolor I was attempting to capture the vastness of the African Savannah, interrupted only by the lovely Acacia trees which grow throughout Sub Saharan Africa. The terrain is pretty flat, save for these beautiful and uniquely-shaped trees - also known as thorn trees. The Savannah is mostly hot and dry so plants must find ways to retain moisture. Acacias have evolved to do this, by having their leaves divide into dozens of tiny leaflets which can be held horizontally to capture sunlight or vertically to reduce transpiration. I used an indirect glazing method for the sky. Maggie Latham made me realize I forgot to post the materials I used. This was painted on Arches hot-pressed paper using thin glazes of raw sienna, light red, cobalt blue and burnt sienna. The trees and foreground were painted using burnt umber mixed with French ultramarine. I also dropped some  light red into the foreground.

17 comments:

  1. I like so much its almost monochrome yet so rich appearance. Really feel Savannah heat).

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  2. This is lovely, Jean. The variegated tones of the sky and the silhouetted trees are perfect. I'm useless with any names or facts about trees and plants but now I know a little bit about the Acacia :)

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  3. Gorgeous, Jean. The glow you achieve and the sense of depth are really amazing. The silhouettes of the acacias are perfect!

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  4. Irina: Thanks. I had not really thought about it but yes, it is almost monochrome even though I used four colors.

    Michael: Acacias are really beautiful. They grow in very dry conditions which make them stand out amongst the low-growing scrub land.

    Laura: There is nothing like glazing with a number of colors to create the glow in watercolors.

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  5. Jean, this is so beautiful. Is it on HP paper? It has such a Tonalist feel to it, but is also contemporary. You must paint some more in this palette. Which colours did you use? It certainly looks warm enough to be BS, and has a wonderful mystical feel to it.....so it probably has numerous thin glazes? Thank you for your recent comment on my blog. You should try Atelier Interactive, they are like liquid gouache and watercolour all rolled into one.

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  6. Hi Maggie: Thanks for asking about the materials. I forgot to add that and have done so now on the blog. I'm very tempted to try Interactive acrylics.

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  7. It is so vibrant even with almost a single color and when enlarged, I was stunned to see the photo quality you have achieved with out the brush strokes, Jean!

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  8. Jean, your work is just growing by leaps and bounds. The emotion you bring is astonishing! I also loved the lesson about trees that I can only imagine! Loving trees the way I do it was a treat!

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  9. ¡Preciosa y sugerente acuarela!
    Saludos

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  10. Splendido uso del colore. Mi piacciono molto i lavori monocromatici, Gli alberi sono perfetti. Elvi

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  11. looks so very beautiful jean

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  12. Padmaja: The sky was done with layers of glazing. Thanks for your comments.

    Saundra: Glad you liked the trees. You are such an expert in that department.

    Juan: Gracias.

    Elvi: Grazie.

    Jane: Thanks so much. I really enjoy your work with flowers.

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  13. Beautiful painting Jean, this is one of my favourites of yours. It is very serene and the colours are very lovely.

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  14. oh I love you style,, they are just beautiful,, such softness,,I'm a new blogger and just todau found you,, so glad i have,

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  15. Lovely painting,and was wondering how you knew so much about the Acacia tree when I noticed in your profile that you once lived in South Africa and Zimbabwe,both places where I once lived too.

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  16. You captured the vastness beautifully, it is such a lovely landscape.

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  17. sweet...beauty of the earth.

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