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.
I'm on an English country scene kick. Mainly because I love the quaint little old cottages one finds in the English countryside. They evoke an atmospheric feeling that I like to create in watercolor. When I first painted this it was without the tree and broken fence. During critique in class Jerry Still felt it needed the tree and fence to frame the subject and tie the sky to the land area. I really don't like to go back and "fix" a watercolor because I usually end up ruining it. I need to do this over because I really don't like the tree. This was my third try after erasing the previous two with "magic eraser" - wonderful stuff for fixing a watercolor. Anyway, a third rub will probably make a hole in the paper, so I need to start from scratch. It will be a good exercise. I was very pleased with the foreground though. Hope I can repeat it. Size: 14" x 11" on Arches hot pressed paper. I used windsor green, raw sienna, burnt umber, burnt sienna and black india ink.