It was very difficult getting the colors right for this posting. The watercolor is actually a little darker than it appears here, especially in the foreground. I wanted to paint an atmospheric night scene using a range of blues. It took about ten coats of glazing to get to this stage. I almost abandoned it halfway through because it looked uninteresting. For the last stage I decided to take a rough painters brush and using Daniel Smith's indanthrone blue mixed with neutral tint I swept the brush back and forth and left it to dry. I think it really made the sky come to life.  I then had to come up with something interesting to paint in the bottom third of the painting. It had to be something simple that did not detract from the sky, which I wanted to be the focus of the watercolor. I was pleased with the end result of this piece. Size is 14" x 10". I used indigo, French ultramarine, indanthrone blue and neutral tint for the sky, and burnt sienna with French ultramarine, raw sienna and a little sepia ink for the land area.


Autumn Symphony

It's that time of year again. One of the things I miss most since moving from the east to the west coast is how the leaves change color in the fall.  What I don't miss is having to rake them up - but it is a beautiful sight while it lasts.The photos of the different stages accidentally got deleted so I will describe them for you.

Stage 1:  I wet 140lb Saunders Waterford CP paper and painted a layer of aureolin randomly over the sheet.  Before it dried I splattered transparent yellow and quinacridone burnt orange mixed with aureolin into the wet paint for the first layer of texture and let this dry. 

Stage 2:  I proceeded to splash more Indian yellow, transparent yellow and a mixture of Quinacridone burnt orange and aureolin onto the sheet. I spritzed this lightly with a spray bottle which changes the round dots to random shapes that more resemble leaves. I let this dry completely. 

Stage 3: For the next to final stage I crumpled up some saran wrap into a ball and dipped it into all of the same colors - plus some Daniel Smith olive green to add some darks - and dabbed this all over the piece. When this was dry I brushed off the masking fluid and painted the tree trunks and branches with a mixture of quinacridone burnt orange mixed with French ultramarine which makes a very nice grey.  I added a few more dabs of paint to make the colors a little richer. The final step was making a darker mixture to paint the markings on the bark.