Fog Over Croisan Valley (17 x 23 watercolor) $600
This painting is a little closer to home than most of my recent work. I see this view every morning on the way home from my walk down Croisan Scenic Trail. The trial occupies a long thin, Salem park with our neighborhood a hundred feet above it and Croisan Creek a few hundred feet below it. The path is beautiful in all seasons and rarely feels nearly as close to town as it is. It’s particularly evocative in the fog.
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Sisters on the Rocks III (12 x 16) $100
Yes color matters. I changed the palette to brighter clearer colors, but grayed them down with their compliments. This made the scene more restful. The active climbing takes second place to the static view. I like the effect, but it feels much less like Oregon winter to me.
I used red rose deep (quinacridone), dioxazine purple, cobalt blue, Prussian blue, and hansa yellow light.
I under-painted the rocks with cobalt blue to establish the basic shapes before adding much color. Then I dropped in dioxazine purple and Purssian blue. This resulted in an unreal landscape of glowing blue rocks. After stewing a while I mixed up a grey brown with the dioxazine and the hansa and a muddy orange with the hansa and quinacridone. I washed these over the rocks to tone them down a few notches.
Half greyed Half Blue
The sky is cobalt blue with a tad of orange mixed from the quinacridone and hansa dropped in wet on wet. The sand is dioxazine purple grayed with the same orange. I used the same mixture for the headland in the background.
There are various premixed grays and browns on the market, but I don’t use them. Nature doesn’t come in neutral gray, it comes in a infinite variety of grays and browns. The best neutrals for any painting are always mixed from the palette. Shadows look more real if mixed from the colors in the wall or ground on which it falls.
And grays are so easy to mix. To get gray, mix any color with it’s compliment: yellow and purple; blue and orange; red and green. Add more of the warm half of the duo and you get a warm gray or brown. Add more of the cool compliment and you get cool gray.
A Few Mixed Grays