I’ve been experimenting with a couple of new methods. These two paintings are the result. Both are based on some photos of trees half drowned by the swollen Willamette River I took this weekend. I wanted to catch the cold grayness of of the scene and the mystery of the half hidden trees.
I blew the trees. I placed puddles of paint on the paper and blew them into trees with a straw. The line of paint running out from the puddle looks surprisingly like a tree limb. And the direction the paint goes in is quite controllable. But once the paint has started in one direction it’s hard to make it turn. The paint follows the wet path as if it were a stream bed. The solution is to drag a little paint in the direction you want to take it and thus start a new path. Where the trees over-lap it’s important to let the first tree dry completely before starting the next, otherwise the paint form the new tree will run up the first tree.
There are several ways to vary the color in the tree. Leaving the supply puddle partially unmixed is one. New colors can be blown into the wet tree from the base. Accents and be directly painted onto the dry trees. I used all three methods on these paintings.
The second method is painting grass and bracken with multiple layers of mask. Thin lines of mask establish the highlights. Then color is applied. Then more lines are applied. Then more mask for multiple layers. When the mask is removed a complex texture is revealed. I was less successful with this method. It’s hard to see what you are doing or to guess the result. More practice is needed.
I used layered mask in Submerged I. But I didn’t like the results immediately. The foreground was too busy and detracted from my trees, which then looked much like the trees in Submerged II. After some thought, I painted over the trees in dark tones to match the foreground. The result is an evening picture.
For the second painting I added the foreground wet into wet. The result is simpler and gives the feeling of the gray afternoon on the river.
The palette for both paintings is: burnt sienna, phtholo blue and dioxion purple, plus a dab of hansa yellow.
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