Mountain High, Water Deep

“Mountain High, Water Deep” was started in class on Wednesday, November 28, 2018. The image is of a very still lake, highly reflective.


Initial sketch of how painting will be laid out. Changes I made from the original photo include:

  • moving the boat to the left to put it closer to a high interest point (lower right cross of 3×3 grid)
  • giving the sky a lot less definition, and making it a lot cloudier
  • making the structure on the left a bit larger and clearer
sketch of painting
Initial sketch


painted in the sky and water reflection
sky and water reflection

The sky contains:

  • aureolin (cobalt yellow)
  • cobalt blue
  • chromatic black (from french ultramarine and quin burnt orange)

Right side

continue painting the land masses on the right hand side, and the lake, with reflections in the water's surface
right side land and lake

The base colour for the boat is New Gamboge. The furthest mountain is in pale purple to show the distance, while the closer land mass on the right is a medium-dark chromatic black, with some sap green and french ultramarine.

Left Side

The structure on the left was masked out originally while I painted the land masses and their reflections (sorry, no interim photos of that). The land masses were various combinations of sap green, quin burnt orange, and french ultramarine that were mixed on the paper.

The structure on the left, after the paint was dry and mask removed, was given a very light chromatic black, giving it a pale grey look, and the features of windows, doors, and shadows were give a more fuller chromatic black. I added a couple boats to the structure on the left that weren’t in the original to provide a little more interest.

painting continues on the left hand side of the image, showing more land masses and lake reflections, also starting painting in the boat on the right hand side
left side structure land boat

Detail work

Filling in some more details, making the boat a little darker since it is supposed to be more in silhouette, along with making the mist a bit more misty. I added some new gamboge to the sky in an attempt to make it brighter and give more interest to it. I’m not sure that I succeeded in that.

painting continues, filling in several details
filling in more details

Final painting

The final painting, all dry, and signature added. Overall I’m very pleased with the result.

painting is complete and signed
final painting, signed

Straighten & Crop

I took the previous image into Affinity Photo and used the tools to straighten up the edges and crop out the excess non-painting bits.

image has been cropped and straightened in a photo editor
cropped and straightened


Also using Affinity Photo, I applied a beveled mat to the painting, to see what it would look like if I framed it.

a fake mat has been added to the image with a photo editor
image with a mat

I uploaded the image to Redbubble and ordered a few things — this makes a nice tote bag and travel mug.