The point of today’s painting was more practice with water control, in particular, having too much water and using it to define the rows between the plants.
A farm scene, with the foreground a series of planted rows of something, a corn field behind, and in the far background a set of farm buildings.
The thing we were supposed to do is first paint in the foreground plants, and then while still wet, put in the dirt lines. Dirt isn’t just brown, it has lots of colours in it, and can look blue, purple, red, and so on; it’s mainly just darker than the green leaves, which are reflecting a lot of the sun.
We mixed up a dirty purple for this, me using Cobalt Blue Violet and Raw Sienna.
First thing I painted was an underlying layer of Aureolin, to give all the growing stuff a glow.
While still wet, I put in some Sap Green to define the vertical parts of the corn stalks. To make it a little darker, I put a line of Payne’s Grey along the bottom edge of the stalks, and tilted the board up from the bottom.
This is when the painting changed: you can see the running of the darker paint up, which started to look more like a forest than a field of corn.
Trying to stay with the exercise, I put in the furrows as the teacher suggested, using pure Sap for the leafy parts, and a mix of Cobalt Blue Violet and Raw Sienna for the dirt parts.
And this is where the painting went into something else entirely. I had a fantasy forest in the background, so I created a sunset, with a few dark storm clouds running through it.
First, I wet the entire sky, then put in the layers of paint. The sunset is, going up, Aureolin, Permanent Rose, then French Ultramarine. The sun itself was painted around, but since it was also wet, the colours bled into it a little. I had to keep wiping it out with a tissue. Luckily, the colours I chose were not staining.
The clouds are chromatic black of French Ultramarine and Quin Burnt Orange, juicy, and dropped in after spraying the sky with a water spritzer after it had dried.
The foreground was too high contrast, so I glazed over it with more Sap Green to tone it down.
Close Ups on Forest
Take out a Fog Line at the Forest Front Edge
To give a little sense of mistiness, I took off the paint at the leading edge of the forest to create a soft, misty fog effect.
Dry – Class Critique
The painting has dried down, which lightens things up, paint isn’t as striking as it is when wet. I’m really pleased with how this ended up, and am glad I went with my instincts rather than to try to copy the source image. In particular, I love how the sky turned out, and the fantasy forest is still my favourite happy accident here.
Untaped from board, with a mat
Not really how I’d want to frame this, it’s just a mat I had laying about to help flatten paper for shooting on the copy stand.
This is the full view of the entire mat and painting.
The painting, the image cropped and straightened up for showing online.
- Arches Aquarelle, 140lb cold press, 9×12 block
- Winsor and Newton Aureolin (Cobalt Yellow)
- Winsor and Newton Permanent Sap Green
- Winsor and Newton Payne’s Grey
- Winsor and Newton Permanent Rose
- Winsor and Newton French Ultramarine
- Chromatic black is an 1:1 mixture of WN French Ultramarine and Daniel Smith Quinacridone Burnt Orange
- Dreamcatcher Round #14 – used to apply just plain water
- Dreamcatcher Round #10