Thursday, April 18, 2013

Starting and Finishing

                                     "Acadian Reflections"
                                                                            22 x 30"

Here is the finished painting from yesterday's post. 

Q.  Should I start by wetting the whole page?  A.  In this painting, I wanted all hard edges, so I painted section by section.  I let each layer dry completely before beginning the second layer. But I still painted the first layer everywhere before continuing.  The sky down to the mountain, the beach, the lake.

Q.  What do I want as my focal point?    A.  The treeline and reflections on the righthand side of the page.

Q.  What layers came next?  A.  I looked at my black and white sketch for the answer. Midtones come next.  The distant mountain forms (not the modelling), the closest mountain and the land that was to be reflected, and the foreground gray rock in the left corner.

Q.  When did you make the decision that some of the trees would be light and warm while others would be dark and cool?    A.  When I made the decision about the focal point.  This was important for two reasons:  first the mountain could not be painted through the warm trees.  I stopped just short of the treeline.  Yellow cannot go on top of a blue without being influenced and muddied by it.  Second, since much of the painting is cool, the contrast of warm greens in the trees, the rocks and the reflections would emphasize the focal area.

Q.  How did you know when the painting was finished?  A.  When I painted the foreground rocks,  I stepped back to see how it was going.  I decided if I made them any darker, they would compete with the darks in the trees.  So I left them a light midtone with just enough definition of their form to give the foreground interest but not attract too much attention.

Also, study the linear directions in this composition and you'll discover that they all lead to the focal area.    I'm very pleased with the outcome of this full sheet watercolor "Acadian Reflections".

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