Three Degrees: Second Wash—Forming Colors


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Three Degrees: Second Wash—Forming Colors

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I work into the closer trees on the right; these will establish the core of the reflections in the pond. On these trees, there is more detail in the branches, but I still need to keep it loose…back to careful randomness! I work fast here, spontaneity being the key. I’m using only Davy’s Gray and Indigo Blue now. I will use only four pigments throughout this painting; I am focusing on the subtle interplay ofthese colors to achieve the mood I want.
Winter scenes obviously do not have the endless variations of color and tone as say, a spring scene would have, but it is not that simple. The effect of the subdued winter light makes it extremely important to study and recognize the subtle variations it creates in the landscape, and use these to infuse the painting with life and feeling.
Keeping it simple, adding and subtracting as I feel, I move through this phase fairly quickly.

3 Degrees 2nd Wash

While the paper was still wet, I proceed with the background hills, adding darker colors of Burnt Sienna and Davy’s Gray to define the trees. Some areas I added more color, other areas were more water than pigment. My goal was to get a harmony of textures that would accurately depict the winter trees on the hills without getting too detailed, it is a suggestion and I let the watercolor work for me in this area. I also paid attention to the lighting on the hills to depict the early morning sun. Once I was satisfied, I stopped, and will not go back into it for the remainder of the painting.

I used masking fluid to block out the bottom parts of the buildings, and then used a wet wash of Cobalt Blue and Cerulean Blue to lay down the base colors for the snow. It is important at this stage to establish the light hues of blue I will use throughout the painting, as the three colors of blue I will use, Cobalt Blue, Cerulean Blue and Indigo Blue, will be the dominate colors of the houses and snow. A white on white painting requires me to move slowly and build up layers of color in a subtle way, keeping in mind the whole, not getting ahead of the rest of the painting in any one area. That being said, I am always thinking ahead in my mind, forming the colors and layers I will build upon the foundation I have laid down in this stage for the upcoming stages. It is a constant mental exercise.