Reflections on life: Make-or-break phase

Bryce Herrington

Gallery: Reflections on life, blog
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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.

Reflections 4

It is said a still mind perfectly reflects the cosmos like a still pond. I had to keep my mind on this truism as I painted the reflections on the pond surface. I was totally absorbed, and this helped me to see the reflections and their corresponding trees in the middle ground.

Because of the perfect stillness of the pond, there were very clear and detailed reflections, and I painted these with the same technique I painted the trees they reflect. While it is not necessary to reproduce the reflections in a clinically exact version, they must be totally believable and match up visually.

I am careful here; this is the make-or-break phase of the painting. This is where I like to live; pushing my ability and creativity with the inherent risks that go with it. To me that’s what watercolor is all about.