Three Degrees: The journey complete

Three Degrees: The journey complete

Posted: April 13, 2012 
Filed under: Three Degrees, 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.

Three Degrees

Now is the moment to unify the composition a final time to complete the painting. I bring forth more color and detail in the two prominent houses, detailing the windows and doors. I work quickly, but methodically. I do not want to overstate any detail areas, so that they become too noticeable, they are part of the whole, nothing more, nothing less. I also bring forth more color and some subtle details in the peripheral houses as well. I then put in the trees on the left using quick gestural brush strokes. I didn’t work on the trees until I was happy with the houses behind them.

As careful as I was with the buildings and background, I abandoned all caution and attacked the snow in the same way I did early on with the sky. I used lots of water, and applied color in broad strokes. I then tightened things down to where I used less water and more pigment in increasing proportions. It is subtle, and you must be respectful of painting snow, there is little room for error. Adjusting for light and shadow was the final piece, and I set aside my brushes.

In Eastern philosophy there are many references to walking the path. It is an allusion to perseverance, and overcoming both physical and mental challenges to reach your goals. This painting is the path I chose. It was a test for me as an artist, and it broadened my knowledge of myself as much as it did my watercolor knowledge and experience. I am pleased with the results.

Thank you for walking the path with me on my blog.