Saturday, August 13, 2016

Green Glow or Grass is Different than Snow

 Green Glow
18x24 inches on Crescent w/c board using various watercolors and gouche
My own photo reference

  This time around I'm doing a watercolor of a scene I see each morning during my AM walk. It doesn't ALWAYS look this way, but springtime around here can be LUSH!

I transferred my drawing of the scene onto the Crescent watercolor board, and laid in some spots of misket, (they are the slightly brownish blobs in the photo). I then did liberal poured washes of yellow, red and bits of blue in shadow areas. You'll note the distinct bow of the watercolour board after all the washes I poured. 

I immediately laid the bowed watercolor board right beside an air vent and left it over night. The next day, I found the board quite dry and totally flat! There was a tensy bit of separation between the paper and the board, but it was minimal and on the edges that go underneath the mat. So I went ahead with individual placements of intense watercolour Phthalo green over the yellows and blues. 

After laying in the pinks of the azalea and dogwood blossoms, the darks of the tree trunk, and the lavenders of the background trees, I removed the misket blobs that reserved the whites I needed for the sunlit water, grass and flowers.

Here I'm laying in detailing in the two birdbaths, shadows of surrounding bushes and grasses, and most importantly the shadows of the dogwood tree branches in the green green grass. Here comes in the “.....grass is different than snow” part. When I originally envisioned this piece, I wanted to do a spring version of this winter snow scene:


But when I used the same strategy of masking the white of the snow and pouring on the watercolor didn't look “grassy” at all! I needed grass texture in all that smooth green pour.

So I began “texturing” the foreground's “glow”. I scrubbed, I daubed, up errant spots of green watercolour, and detailed grass and blossoms and branches. I added deeper colours where needed, and in other spots I added white and yellow and green gouche, (opaque watercolors).

It took a lot of different techniques for this painting, but then a sunlit “glow” takes a lotta effort, if you aren't Mother Nature!


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