Wednesday, June 15, 2011

North Woods Pond

Last summer, this was my first en plein air painting of the season. I tucked it away intending (don't we always) to finish it up and put some last minute touches on it one of these days.
Here it is a rainy afternoon the following spring.

This is an 11 x 14 watercolor/mixed media on canvas board.
I almost tossed this one (or painted over it).
But then I decided to take one more chance with it.
I did still have a photo reference to go with it, taped to the back. That was a life saver.
I recommend you do that when you "file away" a painting to come back to. Or make some reference to where the photo is.

Canvas is forgiving and it's easy to come back to almost white in some places and change colors or shapes. Dark is very hard to achieve and has to be put on in 3 or 4 glazes with lots of pigment and not much water.

So I darkened the center of interest, added some gouache or acrylic highlights, worked a little more on the reflections, added some black sumi and some acrylic burnt sienna ink lines, and splattered some color. Gradually the warm, windless morning in the sunshine came alive again for me. The sounds of the birds...insects buzzing...even the gentle voices of other painters nearby.

Note, I did decide to fade out the edges but with a watercolor on canvas you just can't do that like you can on paper. So I gave it a light spray of clear acrylic varnish before I added the vignette technique. This worked fine. When I decide that it is done, I'll put two or three more coats on the painting so I do not have to use glass when framing it.

I did not jot down the name of the pond and I am going to ask Ken and Florie what it was called.

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