Monday, January 30, 2012

Work in Progress: Summer Heat, Central Valley and Winter Mirage (Master Study)

More landscape practice today... And I have to admit I am more and more hooked. I took out another piece that was started in the same Roland Lee workshop as I mentioned in my last post, and tried negative painting again in the foreground grass land... This time I was quite happy with the result. The almost monochromatic yellow-brown palette was chosen specifically for the impressions I got driving on the winding roads down central valley in the heat of June and July... Every inch in view is burnt by heat. 

Summer Heat, Central Valley,  
Watercolor on Arches #140 Cold Press Paper , 6"h x 9"w, WIP 1

After several hours' careful painting around little shapes, I felt that I needed a change and took out a fresh piece of paper, completely soaked it with water, and laid it on a piece of plexglass, which is non-absorbent and therefore slowed down drying to the minimum. I flooded in the sky and snow colors and charged the bright orange hues when the paper gradually dried. When the paper completely lost its sheen, I dropped in the tree and shrub shapes with smaller, stiff brushes. Until this stage, everything was painted in one wet cycle. I have very little control of the process and cannot lift much without affecting the colors which had been flooded in first. It was very scary, but exciting in the same time! I love watercolor in its free-flowing state...

Winter Mirage, Watercolor on Arches #140 Cold Press Paper , 6"h x 9"w, WIP 1


  1. Wow! You did two fantastic works here! I know you have very little control over the water in this procedure, but it is still you the leading lady, and it is very easy to ruin. Bravo!

    1. Thanks, Jane... You are so kind to put in those sweet words! In fact, I was worried that it is going to ruin every stroke I put in... I'm glad that the hard part is over now and I just need to add a little details...

  2. Hey, Arena! You did it again - twice! Very good paintings [OK, excellent] I love the colors of the top one; it really does give the impression of dry heat, and the negative painting is so very well done. The second painting is wild!!! The color intensity is amazing. Bravo - two times!

  3. Thanks Kathryn... I am working on my color usage -- I tend to be very literal in that sense, and you really cannot use color literally when painting landscape (especially from photos...). I am learning to be more evocative and imaginative in my landscape adventures. These are just simple pictures but I am so excited to get more exercises in this direction!


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