Saturday, April 20, 2019

Painting a landscape, Part Two

After spending a day or so away from this project, I was able to tackle it with a fresh view. I wanted to eliminate the problem diagonal -- the line of gray-blue running from the bottom right of the painting to the left, where it connected with the curving path. You can see it here in the small image, or see a larger image at Step 3 in my post "Painting a landscape, Part One." The challenge was to fix the diagonal without scrubbing away a lot of what I'd already laid down. In my experience, 140-lb. paper does not stand up well to a lot of scrubbing, as it destroys the surface.

I added some mid-range and darker greens in the mid-portion of the painting, and extended that greenery to the left and slightly downward so it almost touches the curved walkway. I left a bit of white along the top edges of this green area to emphasize a separation from plantings farther back.

With Mineral Violet and Winsor Violet, I added more washes to the flower area at the left in back of the greenery, and also along the walkway. I let the colors mingle because I knew that this would help this section of the painting recede in the viewer's eye. Along the back of the garden, I suggested a fence with a series of posts and connecting wire. Using Sepia, with a #3 pointed round brush, I added branch details in the three areas of Burnt Sienna to suggest large, flowering shrubs.

I decided against painting in some brick-work on the walkway. This unnecessary detail would have been distracting, and wouldn't have improved the composition. Instead, I dampened the curved path and covered it with a pale, slightly uneven wash of Quinacridone Burnt Scarlet. While this was damp, I used Sepia and the #3 pointed round brush to suggest separations between the pavers. At first, the green lawn at the left seemed too bland and uninteresting, and I considered adding a small evergreen at the left. But I decided it would be more effective to leave the smooth lawn as a contrast to the busy, overgrown garden. With a wash of Mineral Violet, I added shadows to the lawn at the back of the plot and in front at the lower left of the painting.

Now the distracting diagonal is gone, variation of color and shape in flowers and foliage suggests movement, and the fence adds interest and anchors the scene. Finis.

"Gardenscape #1"
 watercolor   14" x 10.5"   SOLD

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