Here is my abstract version of Mt Tam. I used one of the techniques mentioned in Ann Blockley's latest book by using cling film over the wet paint to create texture. The colors I used were quinacridone burnt orange, Prussian green and quinacridone gold - with some sepia ink squeezed under the cling film to add more texture. I thought the textures came out quite well and gave the mountain nice contours while remaining abstract. I need a good title for this piece. Any suggestions?
I am currently working on a series of watercolors depicting Mt Tamalpais to enter in a local gallery exhibition where the theme is "Under The Spell of Mt. Tam." I can enter up to three paintings, so I thought I would try to approach the subject in three very different ways. Mt. Tam is a very imposing mountain that can be seen from most areas in Marin. At it's highest point it is 2,574 feet and is often shrouded in mist - making a great subject for painting. Above is my first attempt with the mist coming down over the mountain. I want to also do an abstract version and a night scene incorporating the mountain. My next two posts will follow this one - if they are successful that is.
This watercolor was inspired by a black and white photograph - a good exercise in being creative with color. The photo was also a good guide for the lights and darks. I took a lot of artistic license changing shapes and leaving out a water scene in the background and replacing it with distant trees. I used quinacridone gold, cadmium yellow, cobalt blue and Prussian blue and sepia ink for the textures in the foreground.
I was aiming for a tonalist look in this watercolor, using a number of glazes to achieve the result I wanted. It's easy to do too many glazes and ruin the painting by overworking it, or too few and not quite achieving one's goal. I'm a great admirer of the tonalist painters who mostly painted in oils. To quote from Wikipedia, "Tonalism is sometimes used to describe American landscapes derived from the French Barbizon style, which emphasized mood and shadow. Tonalism was eventually eclipsed by impressionism and European modernism." I love trying to create atmosphere in my watercolors. The colors I used were quinacridone gold, brown madder, neutral tint, transparent pyrrol orange, Payne's grey and burnt umber. Also some sepia ink for the texture in the foreground.
Special thanks to Laura who suggested I enter my painting in this event.
Here is the link to the other winners and all the entries in the challenge.
This is my first attempt at using some of the ideas from Ann Blockley's latest book "Experimental Landscapes in Watercolor." I think it may be a little patchy but I did like the color combinations. I used quinacridone burnt orange, Prussian green and quinacridone gold. For the sky I used the same colors very diluted and added plastic wrap to the wet paint for subtle texture. The branches on the left were done with sepia ink. For the textures in the lower half I used cheese cloth and a really nice netting that I found at a local fabric store that had more uneven spaces. I did as Ann described and tore and pulled it out of shape a little to get a more natural design. See photo below of the netting pattern. You can see the texture from this pattern in the gold and green areas of the painting. In the upper green area I used cheese cloth.
I have spent the last week or two reading my new Ann Blockley book, Experimental Landscapes in Watercolor. Ann is a master with innovative ways to create texture in watercolors. It's a wonderful book, full of creative ideas. I have also been practicing some of the techniques - which are more difficult than they seem. Hopefully I will be able to come up with a painting using some of these techniques soon. In the mean time, here is my latest atmospheric watercolor. I decided not to use too much texture since the focal point is the area of light where I used burnt sienna to draw the eye to this area of the painting.