This past week I had three classes and did three demos, two with watercolor underpaintings and one with hard pastel. I’m going to begin the first of three blogs with the most recent one, which was done with watercolor. All of the paintings are from my October trip to New England, so the subject matter is very familiar to me. The purpose of the watercolor underpaintings was to show my classes a different approach to underpaintings and both worked fairly well.
This demo was for my small Wednesday class and I solicited a lot of feedback from my students on this one. My original thought was not to finish it all at the bottom, as you can see in the two small images. But my students didn’t like it, so I kept going! I think that the resulting painting is overworked, but who knows!
When I took the photo, I liked the path, the triangle of water, and the fact that there were three boats and in different locations. The boat in the foreground was dark green on the left, with light red on the top and then a lot of white on the right side. None of us liked it and I ended up with the reds and greens that you see in the final painting. I had to keep toning down the top to keep it from being too bright and distracting. Probably still is!
The background areas were easy in this painting. The trees were just starting to turn red and the marsh grasses were turning gold. I liked putting in patterns of color around the two distant boats, and I added a small piece of beach to the right of the boat in the middle, that everyone thought was a great addition. Then I got into the reeds in the foreground. I didn’t fill them all in and asked the group what they thought. No one was particularly pleased with it, so I kept going. I added turquoise watercolor in the blank areas, then filled this up with oranges and greens, and finished with a few pieces of violet to indicate the shadowed areas.
Boats are challenging–particularly upside down boats, which tend to have the appearance of beached whales!