Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Hampshire Workshop, Day 4 - Water

Our fourth and last day was spent in Goffstown. Goffstown once had a covered bridge that spanned the river in the middle of town. Now the bridge is gone, but at one end of the span, a small park has been created. From this park, you can see the stack of granite blocks that supported the bridge's other end. The river gave us an excellent opportunity to learn about painting water.

When I paint water, I like to break up the process into three steps. First, if I can see bottom, which I couldn't in this case, I paint underwater features such as submerged rocks and logs. Next, I paint reflections, typically using more vertical strokes. Finally, I paint surface details, such as ripples or floating leaves and, using a light touch, soften the water with horizontal strokes. In this demonstration, I also had to add the warm glow created by suspended particulates diffusing the sunlight. I "massaged in" this glow before adding surface details by brushing in a slightly warmer and lighter version of the water color. Here is the 9x12 demonstration:

Trina and I left New Hampshire for Vermont on Sunday. Now we're spending a few days hiking the Kingdom Trails around Burke and revisiting our old haunts. I'm also looking at the landscape with a painter's eye and thinking ahead to the workshop that starts Thursday. We've got some really wonderful foliage color now. The maples are turning a brilliant crimson and the oaks, a soft orange. Here's a photo to whet your appetite.


roofing insulation said...

Amazing painting its easy to just go through with the pics but its very hard to make it wonderful job keep it up :) very appreciated

Donna T said...

Thanks for the info on painting water. I assume your process applies to pastels as well.

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Thanks! Yes, Donna - same process.