Monday, March 20, 2017

Find your own way, study with moonlight

I've always been fascinated and drawn to the effects of moonlight.  It always seems so mysterious to me.  In particular, in the winter, a full moon and frozen ponds and marshes would expand the world I could explore as a child.  It opened up corners of the woods often closed off in different seasons.  Even very familiar places seem different at night, and moreso in the moonlight.

I also vividly remember the brilliance of the moonlight dancing on the ocean - particularly in the cold winter air.

Here is a study for the second in the planned series of Androscoggin River paintings.   A night scene.  I've thought about doing painting series of a particular scene for years now and occasionally I've done it but in a time period of years not weeks.  I'm not sure exactly what has motivated me to purposely paint and draw this series, other than the incrdedible contrast of this change of season from Winter to Spring.

This scene was done primarily with indigo with a few highlights/ darklights with prussian blue.  I do enjoy monochrome painting as it really forces me to focus on value and composition - errors in which can sometimes be masked with the use color.  There's still work to do on the composition.

I've also been struck by the varied surface of ice on the river.  Some areas windswept reflecting light like a mirror - others still snow covered. The patterns of darker and lighter cracks in the ice definately lean to the abstract

One of the most common misperceptions about watercolor is that once you touch paint to paper, you cannot undo anything.  I've not found that to be the case - with very few exceptions.   You do have to plan your darkest darks and lightest lights out first but beyond that, I've found watercolor to be very flexible and suited to a wide variety of techniques.  Find your own way.  You certainly can learn from others but be confident and experiment - you will develop a style and method that is all your own.

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