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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dappled Light

Dappled Light,  8x6" watercolor on paper
©2012, Helen Read
ready to mat and frame

and on its way to Malaysia

Sunrise in the east!  As it washed through the trees and bounced off the evergreens in the foreground, I was charmed by the colors I saw!  I've tried to depict the oranges and yellows and the variety of greens as the sun began to peek through the branches.  This one takes on a somewhat abstract quality with the washes of color and the simplified shapes. 


Here's the process I used: 

First, using my reference photo, which I took this morning from my porch, I made a 
very minimal line drawing of the basic shapes and started with some 
washes of color within the areas I saw the colors.

I also put in some blues for the most shadowed area.  I didn't plan it this way, but I did end up with the primary colors as under washes. 
At this stage, I also put in some Miskit to keep certain areas white or the color of the wash that
I wanted to keep in that color. 

Now it was time to continue applying more color. 
I wanted to keep some areas of my under washes visible, so I had to be careful in how much paint to apply.  In my watercolors, the color green can easily become too garish.  To modify that, I added some rust to it, and some deeper yellows. 

After I added most of the color I needed.  I removed the Miskit by rubbing it carefully.  Now some new white was revealed, but I did not want it to remain a pure white. 
So I needed to add some very light washes.  Also, I added some details with fine lines. 
Its nearly done.  Some adjustments to the pure white areas that I uncovered needed some light
washes of color.  You can see the final version of this painting at the top of this post. 
Just a few more slight color adjustments were needed.  

I used pan watercolors by Pelican and #140 Arches watercolor paper. 


CrimsonLeaves said...

Thanks for sharing your steps, Helen. I think I've learned something. I also love how the focus is the foreground evergreen branch and the colors of the scene are exquisite.

Helen Read said...

Thank you so much! I'm excited to say that it has sold and will be making its way to Malaysia!

paul said...

absolutely love this

what a striking use of color - so rich, warm, and vibrant

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