Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Sunrise Swamp Times Four

A few weeks ago, before the leaves returned to the trees and in the middle of all the spring rain, I put on my tall boots and took the dogs splashing through the puddles in the woods.

Swampy spring woods produce a lot of mess, namely soaked and muddy and pollen-coated dogs.

But at sunrise, swampy spring woods also produce a lot of beauty.

Which is probably the state of most things in most of our lives, most of the time, isn't it?  A little bit messy.  A little bit beautiful.

Anyhow, I used four ATC-sized pieces of watercolor paper to nab some practice with composition, value, and hue.  So each of these tiny painting is just 2.5 by 3.5 inches.  That allows me to do them fairly quickly.  I think I did all four in less than one hour.  But unlike working in a sketchbook, I used really good paper.

The scribbling practice here for me came through messing around with how to shape the really dark portions of the scene in relationship to the really light portions.   In particular, as you can see, I was experimenting with how much of the surrounding thick woods to include.  Should I eliminate the many many trees, but make just one tree larger?  That sort of thing.  Plus, I worked with several different triads of color, just to practice.

The first one is most "realistic."  The first two used the same triad of paints.

What better way to spend an hour that looking at and thinking about the dark and light of spring?

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