I’d been thinking about glazing red over the green of the bushes and trees to darken them and push them further away. I was scared, though because red is a very intense color and can easily overwhelm other colors that it’s mixed with or put on top of. I came up with a plan of mixing green into some red only applying a little bit of this to the paper.
When I first put my red/green mixture on, I thought, already it was getting to be too much. I took a wet brush and thinned that out. I only dipped my brush back in the paint two or three times for to get the color across the entire length of the bush. The rest was pulled along with water. Layering this red/green mixture over my trees and bushes in the background helps to create the illusion that they're farther away, by making them less bright. It also makes the little bit of the light part that I leave showing more noticeable, creating the look of light hitting those parts.
Today I painted more of the red/green mixture onto the dark blades of grass and extended the reflection of the trees and bushes into the water.
I’m feeling intimidated by the painting I want to do next. That’s why I’m easing into it by doing practice, or what you might call, thumbnail, pieces. A couple weeks ago I wrote about practicing doing a smooth wash. This last Thursday, I made two small sketches of bushes and trees reflected in water on paper from a mixed media pad. Making these trial paintings gives me more confidence that I can do the real thing.
You can just jump into a painting. I do that a lot. But taking baby steps can take enough of the fear out doing a difficult piece for you to actually have the confidence to do it. I like doing pieces that scare me and I encourage you to do pieces that scare you, because those are the pieces that really help you grow. One of those pieces for me was this one, since I'd never done a landscape before.
I’ve had a habit, for quite a while of drawing my subject onto a piece of scratch paper before starting my actual piece. This is so I have something to transfer onto my canvases, but it also is a sort of dress rehearsal. I give myself practice drawing those lines without putting pressure on myself.
Making these practice sketches also helps you stay in the habit of painting or drawing, which improves your skill and confidence.
Painter of portraits and wildlife