Saturday, June 8, 2013

Near and far.

 Pebble shore                                             watercolour 36 X 46 cm                  © Elizabeth Tyler 2013
The muddy water of the harbour, where my boat is moored right now, isn't so inspiring so I took a long walk on the beach far away where the water wasn't so polluted (as it unfortunately often is here in Greece). At last both the colour of the pebbles and the water itself was clearer and all the colours came to life. It was late afternoon, the wind had dropped and the waves had turned to ripples, slowly washing ashore. I chose a very low viewpoint in order to get a close look at the stones at the same time as being able to include the sea as a backdrop.
The challenge here was to be able to create the impression of depth and distance. I wanted the background very soft and diffuse but still keeping the foreground extremely sharp and detailed. I often try to use this effect when painting both watercolours and acrylics but it's equally challenging every time.
The water was very shallow, barely covering the stones, but even so the blue colour was really intense, reflecting the late afternoon sky.
In the painting all the stones and the foreground were masked first with Art Masking Fluid so that the water could be painted freely. Prussian blue and Winsor blue (red shade) were used, plus a touch of burnt sienna where the waves stir up the sea bed.
At first I had painted the stones in the water too clearly and defined so they looked like they were lying on the water instead of in the water.
So I went about scrubbing all the edges with a trimmed, wet hoghair brush. The streaks of white in the water were done in the same way. I finished off by drawing lines with a white aquarelle pencil. These lines were also scrubbed to soften the impression and create distance.
Softening edges with a trimmed hoghair brush

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