Today’s watercolor experiment:
Joy showed me the sky this morning. There were yellows and reds on the bottom of gray clouds.
The photo does not do this sunrise justice.
So I had my goal for today. Red and yellows to gray. Instead of starting out with my good paper, I decided to see how my different reds looked with the Payne gray. While I was at it, I tested all those same reds with cadmium yellow pale.
The reds I tested were (left to right, starting on the top row): cadmium red light; cadmium red deep; Sennelier red; French vermilion; Opera rose (Sennelier); permanent red deep (MaimeriBlu); quinacridone red; cadmium red; Winsor red deep; Opera rose (Winsor Newton) and permanent alizarin crimson.
From the test, I thought that Opera rose would lend a nice pinkish tone that one sees in the early morning sky.
That was the plan.
I started at the top, as I usually do. As yesterday, I wanted the top part of the sky to be a reddish blue. I soaked the paper and began with cobalt blue. I added French ultramarine which is delightfully reddish. I used a lot of water and did a lot of blotting. I also decided to try the permanent red deep, and dropped some into the blue area.
As per my plan, I laid down some Opera rose and the cadmium yellow pale. It did not look very good.
Proceeding from stage I, I added Winsor blue (red shade) at the top of the picture plane. I liked the graininess of the blue and red area, but the red-yellow mix was not satisfying.
I thought I could fix the red-yellow mixing problem, so at this point I dropped in some Payne’s gray. The rest of my painting process consisted of blotting and dripping paint and water in different measures.
To solve the red-yellow problem I decided to use gamboge, one of my favorite yellows, although heavily tinted to the orange side.
To finish off at the bottom of the study, I used Van Dyke brown to once again depict receding hilly terrain.
Below is the finished study:
Although I wasn’t able to capture this morning’s sunrise colors, I am pleased with the results. The testing I did before painting didn’t seem to do much good, but it did give me a little fore-knowledge of what to expect. I learned more when I was in painting mode.
Right now it seems as if I am wrestling with the watercolors. Hopefully this will turn into more of a collaboration. (Thank you Carol, for that thought.)
Definitely looks like a fiery sunrise!
Thank you, C.