I used some of the same techniques in the composition below, that I used in the Emerging Landscape study a couple of days ago. The transparent iron oxide pigments (yellow and red, in this case) combines the earthiness of the opaque earth tones with transparency of a glaze. The yellow transparent iron oxide makes an nice filter for […]

Transparent Iron

I began today’s watercolor by stomping my 1″ hake brush all around my dry watercolor paper. But first I loaded it with transparent red iron, an earth tone. I liked the splashes, but some of their traces did not survive the subsequent steps in my design. After the blots dried, I glazed some areas with Prussian blue, a […]


I continue the exploration of merging earth tones (particularly quinacridone nickel) with blues and purples in today’s watercolor. With subsequent layers of glazes, and some lifting of pigments, I created a piece that is layered across the two dimensions of the paper, as well as in the third dimension. The third dimension is built up with microscopically thin […]

Earthy Tree

I tried using terra verte again today (see Proto Nebula). It covered so lightly that I had to use the much heavier chromium green for any pigment to appear. I started today’s painting with three main patches of color: an upper and lower patch of red iron oxide, a reddish earth tone that covers the […]

More Earth Tones

My abstracts have been based on earth tones lately (Abstract Forms, Landscape, Action Wall Shadows). I found a wonderful, if unexpected, combination: cobalt blue and quinacridone nickel. Together they create an earthy variegated green/brown. Today it occurred to me that I have been neglecting the secondary colors. I added chromium green to my palette. I thought, “Chromium […]


In setting up my latest conflict between saturated and earth-tone colors I inadvertently mixed my cobalt blue with either quinacridone nickel or one of my iron oxides (I used both). Previously I had wet down my paper and stroked on the quinacridone. There are two phases to the bloom of this dirty yellow pigment. The […]

Orange Aquatic Abstract

Before I introduce today’s watercolor, I must comment on yesterday’s. The title of yesterday’s study is ‘Reverting’. I thought that my child-like scrawling of a cat was a trip down fantasy lane to childhood (unclear if it was mine). I joked that the book I was reading, Psychoanalytic Explorations in Art, might explain repressed memories. Boy is […]

Abstract 102316

I began with an earth-tone wash, using my transparent iron oxide pigments.  I tried ‘highlighting’ certain parts of the composition with a darker pigment. I should have used it a bit more sparingly. I used gouache to trace some of the patterns made by the interactions of the washes, and the more pronounced contours. I […]

Getting Closer

I think I broke out of my ‘S’ habit.  In previous abstract watercolors (Untitled 101916, Caldron) I seemed to always start with a backward ‘S’ shape.  I did more high frequency brush strokes in earth tones.  I carefully painted in between the indiscriminately-painted yellows.  Those reds and purples pulled the amorphous yellows together like a purse seine […]

Untitled 101916

I streaked a stroke of terra rosa to begin today’s piece. After dripping cadmium red on the paper and letting it dry, I glazed the surface with transparent iron yellow and then transparent iron red. I wanted a study in earth colors.  Finally, I used English yellow to stripe the middle of the first form […]

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