Thursday, June 26, 2008

Lindis Pass

My current watercolour project is my most ambitious yet. It's the first time I'm painting bigger than A4. The paper is a Langton block 457x355 that I got about a year ago, but haven't dared go near since.

The inspiration is this picture of the Lindis Pass, between Lake Wanaka and Lake Tekapo in New Zealand, which we drove through on a grey day after it had snowed overnight in Lake Wanaka. Despite the dullness of the day, there was a vibrancy to the tussock-covered mountains, as we drove through them mile after broad twisting mile. For the mountain in the foreground, I've used Schimncke Ruby red, Winsor&Newton Quinacridone Gold and Holbein Aureolin (yellow), with a shaving of black and purple watercolour pencils. My big struggle right now is to find the right colour for the mountain in the background. The colours in the picture are pink and pale green to my eye, with some smokey purple haze, but I need to simplify it and maybe accentuate the haze, so that it is pushed back away from the foreground. I'm going to have to experiment with swatches of colour, as I don't want to ruin what I've done so far.

I've done my usual aboriginal snails samples, the best way for me to experiment with the colours without being intimidated by the empty page. And Willow had to get in on the action - the page was getting more attention than him, so he had to step forward. He hasn't quite yet walked over one of my watercolours (a few near misses, though), but it's more to do with me giving him the attention he demands (and dropping my brushes) rather than him leaving me to my art.

And here is the current status - not subtle, but I love the colours, and I want the background to match.

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