Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Near Coate Water Park - Watercolour

I took the reference photograph for this painting at the end of a long walk with the family last summer. The sun was going down and the row of trees looked stunning in the light.

The landscape itself is fairly simple, but the direction of the light created a dramatic effect: the clouds, the distant trees and the edge in font of the field are enhanced by the silver lining projected by the sun behind.

Near Coate Water Park - Watercolour (37 cm X 30 cm) by Benoit Philippe

The trees on the right are in a deep shadow and I had to lay many successive glazes to get the right tone and intensity. To do that, I waited for the paint to dry between each layer. I alternated washes of green, ultramarine blue and Carmin Alizarin until I was satisfied with the result.
By contrast, the rest of the painting is executed with light washes.
The front row of plants creates interest in the foreground. I used masking fluid to paint the leaves. When doing this, I am always careful to vary the size and shape of the leaves and I also make sure that the masking fluid is not applied in a mechanical way or geometrical pattern.

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