Across the pondPosted: September 25, 2014
I have spent a lot of time looking at water and trying to figure out how to paint it, and its mysteries have still not been fully revealed to me. But I have sketched the pond in Baie d’Urfé often enough to at least have a plan of attack for how I lay down the washes. I start with the blue (leaving the lily pads white) that is a reflection of the sky and gets deeper and cooler as it comes towards me. There’s lots of cerulean blue up near the rocks and some cobalt added in as it gets darker. When that’s really dry, I add the tree reflections in different layers of dark green. The light colours in the lily pads are next, and then there’s a final layer of really deep and dark greens under the lilies. This usually has some darker blues like Phthalo or Ultramarine and even some Alizarin in it. The rocks, foliage across the pond and foliage closest to me are next. The final step is the calligraphy — the little grasses and brush strokes that are mostly done with a rigger.