|Double Arch, Arches NP, 8x10"|
Double Arch is a bit more of a challenging painting mainly because we are closer to the rock and can see much more detail in the rock, both in color and form texture.
In hindsight, I would have liked to have used stronger concentrations of color at this stage because it required later washes of yellow, rose, and burnt sienna to correct the color. But it is better to err on the side of being too light because that is easily correctable in watercolor by going in with more layers.
|Layers Two and Three - Shadow Shapes|
In the first layer of shadow shapes I painted in the entire shadow shapes as one, not differentiating between the arches or neighboring walls. They all received a continuous wash of rose plus ultramarine, not uniformly mixed but allowed to mingle on the paper in their separate components. I wish I had remembered to take a photograph after Layer Two to show you!
In the third layer I refined the shadow shapes, painting the deeper shadow areas with an ultramarine-heavy mix with rose and drawing out the paint with a clean damp brush to blend it and soften the edges. Refining the shadow shapes helped to separate out the distant arch and rock wall from the foreground arch.
|Layer Four - Glaze in more orange color|
I also begun to add the streaks of colorful patina in the rock. I used washes of burnt sienna mixed with indian yellow, rose, and/or dioxazine violet or ultramarine to provide the varying color and value to the streaks. The brush technique I used was to paint the streak with one brush, loaded with color, then soften and/or draw out the streaks with a second clean damp brush. If I wanted the streak to stand out more I used more paint and less water; if I wanted the streak to be subtle I would mix in a bit more water.
I also used the same colors for the blotchy shapes on the rock as well. A bristle brush was helpful for this process at times because that assists in providing natural irregularities.
I also painted the sky in the three visible sections. In my blue skies I tend to use a total of four blues: cobalt teal blue, cerulean blue, cobalt blue, and ultramarine, and use them in that order as a gradient from horizon to zenith. I also love to drop in bits of rose in the upper reaches of the sky to add interest and color.