Bold Color

Winter this year has been almost disconcertingly warm in the upper midwest.  Far be in from me to complain.  However, even the mildest weather does not put the leaves back on the trees, revive the flowers in the garden, or keep the sun in the sky longer.

There’s no getting around it: winter is simply not a very colorful time in Minnesota.

So today we’re going to spruce it up with a punchy little watercolor sketch I painted about a year ago.  It’s based on a photograph my partner, Tony, took in New Mexico.

Desert Tree

The lively, sun-drenched feel was achieved through the use a few techniques.

  1. First, the paint was applied rapidly, with very little re-touching or layering.  This lends the image  spontaneity, even though the composition was planned in advance.
  2. Second, I suffused the scene with light by employing plenty of bare, white paper and high light/dark contrast.  This mimics the effect of intense sunlight “washing out” all but the darkest objects.
  3. Finally, high-chroma colors were used in addition to the warm earth-tones.  The yellow, for instance is almost an “out-of-the-tube” primary hue.  I’m not convinced the green is completely working in this picture, but it sure is saturated!

Hopefully, this pic adds a little extra color to your day.  I have a couple of new pieces waiting to be photographed, so check back soon!

This entry was published on January 12, 2012 at 4:02 am. It’s filed under Bold Color, New Mexico, Watercolors and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Bold Color

  1. Pingback: Mug Shots – part I « Gabriel Garbow | Artworks

  2. Super interesting. I love how you explain your process. I have trouble expressing what I see in the art, so hearing it described makes me appreciate it more.

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