Before I began painting today I spent an hour or so this afternoon looking for reference material to help me paint reflections. When Google failed me (yes, it can happen) I resorted to books and became engrossed in a Ron Ranson book Mum & Dad brought over with them called Big brush Watercolour.
Unfortunately I didn’t get much help with reflections, but I did read heaps about using tone and value to design the scene and about simplifying landscapes to create a better composition. I know most watercolour books cover these subjects and like everyone else I tend to skip them, but this was well written with lots of practical advice and was actually interesting. I read half the book in one sitting…
Mostly it pointed out that as I’d skipped all the planning in this current painting (surprise, surprise!) I will encounter lots of potential problems, including knowing where to go next with it. My background is too bright and colourful, which brings it forward: I don’t think I have a single, clear, focal point: I haven’t planned any interesting areas of counter-change, where the lightest lights are next to the darkest darks.
Well, I’m having fun, and don’t you learn most from your mistakes? So I carried on regardless and started to paint the middle ground tree trunks – they’re probably also tonally too strong which will make it harder to make the front one stand out, but anyway, I’m enjoying learning by experimentation 🙂