Monday, January 5, 2015

River painting

There is a beautiful river (the Orcia) that flows down a wide valley dividing the Siena province from that of Grosseto.  It is here that Monica and I found ourselves on a warm afternoon last year.  We had previously scouted this river and this spot was just right for a picnic and a small painting. 

The scene

The drawing


The colors here are a bit different than the usual, near the river the trees were slightly silvery.  I was concerned with the moving shadows and those were put down first.  I had to simplify the chaos in the trees on the right side.  I played up the diagonal light/shadow pattern that the afternoon had to offer.

A challenge was to paint the rocks that were under the clear water.  I stayed away from the white and tried to paint the rocks softly and very thinly.  I knew I would be dragging color over these rocks to create the water surface.


After some work back home I came up with the result below.  It was fun to drag the different blue colors over the surface of the river at the end.  The reflected trees were painted with vertical strokes and were rendered with duller color that was slightly lighter in value than the actual trees.  In the end the different layers come together to produce the illusion of water.

Fiume Orcia  o/panel  8x10in
available at the Stage Door Gallery

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