Your Watercolour Paintings › Garden of the Gods, CO
September 12, 2018 at 13:17 #96302
I commented on Howard’s post of the Red Rocks that I had tried the Cornwall cottage after seeing Lora’s rendition but I used rough paper and was not happy with the results. Rather than waste the paper, I painted the Garden of the Gods (near Pike’s Peak), CO on the back side. I think the mountains are OK but I failed to get the change in values for the trees that I wanted. In one of my previous sketches of Colorado, Patrick had mentioned that I should use value changes to convey a sense of depth. The mountains came out OK but the foliage didn’t. I was trying to make the mountains pop against the trees and ended up with the background too dark. I couldn’t make the foreground any darker so the mid ground ended up too close to the background and I didn’t get the 3-D affect that I wanted.
September 12, 2018 at 15:58 #96304
Patricia LParticipant6 pts
Hi Brian. You might find it useful to pop over to Patrick’s youtube channel and watch his video titled, “Beginners Aerial Perspective in Watercolour. It’s about a year old. It might help with getting that sense of increased distance. Or not. I may be way off in suggesting it, since I’m not sure it addresses what you’re saying about your painting.
His latest video has a foreground, middle ground and background composition that might also give you some ideas.
Your foreground trees look really good to me. They maintain detail, have some lovely lighter highlights. I like the colours you’ve used on the rocks.
You’re getting to see some beautiful country!
September 13, 2018 at 19:37 #96339
Thanks for the suggestion. I watched the video and repainted the picture but decided not to post it because it was based on my sketch. I have looked at a photo I too of the mountains and decided I should redo it more like the photo so I will try that.
Thanks for the suggestion.
September 13, 2018 at 13:32 #96326
I think it turned out pretty good David. Your painting would have benefited from some changes of color in the greenery although I can see that you have achieved some. The tops of the mountains are nicely sunlit so stand out well. Just keep in mind about softening some edges even though they may have appeared all hard edges in your ref pic. Personally softening some edges helps the painting come together more. Paintings are viewd in a different way to a photograph. Hope that makes sense 🙂 If you can post the ref pic I would like to see it.
September 13, 2018 at 19:34 #96337
Please feel free to use this photo. I loss much of the detail because I painted from my sketch without the reference photo. I started another this morning but, now that I see the reference photo, I’m tempted to to do it again to make it more like the photo.
September 14, 2018 at 00:17 #96343
Howard WParticipant14 pts
David, I have been to the Garden of the Gods and have driven to the top of Pike’s Peak: 14,114 feet. I bought a coaster in a store on that mountain’s top that states its height. The coaster resides on my bedside nightstand. Back then the road to the top had no guard rails and you could buy a Tee shirt stating such: “Real Men Don’t Need Guard Rails” The drive to the top was a real mind game. In my mind’s eye, the earth disappeared 20 feet in front of me, but I had to tell myself that the road would continue and so should I.
I like your photo. I am going to experiment with several value sketches to see if I get a composition I like enough to paint.
Thanks for sharing.
September 14, 2018 at 01:55 #96349
That’s quite a drive. We did Rocky Mountain National Park and got to 11,800?. It was raining and when I ran to the cafe at Alpine, I had trouble breathing. I think 14,000 is getting close to Everest Base Camp which is around 15,000. Back in the carburetor days, we were living in Albuquerque and my wife went up into the Sandias that I think are around 10,000 and the car died,
Anyway, here’s an update. I like the mountains and foreground but not happy with the mid despite watching Patrick’s aerial video on depth.
September 14, 2018 at 10:56 #96356
Great to see the second painting David. Instantly I can spot one thing you could have done to help you create more distance that’s blue in the background, a nice touch of cobalt blue with a dash of cad red to grey it out slightly. Paint the hills in warming it up as you come forward that would create instant depth.
All that said I do prefer this painting over the first. The foreground is much improved.
Thanks for posting the picture will keep it for future reference a bit busy with backlogged stuff to do it now but will in the future.
If I can find some time in the next week or so I will do a quick video demonstrating the blue technique and warming up as you come forward.
Thanks for posting
September 15, 2018 at 00:01 #96384
It can be a challenge indeed with getting values right at times! These are both lovely paintings; I agree with Patrick, I think your second one is even better! 😀
September 17, 2018 at 05:30 #96477
Howard WParticipant14 pts
David, you have introduced a lot of great points of interests in this second painting. I like that you placed a road in it. I didn’t notice that in the photograph. You must have known it was there, or just decided to put one. I wish I would have thought that in my value sketches. I am going to go back and do some more sketches.
Below are the four value sketches I made. I haven’t decided yet whether I want to select one and paint it. I think I may yet need a different composition to make it worthwhile to paint. I am discovering that this is a difficult subject (at least for me) to get an interesting composition.
I wrote the above paragraphs before logging in here. What you have done in the second painting is a great step forward. It gives me more ideas.
September 17, 2018 at 20:37 #96505
I tried to remove the middle mountains to change the colors as Patrick suggested. It didn’t work too well as the green is very tenacious. Still, i was able to get a warmer color and it made a big improvement. I also noticed that the following the photo made the top of Pike’s peak too small. i’m not sure of where the tree line stops but in retrospect, it would be better to have somewhat more bald mountain like you have in your sketches.
I think the road worked out well. Without it, the foreground woukd be boring.
September 20, 2018 at 23:44 #96549
I like your second painting better David. Foreground with trees looks very good. Lighter ground and darker green trees. I think this concert should be used again in some good painting.
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