Waterfall – Brecon Beacons

This is a very busy scene with three waterfalls, a dark cave, spring sunshine and a very rock-strewn stream.  This is my third attempt – one, a disaster, two, Disneyland, three, flattered by the photograph!  From choice, I would have painted this in pastel, either soft pastel or oil ones giving help to the many textures.  But it was the subject of my second Zoom lesson, so watercolour it had to be.

In this one, I began with the sunlit rocky hillside, dropping in the ochres, siennas and muted greens.  Then I introduced more detail with stronger versions of those colours and finally laid in the darks to give form.   On the cave side, the introductory washes were darker, as you can see on the nearer rock face.   After it had dried, I re-wet the part where the cave was going to be, being careful to give a crisp edge on the right hand side.  At that point I dropped in very strong Indigo, letting it bleed into the wetted area and introducing Burnt Sienna, then Raw Sienna as the paint moved to the  left.

At this stage I thought I was heading for Attempt Four,  but before I despaired, I put in the water, and life got better.   The form of the central rock went in using ochres and Ultramarine Blue, the exposed stream bed  being muted tones of the same colours.  Dry brush strokes gave depth to the falls, and I will admit to white gouache to save the day in places.

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