Now you can see where I’m going. Completing the first pass of painting is always satisfying. The painting appears almost magically and since everything is approximate, there is nothing to irritate. You can see how freely I have painted. I like to stand back and use the arm and shoulder at this stage. If the overall composition doesn’t work, now is the time to put it right. However, I’m happy with this. It works in monochrome too so I know that the tonal balance is sound. Taking a black and white image is a good way of assessing tone – it is so easy to be seduced by colour, especially if colour is as important to you as it is to me.
I used the Ultramarine Blue in the sky to make my greens and darks in the rest of the painting thereby achieving colour harmony more easily. So I’ve added Raw Sienna and Chrome Yellow to that blue, Raw Sienna and Burnt Umber for the reeds, and added the blue to my favourite dark green mix of Viridian and Burnt Umber for the darker bushes. There is even a touch of the blue in the sandstone mix of Umber, Alizarin Crimson and Raw Sienna. Vertical strokes for the reflective water and “shimmering” strokes for the reflecting sky complete this pass. Now I can enjoy refining the image.