I did a free watercolor painting demonstration at The State Museum of Pennsylvania last Friday evening and it was a lot of fun! Here’s the original photo I started with. (The backlighting that creates the shadows from the trees is what drew my eye.) I rearranged a bit, making the two trees on the left into a clump of trees and drawing the rock pile in a more interesting diagonal.
I did a very quick color sketch and decided to use blue and gold as my theme. There were dried grasses (gold) on either side of the rocks and trees, and I added some to the sky behind the trees for a third touch of gold. (Three is always a more visually pleasing number than two.) I painted the few pure white areas with masking – some highlights on the snowy rocks and the snow area on the very front.
I had two hours to paint at The State Museum of Pennsylvania and planned so I could finish the painting there. Amy Jukas was coordinating the event and served yummy refreshments. It was a plus that visitors to the demo could visit the very impressive Pennsylvania Watercolor Society’s International Juried Exhibit free during the event. At the end, Amy drew a name from the people who had attended and Jim Smith won the finished painting.
To plan a painting, first, decide what elements you like. Rearrange them for the most interest. Pick a color scheme to evoke the mood you want your painting to convey. Presto change! You’ve converted reality into art!