Blue Hen Falls: #1

I tried a take on the Blue Hen Falls painting Rick Surowicz Watercolor posted a tutorial of. There are some things I like, and some I don’t. I particularly like the rock in the foreground, and the water current in the lower left. I wanted some brush in the mid ground, but it was too distracting, so I tried to turn it into a broken tree trunk. I don’t think it was all that successful, and the composition would be better without it.

I really wanted to try to get the light to shine in this, and I wasn’t able to achieve the effect I was after. I think the grass/leaves need more shadows/highlights in order for it to have worked. I thought about trying to lift color to create highlights, but I haven’t been able to do that successfully, and I was worried it would just turn to soft-edged mud spots.

I was a bit heavy handed with the masking fluid, because I didn’t fully trust Rick’s video where he said just to paint and trust that the heavy values would cover what they need to (thinking of the large trees.) No surprise, Rick was right. The masking fluid wasn’t really necessary and ended up making the tree feel more artificial.

I like the way the highlights worked on the rocks, though I really want to get better at dragging semi-dry pigment to create texture.

The masking fluid on the waterfall worked well, but the cove on either side is a bit exaggerated.

Overall, I think it’s half-successful.

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