This painting has been haunting my mind for years:
This is by Oleg Kozak, a Ukrainian watercolor artist who unfortunately passed away in November, 2017. This man had the ability to capture light in a way that I haven’t seen in many other painters.
I decided to try to look deeper into his paintings to see if I could learn a bit about how he managed to capture light with such mastery. So I looked him up and grabbed a few photos of his to look at.
Studying these (and several others) I came to identify a few tactics that I think he employed.
First: he didn’t paint a sky. He left the white paper to read as a blinding white sky, and it worked.
Then I think he painted light yellows and oranges with a wet in wet light bloom.
After that dried, it looks like he painted a his mid tones in a single pass, constantly changing pigment, and forever connecting shapes.
If I’m right, he then finished with some darks in much the same way, only much much more constrained.
So to might I decided to try my hand at what I think his techniques might have been.
Clearly, there is a lot of room for improvement. Here’s my painting:
After looking again, I can see room to push darker values in the canopy. And, I can try to mask off some areas. I don’t think Oleg Kozak used making fluid in all of his paintings, but I’m pretty sure he used it in some of them. So I’ll give it a shot in my next attempt.