I really tried on this one. This is painted on the back of another painting, so I knew starting out that it was just going to be an exercise, but I really wanted to treat it like a keeper. I think I have a good recipe now for the final painting, which I’ll try on a full sheet.


This whole painting was done with just UM Blue, Raw Umber, Yellow Ochre, Quin Gold, and a touch of Quin Purple. All Daniel Smith.


To paint the sky I started with a C4b to wet the paper down to the horizon. Then I painted in a T4w of UM Blue with a smudge of Raw Umber to neutralize it just a bit. I painted this heaviest in the top right, and used C4w to wash it to the horizon cwith a smooth gradient . That’s it.

Distant Trees

I used a T4w Raw Umber, and UM Blue mixed to a neutral grey as the middle color. On the palette I also mixed a puddle of the same with some Yellow Ochre to warm it up, and a third puddle with more UM Blue for a cooler grey. I dabbed these three colors using a T4w into the wet sky, trying to keep it rwarm at the left third, and cooler on the sides. I then used C4w to pull those down to the horizon fading them to near white.

Mid-Ground Trees

Using those same three greys, I painted the distant trees with an F4b. I dappled the foliage and dragged thin lines with a 2 round to make branches and tree trunks. Again, I kept the foliage warmer at the left third, and cooler at the sides and trunks. I then used C4w to soften edges here and there.

Foreground Trees

For these I used an M3b of the same greys, but added a bit of Quin Gold to the warm grey, and a touch of Quin Purple to the cool grey. I started by painting the trunks and some branches with the neutral grey, some with the cool grey, and just a few with the warm grey. Then, I added more Quin Gold and UM Blue to make the warm grey more of a neutral grey green. Again, I dappled the leaves carefully, still with an M3b, using the green at the left third, and at the tops of the trees. I painted the undersides of the foliage, and the outsides with an R2b to help define the source of the light. For the tall trees on the right, I watered down to an F3b and painted the trunks. Then used my knuckle to make knots.

In the next version I should make the tree on the right closer and taller. The composition is very open in the foreground, and I want to make it feel more like there is a canopy over the viewer.


I used UM Blue and a touch of Raw Umber to paint the water right over top of everythingfdc with a T3b, darker at the bottom, and nearly transparent at the horizon. Then I let it dry.

Foreground Grass

I used the green and neutral grey to paint flat washes of F2b for the grass.


I used a T4b neutral grey to block in the rocks. Then tapped the inside edges with that grey plus Yellow Ochre to give the impression of light hitting it. Then I used some Quin Purple for shadows.


For the reflections I used an R2b to color the reflection lines, leaving some gaps between the rock base and the reflection. Then I used C4w to gradually paint the reflection downward. When I do this again, I’ll start with C4b and paint the R2w reflections into that wet wash.


I didn’t paint figures here, but they are needed. I’m going to add them today before I progress to the full sheet so I can practice adding them.


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