More paintings of beautiful North Carolina fall! I love the colors of North Carolina Fall. Last year, I did many plein air paintings during the fall. Plein air pieces are normally quarter to half sheet in size. I wanted to capture autumn’s glory on larger scale. So I painted below pieces in my studio. All the paintings were painted on full sheet of Arches Cold Press 140 lb paper. Due to the scale of the paintings and the amount of water I used, I had to stretch the paper. I have tried different ways of stretching the paper. The only stretching technique that has worked for me is Nita Engle’s technique. Nita has shared this technique in her book. This technique keeps the paper flat during the painting process. Arches Cold Press paper, once stretched, is a joy to use. It takes the washes and lifting well.
I have been trying new paints, and papers. And although I have achieved good results on variety of surfaces, I have liked Saunders and Arches papers the best. For drawings, I have recently started using Stonehenge paper and love it. One of the new surface I have tried this year is Ampersand Aquabord, This is certainly a unique surface which I will be writing about later.
This painting was inspired by Thomas Moran! Thomas Moran is one of my favorite artists. I am amazed by his watercolor and gouache paintings. His oil landscapes are simply beautiful! One of his oil landscape is in the collection of NC Museum of Art. Sadly, NC Museum of Art does not have a single watercolor painting, of any artist! I am hoping that will change one day soon. I would love to see watercolors of Sargent, Homer, Wyeth, Moran, Turner or Victorian masters in NC Museum of Art.
This painting is of Secret Creek. Durant Nature Park in Raleigh. I saw this view at dusk few days ago. I wanted to capture fall colors and decided to use Gouache. I have made Gouache paintings in the past and have to admit that it is not an easy medium to control! But, there is a benefit to studying works of master like Moran as compared to watching DVDs that claim to teach you “How to paint Watercolors in two days” or “How to paint trees” and so on! So, I worked patiently through some early disasters and mistakes. I started with a drawing on tinted paper. I soon lost the drawing under the layers of opaque paint. I recovered some of that from wiping the paint off. But, most of the drawing was achieved with paints. I am happy with the result. I consider this to be one of my best Gouache paintings.