Friday, October 9, 2009

Cooley Lake Sunset, plein air


"Cooley Lake Sunset"
a plein air landscape
9" x 12"
Watercolor on cold press paper

Sunset at the lake is pure magic, even in winter. I worked from my car in the rapidly chilling air as I watched the resident Canada geese come in for the night, chatting companionably to one another. Cooley Lake is an old oxbow of the Missouri River, slowly succumbing to the inevitable eutrophication process of filling in with mud and decaying plant matter, becoming ever shallower. It is a Missouri Department of Conservation natural area, now, and open to the public, a lovely place to watch birds, butterflies, and other wildlife, and spend time with your sketchbook or paints.

I chose prismatic colors the capture the chilly winter light, and worked very fast--darkness comes so early in midwinter!

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Mini-Demo

Sometimes you don't want to take time for resists to protect the lightest areas in a painting; when the light is changing so rapidly it just was not an option, so I painted around the sun's path on the water, using a bit of drybrush work to enhance the illusion of the sparkle of light on water. A few "ripples" added with a darker gray-blue and a small round brush reinforced the feeling of the still water.



You can see the prismatic color, above--I used mostly yellow ochre, cobalt blue, permanent rose, and a touch of granulating manganese blue hue. I was careful to preserve believable lights in the distant pools, as well, painting in the shape of the land once the first washes were completely dry.



A small round brush used barely wet with color and just skimmed over the surface of the paper suggested the bare trees in the distance, while wet-in-wet worked to capture the warmer distant shore.


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This sketch will come to you unmatted and unframed for ease of shipping; I wrap with care and send via Priority Mail for most dependable shipping.

$155



12 comments:

  1. This is SO great Kate. Just love the effect you've created.

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  2. I love this!!!!! This inspires me to get out and paint. Thank you!

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  3. Kate you are a national, strike that, INTERNATIONAL treasure. Thank you for your generous sharing of your delightful talent.

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  4. It's quite beautiful and peaceful. You did a wonderful job capturing the feeling of the place. Thanks for the pointers on how you achieved the effects! nancy

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  5. I'm glad you've all enjoyed it! Sue, I'm blushing!

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  6. Great stuff Kate, just dicovered your blog!..i work plein air, but mainly in oils!....I find water colours very tricky!...so well done!

    Ed

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  7. Thank you, Ed! They ARE tricky, but I like a challenge...

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  8. Kate,
    I'm testing your comment process - using name/url. I'll let you know how easy or hard it is on your email.
    Shirley

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  9. Wonderful. I just love this one. The light is amazing.

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  10. Thank you, I love that time of day and season!

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