painting Southern Utah’s red rocks was the subject of my latest watercolor workshop in St. George, Utah. 12 very good artists signed up for the two-day class which concentrated on using the unique characteristics of watercolor to define the shape and form of the red cliffs.

This demonstration showed how to establish texture and variety in the rock surface by using “scumbling.” As initial glazes are painted, the artist lays a loaded round brush on its side and lightly brushes the butt end near the ferule across the paper surface. The courseness of the paper creates the textural effects which are perfect for weathered rock surfaces.

In the next class demonstration we explore a few more techniques to define the mass and form. As the light side of the rock turns to the core shadow side both the value and temperature of the color changes. The shadow is darkest at the turn and becomes lighter and warmer as reflected light bounces onto the core shadow side. The Darkest values and coolest colors happen in the cast shadows which pick up light from the blue sky.

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