“Solace at Sinawava.” In November 2008 Emmy award winning producer Phil Tuckett and a film crew from Dixie State College shot one of my outdoor watercolor classes as we shot footage for a new documentary on the centennial of Zion National Park. This painting is the result.
I begin this painting by painting the sky using a wet-in-wet technique. Then move quickly to broad loose washes of color on the remainder of the painting. No detail at this point, just loose washes for the light and middle values. The darks will come later.
I begin to work up the foliage on the distant cliffs now. I cut in the foliage against the shadows using negative painting on the edges, and letting the pigments mingle naturally for the leaves and branches.
Moving to the foreground I establish some very dark areas. I do not have to worry about negative painting here since my paint is darker than anything behind it. Now I can begin to move back and forth between foreground and background building up my darks.
The river and the foreground received a lot of time and attention since this is where we can really see the detail in nature. Painting this large does pose some problems for the watercolorist. I am using a sheet of 26 x 40 Arches cold press paper stretched on a laminated drawing board.