Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun. So if a man lives many years, let him rejoice in them all.
Greetings from a hot January in The Basin
The loose strings of 2021 are tied and 2022 is chundering along. The first monthly painting is complete and ready to share with the client.
I am so pleased with how it has turned out. Houses are a such cool topic for watercolours. This afternoon, at the Big Reveal, I will hear how my client feels about it.
I am also working on the calendar projects for 2023. There are some beautiful places along the river that flows through our town and I have started to capture these.
Here is my painting of the Lourens River Mouth:
However, most of the Lourens River paintings will be about flowing water, which is technically demanding. There is so much going on in a river scene. The wet and the dry make the same rock show different colours, though to different degrees depending on the type of rock. Reflections of the sky, trees and prominent features on the bank hide and reveal details under the surface. Refraction make the rocks under the water look flatter and also creates ephemeral twists of light in underwater scenes.. There are sparkles as water cascades over a rock and sparkles in the meniscus around a rock in still water,
The movement of the water, the ripples and waves have a structure. Seeing and working to the patterns makes the river “read”. Also the flow of water imparts a subtle structure to rocks in the river bed, called “imbrication”. Observing and capturing this structure also makes a painting of a river work.
So… Lots of information to take in and convert to lines and swatches of colour. Fortunately our brains are good at that kind of thing – if we are prepared to do the work.
Here is the version I am working on now:
I have dedicated a few “Watercolour-of-the-days” to grappling with these things. Yesterday I sat at the river in Vergelegen Estate and as I completed a watercolour sketch I had some insights I think will make a difference to my next version.
It was so peaceful to sit with my feet in the river on a warm afternoon watching the swirls and shifting light. As I was packing up a little malachite Kingfisher came and sat on a twig just upstream from me. Another treat.
I have also been doing other Watercolour-of-the-days.
Fruit is always a good topic. This mango ripened in the sun on my desk, giving off a wonderful aroma – so I am afraid it did not last more than this version.
I have also been down to The Pipe for some good wave sessions followed by painting at the dune. The boardwalk is completely under the sand, which is a shame. It was a great feature to paint.
And some portraits:
My weekly watercolour program is also moving ahead.
Here is the painting I finished for this week: