Tag Archives: Sonoma wine county

Beautiful California, Part II

Them golden hills, California by frankeber 2012    Them golden hills, California, detail by frankeber 2012

I can’t stop painting the rolling hills! There is a special light; even on sunny days, there is this atmospheric haze which is quite hard to capture in a pathetic watercolor painting! I am getting close with this one, but didn’t quite nail it…maybe it is not possible! Who are we painters to think we can actually imitate nature? Preposterous!
The best we can accomplish is a likeness. I should be happy with this effort and move on, but that’s not who I am. I want to do better. Plus, it’s such a great subject matter!

There’s a nice color by Daniel Smith, called German Green umber that really helped me out on the distant hills. It is almost like a raw umber, but has more green in it. It works really well when mixed into the cobalt blue. The most important part, however, is the gradation into the stronger and much warmer foreground. It is easy to over compensate!
Sometimes I start to strong and have to go back and wash it down a bit before it dries. The key is to notice it before it’s too late. Sure, you can always glaze over it later, but it’s just not the same!

A maximum of  three washes. Two is better. Anything over three and you run the risk of getting mud. There are very skilled painters out there who can do more than three, I am not one of them! Anything to preserve the luminosity of the work! Thanks for looking