Sunday, April 1, 2012

Scatchet Totem

A quick sketch done on another blustery day. My water brushes, water bottle, palette and sponge all took flight. At least there was some sun to light my subject, the totem at Scatchet Beach. Having direct light was an opportunity to play with more color and contrast. Lately I've been more cognizant of how I apply color in layers on my sketches because of a discussion with my friend, Sue. She recently took a class focusing on glazing with Jan Hart down in Costa Rica. Jan's work is beautiful. It's very apparent she has a great understanding of color and pigment characteristics. The knowledge it takes to avoid mud. So I'm inspired to expand my understanding of color and pigments. I've always layered washes and never really considered it "glazing." I like a direct approach to applying watercolor, so tend to use minimal layers. Generally I've found highly pigmented colors such as cobalt blue, cerulean, manganese blue, yellow ochre etc. work best on top of transparents such as gamboge and alizarin crimson. And I like the effect of cool colors on warm. Dry time is a big issue when glazing outdoors, but today the wind took care of that!


  1. Thanks, Dan and Sue! That Totem, I think, is one of Scatchet Head's few attractions. It's a neat thing. Sadly, it had to be cut down in size because of rot. Now it's mounted on a concrete footing and cared for.

  2. I applaud your resolution to keep painting in these conditions with great results.

    Am I right that you add glazes between the watercolour layers? A glaze of what?

  3. Nice "totem" and good colours, I like it! I follow you!

  4. Sue P., thanks for the encouragement. Just carrying my little sketch pack all the time helps. In regards to glazing, it's applying very thin washes of watercolor over one another. It has a luminous effect if you apply the right ones. Also using soft brushes so as not to disturb the under layers. I'll be posting more about it.
    Entintades, thank you so much for your nice comments and the follow! It's a neat object to paint. I was told by a local native American that it's sacrilegious to do so. It's made me more appreciative of it's symbolic nature.