Colorado Mountains in Watercolor

Colorado Mountaintop

School was dismissed today for Cinco de Mayo.  Rising early, I made the two-hour drive south to join the Star Harbor Watercolor Society for a day of painting in their studio.  I took my Saint Ignatius Academy painting along and did some finish work on it.  I’m choosing not to post it, because what I did has not changed it profoundly enough to show the readers any kind of “progress report.”

I next turned my attention to an 8 x 10″ photo I took a few years ago while tooling around Colorado.  My gut reaction was to attempt a watercolor sketch of this on a 12 x 16″ block, but I quickly changed my mind and pulled a 22 x 30″ sheet of 300 lb. paper from my portfolio and thought “Why not”?

I have decided, after weeks of mulling my options, to change my palette radically from the restricted one I’ve used with very little modification the past two or three years.  I made a trip to the art store yesterday and bought a fistful of Winsor & Newton tubes, and decided to try them out on this mountainscape.

For the sky, I used (for the first time) Winsor Blue (Green Shade), Winsor Blue (Red Shade), Phthalo Turquoise and Payne’s Gray along with my usual Cobalt and Ultramarine Blue.  I also tossed in a little Winsor Red and Transparent Yellow for good measure.

For the mountain, I used (for the first time) Transparent Yellow, Permanent Rose, Quinachridone Red and Winsor Violet along with my usual Winsor Green (Blue Shade), Cadmium Red, Alizarin Crimson, Winsor Red and Winsor Lemon.

I worked rapidly, and allowed long spaces of time for the wet-on-wet to set up and dry.  During the drying stages, I worked on the Saint Ignatius Academy painting.

I’m dying to return to Colorado so I can watercolor mountain ranges en plein air.  I feel so limited working from photos, and wish I could look at these ranges while I work.  But, north Texas will offer no such vista.

Sunday I will return to Athens, Texas and give the waterlilies another try.  I’m looking forward to that road trip and adventure as well.  I’m pretty exhausted tonight, but hopefully will return to this mountain painting tomorrow and see if I can finish it out, along with the Saint Ignatius piece.

Thanks for reading.

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