Saturday, May 16, 2015

Painting of the Week – "Spanish Aqueduct”

“Spanish Aqueduct,” 10” x 13” mixed watermedia.
Copyright Sara Light-Waller, 2015.

This painting was an interesting challenge. I was so inspired by the beautiful, blue sky in the photo reference that I decided to use that color as the unifying theme for the piece. To begin, I laid down a thin wash of Ultramarine Blue acrylic, then washed in areas of Quinacridone Violet (also in acrylic) towards the bottom of the paper. When this was dry, I started building the piece in watercolor. At this point I wasn’t sure how much gouache I’d be using in this final piece. Just enough for end highlights? Or more? As it turned out…I used gouache for at least half the piece, and I’m glad I did. The more opaque paint gave the rocky scene the feeling I was going for — solid, heavy, and old.

I’ve seen this remarkable location (Ronda, Spain) painted in the most gossamer of watercolors, creating an ephemeral look. I’m not sure I’m ever going to be that kind of painter…and I’m not sure if that’s a sad thing or not! As it is though, I’m pleased with the results, it’s not just a copy of a photo…I can feel the place! One day I’ll go there and see if I’ve caught it right.

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