Autumn in Spring

All images © Bivenne Staiger

(Well, technically it’s almost spring for us here in the Northeast…) This view, as you’ll see, features contrasting color (orange foliage/blue sky) and reflections. Keeping these two colors juxtaposed and bright often has its challenges because if they’re mixed, they create a neutral.

After loading a large brush with blue, I wet the paper only in the middle with clean water and let the blue bleed from the top of the sky downward, and from the “bottom” of the lake upward. This keeps edges soft and the sky’s lower portion pale and required two washes. (Yellow foreground grasses were painted ahead, dry-on-dry.)

All images © Bivenne Staiger

The trees are painted with a round brush loaded in a creamy consistency of bright yellow and orange. Color is painted directly atop the lake shape, wet-on-dry here, dry-on-wet there, but directly below shapes they’re reflecting.

All images © Bivenne Staiger

I move quickly to the left to paint the farther tree line and its reflections. Its cooler temperature and duller color contrast with the bright orange foliage.

All images © Bivenne Staiger

Tree foliage details are now added and their reflections suggested directly below. The “white” tree’s reflection is lifted out.

All images © Bivenne Staiger

Here’s a close-up to suggest how the brush is held to paint the scruffy silhouette of a tree’s foliage: loaded with thick, creamy paint, it’s held practically in line with the paper’s surface. Paint is pushed outward as the brush is lifted up.

Reflections of Autumn, Watercolor, 11×15″ © Bivenne Staiger, 2021

Some branches are scraped away with a fingernail and final details added.

4 thoughts on “Autumn in Spring

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