I have been deep in concentration- so much so, that I've been lax in posting my progress. I'm often seduced by a compelling image at the outset so I don't really think about the detail and the time it takes to render those details to create a vivid and very real image. This part of the painting contains a lot of improvisation. To create a sense of depth, I'm rendering the space one sees through the trees: something that exists mostly in my memory and not in the reference photo. To get a better sense of the detail, be sure to click on the above photo see a larger image.
My paintings always have a great deal of depth. The composition extends to inside the painting as opposed to just a 2d surface. I love the perspective in this piece with the path and rock face converging to a point in the center of the painting which takes you deep into the forest and up into the tree tops. The white space that remains is key to this illusion and will be done all by memory and my experience of being in this forest. It is the key component to the image. In the reference photo, there is just a huge incoherent tangle of branches. Since I walked the trail, I remember what lies behind this tangle of fallen branches.
Here is a detail, only a first layer. Once the painting has all its first layers in, I begin to heighten the colors, the details, and the illusion of depth. This watercolor is about my experience of being in the forest. It is a beautiful morning, with splendid dappled light. Being in this forest in this light, gave me a tremendous sense of well being. I was here 25 years ago but I still remember it quite vividly. I'd be curious to see if its changed. Most natural places are not the same. I've wanted to paint this for a long time and the colors have stayed vivid in my mind for all this time. At the time, I made a note to remember: Rocks: dappled light; pale creamy yellow, peach, lavender, turquoise and purple, Moss: an amazing emerald green. jewel tones.