I like to keep the drawing simple. That leaves me room to be more creative as I apply each wash. "Drawing" with the brush is much more satisfying.
I will dominate each of my paintings with a few colors, but will add all of the other colors on my palette. My palette of colors is noted on my previous blog.
For this painting I used Quinacradone Gold, Pthalocyanine Blue, Manganesse Blue and Brown Madder. The choice of colors is dependent on my plan for the painting. I wanted very intense colors because of the bright warm light in the photo reference. I also wanted pigments that would "separate" when mixed to give me more textures in the rocks and fallen tree trunks.
I always tell my students to read the label on the back of each tube of paint so that they know what is in the paint. Check the letters. The "P" is for pigment and the second letter is the color. PO is pigment orange, PY is pigment yellow. The number is supposed to be an indication of a particular color. For instance, I used the Daniel Smith brand of Quinacradone Gold which is PO48-Nickel Azo Yellow, as opposed to American Journey brand which is PR206–Quinacradone Burnt Orange plus PY42 Yellow Ochre (two colors mixed together in one tube).
Don't assume that colors are the same from brand to brand just because they have the same name or letter designation. http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/water.html
is an excellent resource.
In transparent watercolor the procedure is always the same:
Next was the shadow side of the fallen tree and some of the rocks to the right.
As a student I was taught to paint light to dark and for several years I painted just the light parts of the whole painting first, then the middle values, etc. I have since learned that the concept is to paint the lightest part of the lights and the lightest parts of the middle values and the lightest parts of the darks. Therefore the darks that I have painted in this first wash are not my darkest darks.
I want to create more interest in the foreground area, so I've stopped here, leaving some hard edges.
The second step will deal mostly with that area.