Work in progress
One of the most beautiful drives my wife and I have taken is the Icefields Parkway that follows river valleys through Canada's Jasper and Banff National Parks (so beautiful we've done it twice). Amazing views all along the route could provide subjects for enough paintings to last a lifetime, in this case a watercolor of Athabasca Falls. A full size pencil sketch, generally outlining the rock formations and establishing distant shorelines was transferred to the watercolor paper using tracing paper and graphite paper. In the earliest stages, the rocks of the falls were painted, with very light washes used to delineate water pouring in and around them. Attention was initially paid to establishing the massive outcrop at the center of the composition, then to the rocks below it. Several washes built up the colors and values of the water to convey its rushing, plunging, boiling turbulence. Only after this foreground, the meat of the painting, was well established did I turn to shorelines and trees, using blue tints and mid-range to light values to convey the sense of distance. Much patience was required to paint the trees along the distant slopes, but to have rushed through them would have, given the detailed foreground, undermined the cohesiveness of the composition. The finished painting can be seen on the Landscapes page of the Galleries.