The Path through Red Rock
Ink & Watercolor
Red Rock, at the bottom of Topanga Canyon, is just the strangest out of character place in the Santa Monica Mountains. These lovely craggy red clay cliffs and hills jutting up from the normal looking hillside.
And I love shaded paths with light at the top.
I had painted this with bright autumn colors, but the more I worked the piece, the more it felt like too many things were pulling the viewers eye in too many different directions. The one thing they tell you in watercolor is that you can always make things duller, but you can never make things brighter (which is not exactly true, but it’s still a good “rule” to paint by…). So I always err on the side of “too bright”. I took a light wash of ultramarine blue and laid it over the top of the rest of the painting, other than the pathway, in order to “knock it back” a little bit. Well……. the darker colors underneath started to shift and I was really thinking that I had ruined it, so I just stopped.
Turns out, it gave it a sort of foggy, misty, kind of look to the hilltops. I think it ended up working….
TAGS : Santa Monica Mountains