Water Line Napa was painted during the California Art Club Paint Out at the Oakville Grocery, Napa. I was interested in how the irrigation changed the landscape into something completely different from what occurs naturally. With our drought here in California I've been thinking about water and it's uses ( another tenative title was "water into wine").Many painters look west towards the lush mountains, I feel more at home painting the eastern view. It reminds me of the forms and colors on Mount Diablo. This is the final ( I think )version, I need to recrop it because of the upper right corner.
Here's my working process, which is basically top to bottom, using the patterns of oak trees to establish movement and direction. I love using diagonals.
Stage two, moving down the painting to start to develope the foreground
End of plein air painting session, about 2 and a half hours. My composition is established and most of my thinking is done, I can see it finished in my mind's eye.( that streak of gray on the lower right is from a shadow cast on the paper.) I usually don't add shapes in the studio, just adjust values because I paint the lightest value that I think should work. It is so much easier to make watercolor go darker, than to lighten it.