The Making of 'Moongazer'

14 February, 2017 1 comments Leave a comment

Moongazer, watercolour by Karen Richardson

Recently, I completed this 16 x 12" watercolour titled 'Moongazer' (above). It is an imaginary scene, based on these three reference photos (below). The trees and water are from our travels along the north shore of Lake Superior, and the full moon was seen from my house. The sketched watercolour paper is shown beside the photos.

Moongazer, reference photos and sketch by Karen Richardson   Moongazer, first attempt

The second photo above shows the painting after two layers of sky colours. I didn't like the way the colours were granulating, and I thought the moon should be higher and smaller, so I turned my watercolour paper over and started afresh with new colours.

Moongazer, work in progress by Karen Richardson

Here is the new painting above, with the tree and moon covered in yellow masking fluid, and the first sky layer on.

Moongazer, work in progress by Karen Richardson

This painting was slow to complete, as I had to let each sky layer dry at least 24 hours before applying the next layer. Shown above is the finished sky after six layers. The masking fluid has been removed from the tree, revealing the white paper.

Moongazer, work in progress by Karen Richardson

In the photo above, the first paint layer has been applied to the tree foliage and two layers have been painted on the tree bark. I left some paper bare at the top of each foliage mass, to give the effect of moonlight shining there.

Moongazer, watercolour by Karen Richardson

In this last photo, the tree has received three paint layers. Then I painted the distant hills and lake and let that dry. Finally, I painted the foreground forest in one layer.

This painting has an atmospheric mood that really captivates viewers. I am delighted that it found it's new owner even before I had it mounted and framed.

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  1. George Marlow March 15, 2017

    I am pleased for you the you have found so many places to show your work this summer. They are fortunate to have you showing at their gallery. I hope you lots of sales. Hopefully we will see you at Buckhorn. George