As we all start getting ready to step outside our studios and paint outdoors or create studio landscape painting based on our experiences in nature, I wanted to explain the design elements that I put together for this particular painting, Summer Wind Patterns.
|Summer Wind Patterns by Robert Reynolds, transparent watercolor painting on rag paper.|
The location for the painting is the California High Sierra and the lake is known as Silver Lake. Over the years, I conducted many, many outdoor watercolor workshops in this location and also at Bear Valley and Kirkwood. These locations may not be familiar to you, but the High Sierra has so many beautiful locations! Kirkwood is not far from the popular resort city of Lake Tahoe.
For the painting, I selected a long horizontal format to suggest a mood of tranquility and strength. I also wanted to dramatize the long, horizontal patterns of the wind-stirred water on the surface of the lake. In this composition, the long design elements cross behind and above the yellow catamaran. They also cross behind the boat’s mast and the rocks. The boat, like a dancer in a Degas composition, (I love Degas’ compositions) faces the right side of the painting looking outward. This, however, is balanced by strong horizontal elements (water and mountains, the tilt of the boat, and the “weight” of the remainder of the images that extend to the left of the boat).