The above is the beginning of a painting that I used a mixture of sand and gesso on to add to the texture of a painting. I mix clean craft sand with white acrylic gesso and apply it to areas of my paper where I want to accentuate the texture. In the above image, you can see the mixture as foliage on the trees, not yet painted. In the lower portion, the lighter yellow, rough-looking areas are other areas of the mixture. The light grasses along the bottom were painted with plain gesso, allowed to dry, and painted over with watercolor. The gessoed areas usually appear lighter than the areas that are not gessoed. At this point, I splattered frisket and painted in some extra frisket grass blades along the bottom.
I am always studying Chris Carter’s loose value paintings for anything I can pick up. I noticed in many of hers that she created a path of darks for the eye to follow. I attempted to set the values in this scene’s foreground, here. I was drawn to the way the darks wove through the wildflowers and other weeds. I also began painting more grasses and green leaves in the foreground.
At this point, I decided what I wanted to accentuate in the painting. There was a long strip of light in the upper third of the painting that was blocked in by a treeline in the distance. There were also clumps of white wildflowers (not Queen Anne’s Lace) that twisted their way to that light area. I painted the distant treeline and the leaves on the middle ground trees. This helped to act as a guide to balancing the foreground I had yet to do.
In this step, I added the flowers in the scene. NO LIE! These flowers were really there! ( A big thank-you to Al for teaching me to be more aware of my surroundings!) Where I had to add light value flowers over dark, I used white goache and added yellow or violet watercolor to it. The clumps of white flowers were dotted in with gesso and a brush. The frisket was removed and I touched up the values to finish the painting.