Imaginary Paint: Looking for an Oasis

Camels are pretty cool. Apparently, they store fat in their humps which keep them cool and store water. Although I’m talking about them a lot, I actually didn’t start off this painting intending to draw a camel, but I just wanted to include something in the foreground. What I originally wanted to paint was a mesa landscape. I don’t know if I gained an appreciation for mesas from one of the Indiana Jones movies or from Minecraft, but I love their colorful layers and crumbly texture.

Recently I’ve been meddling with different combinations of art supplies. In this escapade of mine, I was reminded of my childhood, when the staff at my afterschool program sat us down with crayons and watercolors to color with, which are actually a pretty good combination. While the watercolor provides a smooth base, the crayon gives it texture and shine, and then you can even come back in with the watercolor and it won’t affect the color of the crayon. 

I experimented with this technique in a couple of different ways. On the mesa in the background, I started out by coloring a few stripes across the rock, starting at the top with a yellow stripe, then slowly transitioning down with different sized stripes and colors until I reached red-orange at the bottom. Then I painted over it with orange and red watercolors, and as predicted the crayons shone through. I also tried coloring over the watercolor to create the grassy bits as well as the back leg of the camel. I was going to paint over the camel’s back leg, but I thought it looked good without coloring over, so I didn’t.

The only problem I have with the final outcome is how the landscape tilts on the right, but Elsie said we could just attribute that to the Earth being round. I’ve improved at watercolors since my last watercolor piece when I mainly worked wet-on-wet, meaningI put down a layer of water and then painted over with the color and although the colors are a little bit off from what I wanted them to be, I think I did better than I thought I would. Also, I used a brush that’s more suited to watercolors because it holds more water than my acrylic brushes and I think that helped.