Rocks At Malakoff

Fabriano 300# 11 x 14 inches

I was planning on painting this  yesterday but I was so tired from posting and then life got in the way. Been thinking about painting the rocks at Malakoff because they are quite unusual in that many of the rocks have been oxidized by the local minerals left over from the hydraulic gold mining back in the last century. Here is the post from a plein air trip that I made about a month ago Malakoff Diggins-World Watercolor Month #4

My reference photo


I took artist license and moved some elements around to simplify and to give some interest. I decided not to litter my scene with all the trees but who knows I might go back in and put some more trees in. I took some time with this painting and I learned a lot. I felt it was loose in some ways but tighter than I normally like to work.

Leaning Point:

  • Plein air painting has been exercising my artist muscles because it felt so easy to paint this, not a problem, I knew exactly what I was suppose to do.
  • Again, paint what you love and what you know. I am a little stubborn in that I will not paint a subject or place that I have never been. I used to when I was first learning but now I am adamant that I only paint a location that I have been to.

19 thoughts on “Rocks At Malakoff

  1. This is an awesome work, and I am so glad to hear you say “I knew exactly what I was suppose to do”. I guess that is the sweet spot we are searching for! To me it looks like your colors and edges were done in a very confident spontaneous way. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you! though next time I think that I’ll work my values darker…..I don’t think that my lights are bold enough. I often will try to get it done too quickly. I was having so much fun that I should have taken more breaks to have “fresh eyes” to see what I need to do. The more I look at it, the more I pick out as problematic! ha…..but what I loved the fact that my confidence level was pretty high and that inner knowing of what I need to do, now that was on this side of miracle!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think your picture is perfect, but I understand you may have ideas for next time. I Have to say I always found it difficult to clean, strong darks in watercolor. It really takes guts and lots of experience tomut it down right first time and keep that color clean. You are really hitting your stride Margaret. It is so good to see your painting arsenal develop over time.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. yes….I had noticed that in the years past but I never paid attention to it because painting and drawing something that I didn’t particularly like was “good for me”…..what kind of reasoning is that? now, I pay close attention to what I love or at least like. 🙂


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