Morning on the North Yuba


on 200# Saunders quarter sheet

Oh my I am so picky today! I am thinking that I need to stretch my creative muscles and go for a really loose painting. I keep picking the above painting to bits. I have a problem with all those rocks, maybe it is my picky mood. So I started another Yuba river painting but more loose and carefree.


layer number 1

I always love starting out a new painting, so exciting! I started out with wet on semi-wet here.


layer #2

I often will bring the background to a certain stage than move onto the middle or foreground. I don’t like to complete a background because often it takes a back and forth work to bring a painting to the correct feeling or value.


layer #3 or more

I started to move on those rocks and the back trees on the left and gradually brought the water up slowly. I used a wax crayon to protect the whites.

I do believe that those rocks were my enemy and yet I loved how a lot of them  presented that special glow that I saw that morning. In the final stage I did lump some sections of the rocks into a more concrete mass. All in all, not bad but I am missing my wild and loose and fancy free approach. I need to go bareback on that wild pony!

colors  used: Aureolin, Quin. Gold, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Tiger’s Eye Genuine, Prussian Blue, Cereluen Blue


This is the reference photo of that morning on the North Yuba….beautiful, don’t you think?

*A word about photos. The photos on my blog are mine, taken by me and copying them would be stealing from me. If you find a photo that you would like to copy or use, I request that you ask me for permission and I expect you to give me full credit for my own photo. Thank you so very much.






24 thoughts on “Morning on the North Yuba

  1. Well, maybe you don’t feel too satisfied about that first one, but, I really like the way the pattern of those rocks kind of imitates the pattern of the water, but at an angle, if you know what I mean, Margaret?! It also looks great at a distance with all that strong contrast – WELL DONE!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like this a lot. Spent some time looking at the photo vs the layer 3 painting because when I first looked at it I though the white was water rushing over the stone. Maybe I’d the value was a little darker indicating that it was the shadow side of the rocks? I’m a noob – I enjoy looking at your in-progress photos, thank you!


  3. You’ve got better values and shapes in the second “looser” one. in the first your water and rocks were almost a repeat of one another both in pattern and value although i love the golden reflection in the upper right of the river and your shore line was creating a straight line that cut the picture in half. In your second you solved both of those problems beautifully with darker blues to the left and more of a wedge shape for the rocky shoreline. Nice work.
    Whoops If you want me to shut up just say so!

    PS I just threw out a painting and don’t even have the courage to show my second try at it. It’s so much easier to look than do!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hehe…..well, I was getting better because I was showing the progression from start to finish. Yes, I was “shoring” it up as I proceeded, at least I hope so. It is a work until it works, sometimes it doesn’t happen. I think that all in all I am happy with it. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You’re inspiring me to move back into working with proper watercolors. I’ve been hung up on water soluble wax crayons for a long time, which is fun and interesting but you just don’t get the clarity and depth of colors. Thanks for sharing your process!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you! I am happy to be an inspiration. I have worked with the water soluble crayons in the past. I can’t remember if you can layer or not. That definitely would be a must if you want to get clarity and depth. You have such an eye for comp. and color, can’t wait to see what you come up with.

      Liked by 1 person

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