Over the Dunes, watercolor, 5″x8″

I was showing one of my students how to warm up for painting by playing with a couple pigments. I painted the whole sheet of paper with a variety of yellows, allowing them to bleed into each other. I used diagonal strokes to add some interest. While the yellows were still wet, I held the paper at a steep angle, almost vertically, and started letting greens drip down the page. It was fun to watch some of the greens push other pigments away and race across the page. After it was dry, the challenge was to “find” a picture in what was already on the page. I started seeing a beach scene. I added some shadows to the vegetation, some streaks to the sand in the foreground to give it some contour, and a waterline and waves on the horizon. And now you can see the beach, too!