Thursday, January 15, 2015

Santa Ana River 5 Vespertine painting

"Santa Ana River 5 (Vespertine)"
watercolor on paper, 2014
6" x 18" (15.24cm x 45.72cm)

This is my painting for the article "The River in Me" by Susan Straight for Orion magazine. See previous post.

The client wanted to see more color than my more urban versions of the river to communicate the lush verdant arroyo and river banks of the author's essay.
If you are not familiar with Southern California's landscape much of it is either desert or savanna, dry most of the year. But the river basins are teaming with green lush vegetation and wildlife year round.

I was happy I visited the site because I learned that at this time of day with the river sitting down in the arroyo the long streaking shadows are gone as the sun drops behind the hills but there was still plenty of light in the landscape.

We originally talked about showing some evidence of the manmade as you can see in the some of the sketches in my previous post but we arrived at this one (sketch 3) and I was happy with it.
When you are down in the arroyo, although there is some of the manmade, you do feel like you are away from the city and the final painting reflects that as well as that same feeling in much of the article.
What did remain was the distant dry desert mountains of Southern California in the background.297


  1. Bonsoir,

    Une aquarelle pleine de douceur aux couleurs harmonieuses.
    Gros bisous ♡

  2. Good Evening,

    A full watercolor smooth harmonious colors.
    Kisses ♡

    Thank you martine,
    It was a project I really enjoyed, from visiting the site to painting the watercolor. Thanks for your comment.
    Keep painting...

  3. Merci Martine,
    Ce est un projet que je ai vraiment apprécié, de visiter le site pour la peinture de la aquarelle. Merci pour votre commentaire.
    Gardez la peinture ..

  4. Love this one David! So very, very calming! Relaxing! A bit different! I so love the colors! A wonderful peaceful feeling! Subtle yet dramatic? I am so glad you did this one. Also happy you enjoyed this project! Well done buddy!
    (I so hope you get some much needed rain!!!)

  5. Hi Michael,
    Yes, it is different much like that part of the river compared to the southern section closer to where I live.
    I enjoyed doing this version and very well might do some others like it.
    We have had some rain just not enough yet. In past years we have had more in late February and March. Lets hope that is the case this year.
    (waiting for a post from you santa! ; ) )
    Keep painting...

  6. Es una acuarela muy hermosa, David
    Abrazos para ti :)

  7. It is a very beautiful watercolor, David
    Happiness Is.
    Hugs to you :)

    Thank you marga, I appreciate your kind comment and visit. : )

    Muchas gracias marga, agradezco su amable comentario y visitar. :)