- Using colors to set up a feeling of depth or aerial perspective is especially useful for landscapes.
- I decided to use the local colors for the watercolor underpainting...meaning the sky is blue, the bushes are green and the rocks are orange.
- To get a head start on aerial perspective I used lighter,cooler, bluer color on the distant cliffs and warmer oranges on the mid to foreground cliffs and sand. I also made sure the distant land masses were softer and less detailed than the foreground.
- I used local color for the sky (blue) but I used a darker cooler blue for the sky at the top and let it get warmer blue as it came towards the horizon.
- I used local color for the bushes (green) but I kept the distant greens cooler and put the warmer yellow greens in the foreground bushes.
Using local colors that reflect a feeling of aerial perspective is just one approach to color choice in an underpainting. I will be sharing more approaches in future posts. By the way, I also chose to do watercolor for this painting because I thought that the loose quality and drips and blooms would give me a head start on the look of the desert cliffs and shrubs. I tried not to cover all of the watercolor with pastel in the painting.