Burning Bush Mountain

This is a painting I completed from start to finish in about 20 minutes, without the drying time. In fact, it was one of the things I worked on while I pushed my painting of a water lily and her pads to the side. You can read about that painting in the link.

Honestly, I am falling in love with the experimentation and the courage needed to apply thick mixes of paint to a paper saturated with water in various amounts, dancing ahead of the cauliflowers and sometimes crossing your fingers when putting the brush to the page. It is exhilarating when all works out, and when it doesn’t. In the latter case, instead of matting and framing (or gifting, if you are feeling confident), you can flip it over and use the other side. In that way, all is not lost.


To be quite honest, I was very pleased with how this painting came out. I love the color combination and the depth of color I got with my mix of pthalocyanine blue and burnt umber (both M. Graham paints). It was deep, and allowed me to produce some nice texture when scratching in some of the crags and light reflection on the mountains. The red of the trees and the branches, painted with my new rigger brush, were a fun experiment that turned out well.

I also took the opportunity to use a grid to better approximate the scale of the objects in my painting, as I was working from a photo and transferred by eye and pencil. I can tell that I will do that in the future, for certain. It actually looks like the photo in scale and proportion. Fortunately, I didn’t have to worry about perspective in this painting, too much. That is a challenge I plan to take on another day.

  • 1 10×14 piece of Arches 140lb Cold press, from one of those spiral bound sketch pads
  • paints
    • Burnt Umber (M. Graham)
    • Pthalocyanine blue (M. Graham)
    • Pyrrhol Red (M. Graham)
    • Permanent Yellow Deep (Holbein)


I like doing some quick pieces like this, especially when they come out nice. I already matted this one and am storing it safely until I can find enough time to make a frame for it. Cold weather means that indoor activities like that are the perfect cold weather chores. Add a bleak drizzle and clouds and maybe I will even make two frames. You never know.

Practicing is the only way to get better. Keep painting, my friends.



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