I’ve been thinking about this picture for days, weighing the various ways to do it. I could paint it on paper, film, canvas, or wood panel. I could do it in ink, watercolor, acrylic, charcoal, or gouache. I decided to go with gouache on paper. I worked from a reference photo I had taken in 2009 while I was recording birds in the Ankeny Wildlife Refuge south of Salem.
I donned my rubber gloves and started by rubbing water on the paper with my hand and then I used my fingers to smear paint and mix it on the paper. I used a light blue, pink, and white to block in the sky and water. Next I added the light blue mountains and the central tree line with a flat brush and blocked in the colors of the foreground. I then switched to a round brush to do most of the detail work, and finally I used black and white ballpoint pens to add some very thin lines and detail. All in all, it took me about and hour and a half to complete.
Strathmore 500 Series Heavyweight Mixed Media paper, Turner Acryl Gouache. Image is 7×12 inches (17.5×30.3 cm).