Pulling out a photo from a few weeks ago when skies were clear, I determined to paint Rainier again. The mountain can look so different depending on the lighting effects, and this time the rising sun cast shadows on the west side. Using a 2-inch flat brush I washed in dilute ultramarine blue, switching to alizarin crimson, then raw sienna, painting right over the pencil drawing so that the colors of the sky would show through when I painted the mountain itself. Next I painted the foothills with very dark thick, ultramarine and burnt sienna to achieve the darkest darks, pulling down some reflections into what would be the watery foreground.

By then the sky area was dry, so I painted in the mountain shadows with a smaller brush using mid-tone ultramarine, greyed down with a little burnt sienna. This step required some softening of shadow edges here and there with a damp brush for a more painterly look. Finally I brushed in the lake with mid-tone ultramarine, alizarin, and raw sienna to reflect the sky. The “reflections” were already dry so they stayed put under this wash.

Satisfied with the look of the mountain, I stopped myself from going back into the piece. Sometimes it works!