View Full Version : Spring Rush

Mikki Petersen
06-25-2007, 03:31 PM
Hi! I'm in the midst of a new painting and decided to post for comments before going any farther. It's of the American River in the Sierras during the Spring snow melt. Came across this charming little fall while hiking the River's edge. Working on Persimmon colored Lacarte paper, full sheet, I'm exaggerating the warm colors in the rocks to contrast with the cool colors of the water. The ref was taken late in the day so there are no strongly contrasting lights and I'm sort of making the highlights up as I go. This is my first attempt at rapids.


Don't know why this is so blurred...my photo is not. Anyway, it shows well enough to evaluate, I hope. I'd love your c&c's.


Kathryn Wilson
06-25-2007, 04:03 PM
Mikki - you are on a roll! I love this and I have no comments to make other than that. Keep up the good work!

Karen Margulis
06-25-2007, 04:14 PM
I love this too! I don't know how much more you were going to do....but I like it just the way it is. It has a wonderful freshness about it and I think the rapids look perfect! Just my opinion. Keep up the great work!

Pat Isaac
06-25-2007, 05:13 PM
I love it too, and will pull up a chair. Great rapids feeling and good composition.


06-25-2007, 05:30 PM
I love love love this, Mikki!! The warm tones in the rocks look so lush and exciting peeping out from under the water. Can't wait to see where you go wtih this--but you could stop now and have a winner!

Paula Ford
06-25-2007, 05:57 PM
Fabulous Mikki!! No comments from me either.


06-25-2007, 06:00 PM
This is terrific, such movement in the water! Love the colors, and your rocks. Don't know what else you would be doing to it to "finish" it, maybe a little spray on some of the rocks?

Kathryn Day
06-25-2007, 06:05 PM
Mikki, the rocks and water are terrific. Your contrast of warm and cool is really working.

06-25-2007, 06:22 PM
This is wonderful! I love the colours in the water.

M Douglas
06-25-2007, 06:27 PM
Beautiful so far, looking forward to seeing how you finish it.


bruce johnson
06-25-2007, 06:41 PM
Excellent choice of colours Mikki... beautiful painting...

David Patterson
06-25-2007, 09:00 PM
Beautiful Mikki!


06-25-2007, 11:46 PM
Wonderful painting! The colors in the rocks are striking and give such life to the rocks.
Nice to see you again. :)

06-26-2007, 12:24 AM
This is gorgeous Mikki, I absolutely love the color in there!!! Fantastic.

Mikki Petersen
06-26-2007, 01:59 AM
Oh my gosh! Had to go into the City today for a Dr Appt and get home this evening to all these supportive and enthusiastic comments. I'm so glad it is working as well as I thought it was. It looks more complete in the photo image here, small, than full size. I hope to be able to keep the loose flow as I finish the piece. This is one of those that has taken a life of it's own...wish they all would, lol.

Thanks again,

06-26-2007, 02:54 PM
Wow this is your attempt at rapids.:thumbsup: Great job so far. I've only tried one waterfall and it ended in the trash.


06-26-2007, 03:29 PM
Agree with all that has been said! Love it!


nana b
06-26-2007, 11:56 PM
It's looking great!

nana b

06-27-2007, 09:08 AM
Mikki.... what can I add? You have done a very wonderful painting....it's so full of movement and life! Beautiful colors in the water!!!! Donna R.

Deborah Secor
06-27-2007, 01:39 PM
WOW, Mikki!! This is a great start. You say that it's rougher looking IRL, which I understand. The size can make things tighten up, can't it? I think your color choices are good and your design is great. My concern right now is for the bright orange still peeking out, at the top left in particular, but I suspect that's just what you mean you want to finish...

Have a blast--it looks like a winner to me! :thumbsup:


Mikki Petersen
06-27-2007, 01:51 PM
Thanks for all the postives!

Deborah, yes, that bright orange is the paper showing through still and it will go away. Thank you for confirming the design for me...design is one of the "rule sets" I'm floundering in right now.

And yes, shrinking an image is a tool used in graphic arts to remove "handmade" flaws. This piece is 18"x24", so shrinking it down to, say, a 3"x4" computer image really polishes it up. But it also gives me a glimpse of where I'm heading and I like it.


06-27-2007, 02:33 PM
One of y favorite subjects...water rushing over rocks! Yowzer...you are doing so good!


Mikki Petersen
06-27-2007, 03:29 PM
Thanks Sandy! Must be one of mine too because I have thousands of photos of rushing water, lol. This is the first time I've been brave enough to attempt painting it though.

Here's an update after a lot more work that may or may not show to you...http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Jun-2007/14550-Spring_Rush_2.JPG

Hope it is looking better...


06-27-2007, 10:37 PM

06-28-2007, 01:10 PM
You Rock!!! Or Flow or whatever adjective I need to use. Mik this is fabulous! What a difference from the trees and detail in the bridge and yet I like this so much more! Color choices are great and the darks just read perfectly. Love the motion of the water and coolness as it hits my face as a viewer.

Wow is right!!! Barb

Arnold Lowrey
06-28-2007, 02:46 PM
A complete understanding of moving water and besides its a great composition

Mikki Petersen
06-28-2007, 05:52 PM
To receive so many positive comments from artists whose work I so respect is heady stuff...hope I don't ruin this now, lol.

Thank you very much!


06-29-2007, 04:13 AM
This is really coming together now and looking great.
I like the yellow moss on the rock, great touch.

06-29-2007, 04:22 AM
Mikki i love it, its sooo wonderful, the water is awesome..i love rushing water too..hehe..well done..

Pat Isaac
06-29-2007, 08:24 AM
I can just feel that water roaring over the rocks, Mikki. What wonderful color you have in those rocks.
Nice new avatar too.


Mikki Petersen
06-29-2007, 10:14 AM
Thanks again for all the support. This rushing water is quite a challenge but I'm heading for the finish now. Hope to post a final image soon.


06-29-2007, 04:27 PM
Hi there Mikki..........This painting is looking like the real thing. Definitely gives the feeling of movement and I like the colors you used in the rocks. A suggestion might be some dots (you know, not really dots) of white froth from the water that is splashing up.

This painting makes me want to place my feet in that water. Ahhhh, heavenly :angel:


Mikki Petersen
06-29-2007, 07:54 PM
Gee Marie, funny you should think of that...I was standing in that icy water when I took the ref photo, lol.

Well, I think this is the final here unless anyone sees something glaring I missed...can't think where lese to go with it.

Spring Rush on the American River
Pastel on Persimmon Lacarte Card

Image is about 10% darker on my screen than the original.

Appreciate your thoughts on this,

Kathryn Day
06-29-2007, 09:18 PM
Mikki, you really should enter this one in a show. It has a wonderful presence. Nice finish.

06-29-2007, 09:24 PM
Mikki: I really love this painting. ... I think you need more of the water colors in the rocks, especially the tourquoise color... anyone agree with me? The movement of the water in this painting is amazing and the rock formations so real, it really is gorgeous.

06-29-2007, 09:38 PM
Spring Rush on the American River
Pastel on Persimmon Lacarte Card

First, the flowing water is fantastic.

The only thing I see is as the altered pict below. Where I have labelled rock #1 I have decreased the value of the blues in the water a little to make it look like it is flowing around the rock more. As you have it, it looks like the water is just in front of the rock, which it is but it doesn't seemed connected to the rock, if that makes sense.

Here is the changed version, hope you don't mind.

06-29-2007, 10:37 PM

I am totally awed by this. The river just dances!!! You get my vote for best of show! You say this is a painting that painted itself, for the first attempt in rushing water I hope you remember the magic that helped you create this. Bravo!!!

(I'm on the other side of the range from you!!)

Mikki Petersen
06-29-2007, 11:57 PM
Mr. King...very good catch. One of those problems of following the photo ref instead of using my eyes. Consider it changed and thank you for pointing this out for me.

Hi Carol! Neighbor! We've been through Carson City many a time...cute town. Thank you for your enthusiastic response. Don't know about best in show as the competition for that in this forum is quite steep, but I am pleased with it.

06-30-2007, 03:59 AM
WOW this is soooooooooooooooo stunning Mikki!!! so life like, beautiful, truly beautiful painting. The effects of the water is breathtaking ,how did you do the pouring down water??
have you got any photos of first starting this water please,I am trying to learn how to do pouring down water for my tiger

06-30-2007, 07:59 AM
This ended up so beautiful! I love the water and the rocks. The composition is super...it just leads your eye right up there into the rocks and to that gorgeous splashy section. A gold star for you, lady!


Kathryn Wilson
06-30-2007, 09:08 AM
Definitely a winner! Now which show shall you enter this in?

Mikki Petersen
06-30-2007, 12:26 PM
Veronica, this was my first time doing rushing water. When we were building my husband's shop, my SIL (a building contractor) explained to us that to make a buildign water tight, one must think like a drop of water and stop it in it's tracks. That idea of thinking like a drop of water has stayed with me and that is what I've done here. First off, I looked for all the dark spots in my ref and blocked those in. Then I began "building" the water, beginning with the little waterfall. To do the fall, I used long strokes in the direction of the flow using light, but never white, colors. Then I blocked in the foaming water using circular strokes with similar light colors. After that I just played with it until it looked right. Only at the very end did I use white sparingly to create sparkle in the water. To do water, I think you need good reference photos of the water because the water catches the ambiant color around it. Sorry, I don't have any earlier photos than what is in this thread. It is easier than it appears, however. Use some scratch paper and play around with trickling water until you find an effect that works. Good luck!

Sandy and Kathryn, thank you so much! I actually think I earned a gold star for this one. As for a show...we'll see.


06-30-2007, 12:35 PM
Success!!! Gloat and submit it to a show!!! Barb

Pat Isaac
06-30-2007, 01:05 PM
Definitely submit it. Awesome!