Watercolor by Jan Howlett Titled 'Harmonizing Down by The Pond'
Hi All Artists Hearts,
Well it's time for a new update on our Tree Frogs.  We have gone from an idea to rough sketch to final sketch and now to the first layers of color to establish the under-painting.  I have used a pale veil of French Ultramarine Blue for the upper sky section (I like the soft granulation effect it will give) in preparation for creating an evening sky later.   The tropical plants in the pond and on land, the little garden frog and part of the middle sky were painted using New Gamboge and Quin Gold.  Then I just started the ground cover with a light layer of Vandyke Brown and Burnt Umber. 

Since these Tree Frogs are nocturnal in nature and live near a pond or river it was important to create a scene where they would most likely be found.  So the backdrop will be early evening when the sky is just turning dark with the last rays of the sun painting a soft purple-orange hue across this little quiet spot.  Our special tropical Tree Frogs are just starting to gather at the pond's edge to harmonize together for the evening. 

These colorful Tree Frogs are comical characters at times and fun to watch, especially the Red-Eyed Tree Frog as they stretch their very long thin legs and bright orange sticky disc padded feet and move from one branch to another.  As they do so the brilliant blue and cream colors on their back legs are stunning in combination with the rest of their aqua blue bodies, orange feet and shocking red eyes.  

These are not poisonous frogs so they rely on camouflage to protect themselves.  The effect their deep red eyes have on predators startles them temporarily almost causing a double image effect giving the frog time to escape to safety.  During the day, they remain motionless, cover their blue sides with their back legs, tuck their bright feet under their stomachs, and shut their red eyes. Thus, they appear almost completely green, and well hidden among the foliage.

Our next update will show some of their marvelous color combinations as I develop the frogs sitting on a branch suspended over a local pond somewhere deep in the tropics.

Until next time stay inspired and try experimenting using some of the beautiful vibrant colors such as Viridian or Manganese Blue Hue and enjoy the lovely effects you can create.