South Dakota Badlands Painting

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After completing the South Dakota Little Passports kit with Trevor, I was inspired to create this:


South Dakota Badlands Painting



You can make your painting any size, but I chose to cut down my paper to about 6" x 9". That's the size I'd do in a classroom setting so that the paper is small enough to focus on detail.

Begin by brushing water onto the paper with horizontal strokes to lightly moisten the paper (the goal is moist, not wet). I LOVE using the water brush - nothing to spill and perfect water flow every time. Add swipes of blue across the top, browns across the center, and golden tans and hints of greens across the bottom.

The paint should dry very quickly if you haven't used too much water. If the paper is still wet, wait. When it is dry, add horizontal lines of color along the center section, then build up the mountains. Use light browns, golds, rusts, creams, and related shades. You're trying to mimic the sedimentary rock of the Badlands

Lightly sketch the shape of a bison (I'm trying to break my bad habit of calling it a buffalo) in the bottom section of the paper. 

Fill it in with brown paint, dark for the body and lighter for the horns. 

Now add a streak of yellow to the sky and shadows to the left sides of the mountains. Create brush in the foreground using golds and greens. When everything is dry, use colored pencils to fix any gaps (I smoothed my mountains a bit) and then add eyes and a nose to the bison.

It looks like a beautiful place to visit. Someday!


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