Thunderstorm Beneath the Summit

The composition of this piece is very similar to the previous, in that the mountain is there but now with two more in the background so from another angle. A lightning strike can be seen in the lower half of the painting, the bottom half of the mountain is covered in darkness.

I took care in using Prussian blue this time and decided against going for pure black in the lower mountain for two reasons.

First, Black is not a nice color to use with watercolor, it just adds dull spots to the paper, sucking the light and hurting the transparent effects that are so charming with this medium. Second, It would be way too big to get even. Dark brown, Burned Umber, gives the same feel of darkness without consuming all the light so I went with that.

As a last comment on painting this: those clouds were much harder than they looked.

So while to makes no sense to repeat the wikipedia article about this piece, this part I found very interesting:

In a later impression the publisher introduced some significant changes. The sky is now rendered in purplish greyish with a band of yellow at the top. The flash of the lightning bolt vividly silhouettes a group of pine trees at the foot of the mountain, cut from a new block, making them appear close to the viewer.

So this guy, who was the publisher, decided to make changes and the article does not make it clear if the artist agreed. Looking at the altered version, the changes completely change the feel of whatever it was that Hokusai tried to get across.

Thunderstorm Beneath the Summit By Hokusai, later variation – Public Domain, Link

I think it is obvious why I choose to recreate the original, the gloominess of it is palpable.

Author: Koen

human, putting down lines, splashing pigment on page, exist.