Last week was my first visit to a Samish Island Paint-Out in over a year and things had not changed a bit—wonderful painter friends, excellent food, and trails to explore! I filled a notebook with sketches and then recreated them in watercolor on Fabriano Artistico 140# cold press paper. The painting above depicts an island road lined with deciduous trees, pushing out their Spring-time buds. After completion, I asked myself why I liked this particular work. The answer: I followed simple rules of composition and value pattern, and aspired to achieve a serene, warm mood.

While breaking rules in art sometimes results in greatness, when a painter applies certain principles the result is more likely to be pleasing to the viewer’s eye. Here I used an uncomplicated 3-layer composition with a 3-value pattern mirroring the design, keeping the dark values in one general “layer.”  Befitting the quiet tone, I softened most of the edges, except for those on the the trees and figure, and used a predominance of warm colors..

Seeing the finished work revives peaceful memories.