A bike ride to the Center for Urban Horticulture inspired this watercolor sketch of a parent and child along the shores of Lake Washington. Sunshine was abundant and people were scarce. I snapped a quick photo, rode home, and painted in my cozy studio. A bit of advice on this type of work:  do a rough pencil sketch, then paint quickly to achieve a sense of the freshness of the outdoors on a cold, clear Spring morning.

I started at the top brushing in dilute cerulean and ultramarine blues, then gradating to raw sienna. Quickly while the paint was wet, I dropped in more of the same colors to represent the early Spring leaves. Next i roughed in very thick, dark ultramarine blue and burnt sienna with a little sepia for the distant hills (the darkest darks), painting around the trees and figures.  The foreground was simple–diagonal brushstrokes of the same colors and reflections in the pond. Lastly I painted the figures, softening an edge here and there to keep them from looking “pasted on.”

Final word:  I stopped myself from painting before the freshness could be lost –not always the easiest thing to do!