The Lost Edge

The Lost Edge

Once again I’m painting boats and using a palette with a warm dominance, perhaps in anticipation of nicer weather to come. My composition involves 3 layers and 3 values:  light sky, dark background, and mid-tone water. The light/white boats were placed to show...
Dark Values

Dark Values

Achieving dark values is one of the hardest problems in watercolor. Two reasons:  most of the colors are transparent, and then we add water which washes out the color. So how to get those juicy darks that contrast sharply with the white of the paper? One way is to add...
Tropical Beach

Tropical Beach

It’s freezing outside, but I pulled out a warm-weather photo from 2019, and painted this tropical scene. I like it for 2 reasons. First:  the background stays back. Why? Because it’s grey and because it’s hazy. These  two features suggest depth in a...
Foregrounds and Shadows

Foregrounds and Shadows

It’s easy to be preoccupied during the pandemic and that may have been what happened with the above watercolor. I started with a light wash for the sky, then brushed in very thick ultramarine blue and burnt sienna for the background foliage, saving whites on the...
Dominance and Simplicity

Dominance and Simplicity

The above watercolor is very simple, yet I like it. Why? The main reason I think this design works is that there is a clear dominance of shape, size, color, and value. There is no question but that the boat shapes are the main actors in this piece and the largest one...
The Mountain in the Morning

The Mountain in the Morning

Pulling out a photo from a few weeks ago when skies were clear, I determined to paint Rainier again. The mountain can look so different depending on the lighting effects, and this time the rising sun cast shadows on the west side. Using a 2-inch flat brush I washed in...