Some distinctly watery watercolour paintings!

It’s only as I come to write this that I realised the distinctly watery connection between two of my latest paintings!

First up is a scene that I captured following our recent camping trip over Easter. We’d had some pretty heavy rain overnight and during much of the morning but, later in the afternoon, the skies cleared and the sun came out.

I’d taken my camera for a walk as the sun was going down, and this view really caught my eyes… and my ears! It was totally silent, and still – and I this is what I was trying to capture in this scene:

After the rain

As well as the ‘sound of silence’ I was also taken by the challenge of trying to capture that ‘after the rain’ feel of puddles in the tractor ruts in the field and of the damp reflective earth in the foreground.

I’m happy to admit that I was really pleased with how this one turned out. It’s not exactly the prettiest of scenes, but I really like what it evokes in terms of feeling and mood.

Next up is something even wetter! I’d seen a photograph of a river scene that a friend had posted and I’d saved it because it was very much ‘my type of scene’ – with the exception of a vast expanse of water.

While water has featured in a lot of my paintings, it’s rarely been the most dominant element so I’d sat on this view for a long time.

Suddenly, the time felt right to give it a go. This is a half sheet painting, so quite large, and I was mindful that I wanted to try to paint this in a loose and bold manner (ie not get too caught up in all of the details!).

As yet, untitled!

I don’t mind confessing that I gave myself a headache trying to paint this! The many subtle changes of colour and light in the water pretty much drove me to distraction.

What I was pleased about is that most of the whites that you can see are from the paper. Only at the very end did I feel the need to apply a few dabs and splashes of pretty much neat titanium white to help make it read a little better.

Even when I’d finished this, I was still uncertain about whether I’d captured ‘water’ or a complex series of shadows across a road or lane!

Fortunately, others that have seen this have recognised it’s watery qualities straight away, which is both a huge relief and tremendously gratifying too!

It’s really nice to be able to post two paintings that, in their own distinctly different but similarly watery ways, I’m really pleased with!

Thoughts on Some distinctly watery watercolour paintings!

22 thoughts on “Some distinctly watery watercolour paintings!”

  1. Goodness, I love the second one. They’re both wonderfully done. I have a certain love for painting water and attempting the reflections, but I’ve never fully done it in watercolor. Beautiful work.

    1. Thanks so much for this, really kind and much appreciated! It’s certainly given me a bit more confidence in trying to paint water again! I’m afraid I can’t comment on trying to paint it in other mediums as I only ever use watercolour – are you using oils / acrylics etc?

      1. I mainly work now in oils and I started off with acrylics; honestly, my college didn’t focus on watercolor in any art classes, so I ended up not focusing on watercolor. But I still love the medium and I’m learning it independent of college now.

      2. I mainly use oil paints now and started off with acrylics; I went to college for art and my classes only really allowed watercolors for sketches, which I think was a very… personal decision on behalf of the professors. I’ve been working with watercolor independently of that and I’m teaching myself some now.

    1. Hi Jo and thanks so much for this, really kind of you and so pleased you liked that river view – Initially I really wasn’t sure about it but now there’s a bit more distance since I painted it, there’s a lot more that I like about it than I did at first!

  2. Both of these are so good – the sound of water, the silence of water. I especially like the second for its unusual composition and subject – wet, muddy, dawn. Keep on painting, keep on posting.

    1. Thanks so much for these kind and generous comments! I’m so pleased about how you’ve described your reactions to these – really encouraging for me and much appreciated – thank you

  3. John, these are beautiful! While you were mentioning the camera, I thought that first painting was your photo. That’s how great it is! You nailed it , and the mood is as you described. Pretty cool. 👍

    The second painting is wonderful. It is so beautiful with the water and its many colors. These are really great. Please do more water scenes. Thanks so much for posting these.

    1. Hi Tim and thanks so much for these wonderful and encouraging comments. I’m so pleased that you like these two. Hopefully with these under my belt I can approach similar scenes again with a little more confidence!

    1. Thanks so much for such a brilliantly kind, enthusiastic and encouraging comment Carol – I really appreciate it! (And I’m sure that the words quantum and watercolour very rarely feature in the same sentence!)

I'd love to hear any thoughts you have about this

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