Senju, Musashi But

With this seventh piece, a milestone is met. I drew my first horse and to be honest, it took me almost two weeks to force myself to work on it, not just the horse but the entire piece is something. There are many little details that make this composition work.

Not only the big horse stands out but also the fence in the middle right, the fisher man and his companion, everything is touched by trees and many of the colors are multi layered.

For me the highlight of 武州千住 (Bushū Senju) came in the form of the two distant trees in the middle, rising up from the underbrush. Mount Fuji here plays no role at all, other than reminding us that this is indeed part 7 of 36 views of Mount Fuji.

Trees with Daniel Smith Serpentine Genuine and Jadeite Genuine, otherwise Mijello Mission Gold colors like Ultramarine, Prussian Blue, Yellow Ochre, Van Dyke Brown, Red Brown and Van Dyke Green.

Watercolor doodle postcards

This is a simple thing. Tape a postcard or series of postcards to a board, wet them all over and then splash in some complimentary colors. Let dry thoroughly and then follow the color borders with a black pen. It allows me to get the know the various materials I own but not use much, how the pigments works on a specific type of paper without the fear of ruining a pen drawing I spend hours on. An added bonus is that all the doodling is meditative and rests my brain.

And in the end, I have nice looking postcards that I can send to internet friends!

Cushion Pine at Aoyama

This is the sixth piece I did for the 36+10 Views of Mount Fuji series and I must admit it grew on me. The ones I did so far were obviously special to me, for a wide variety of reasons. The “Cushion Pine at Aoyama” ( 青山円座松 Aoyama enza-no-matsu) initially did nothing for me.

Only when I was putting down the color, it became clear this is a very well balanced piece of work. Keep in mind that Japanese writing goes from right to left.

The flow of this piece will naturally go from the people in the bottom right over the high end of the pine trees up to Mt. Fuji and then back down to the houses hidden away behind mist and trees. The horizontal clouds cut the field of view flat through the middle where everything below it is obviously close and that above it is obviously far.

Then from the houses flows the bottom open space back past the shrine to the people where a lot of details make an interesting scene. With the mountain as the biggest part of this piece and right in the middle of the paper, it plays only a background role to the traveller’s picnic and the father walking his child.

Finally, the mist line acts as a mirror across the paper, the trees go down where the mountain goes up forming an elegant negative of each other. The soft background of very light pink in the low mist, the light shading of the mountain and the strong Prussian blue in the high and low sky makes this piece a very special work.

Trees of Daniel Smith Primatek Genuine Jadeite and Serpentite. From Majello Mission Gold Yellow Ochre, Van Dyke Brown, Prussian Blue, Peacock Blue, Light Red and Orange.