50 Watercolor paintings

Some time ago I got the book “Watercolour with Love: 50 modern motifs to paint in 5 easy steps” from the library, I just asked for all books that had “Watercolour” in the title and this came in the pile. Most of these books I just leafed through but this one seemed doable so I grabbed an HB5 Khadi cotton rag paper book I had lying around and went to work. It took me close to two months and ended up with 48 watercolor paintings. Filling a sketchbook with simple paintings is a satisfying thing to do.

Fuji View Field in Owari Province

Some days or weeks, the creative juices will just not flow. The past few weeks have been really busy with work and trying to find another role or job and it completely drained me from any urge I had to create. A lot of video games were played and that never helps either.

So when I came back to this piece, of which I only did the rough sketch in red pencil, I was worried I would not know how to work on it. Out of pure insecurity on my ability to ink it properly, I warmed up with my fountain pen for two pages in my sketchbook and then had a go at this Fuji view. It was inked in about 15 minutes and I do not recall what my fear was.

Similar to the coloring, using my Daniel Smith paints, I did this view side by side with a few smaller projects so that while the one was drying, I could work on the other. My dream house, the house I’ll build when winning the lottery, has a big room that is my art studio and that studio has multiple desks and ample room for easels so I can work on multiple pieces all at the same time and I only have to move from one desk to another. Or maybe a long table and a chair with wheels, although I already have that in one of the rooms here in the house so writing this opens a window in my head.

The biggest success of this piece is that it showed me that it will be fine and that I should not give up on myself or my already acquired skills.

尾州不二見原 Bishū Fujimigahara

Inume Pass, Kōshū

The eighth already and this project rested for about a month. There is not that much to go into detail about on this view, other than that the western reader should keep in mind to read from the top right to the bottom left. Made with mostly Daniel smith paints, only the Prussian blue at the top was Mijello but a tube of DS Prussian Blue has been acquired and will be used for these skies in the future.

Kōshū inume-tōge / 甲州犬目峠

As a minor aside, I should not leave a sketchbook open for a month in my room, there were little dust particles that were really in my way when going for the green of the hill in the foreground.

Amstelveen tram station

Again in the series of meh-pril where I draw simple stuff to keep going, this is a little success I wanted to share.

Amstelveen station

As part of the Haarlemmermeer spoorlijnen, this station was build in 1915 and operated for 35 years as part of a steam train network for passengers and up until 1970 for cargo.

The super fast painting took no more than 30 minutes including sketch, ink and paint.

The building has a special place in my heart as we held our wedding reception there.

Mehpril, Car

For the 12th of Mehpril the prompt was to draw a car and the quintessential car is the Ford Model T. It came out so nice for a simple drawing of a car, it was rewarded with a post here.

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.