Landscapes in watercolor painting are a new challenge for me!
To date, my largest watercolors have been 5 x 7, and I’ve dabbled in trying to recreate the amazing abstract landscape art of Debi Riley in small card-sized pieces, but I really wanted to surprise hubby with an original landscape piece from me for Valentine’s Day this year.
No pressure!! Right?!
Sheesh! I had no idea what a challenge it was going to be!
Every evening after he went to bed for about a week, I tried again and again and again. I started by watching some great tutorials by Shari Blaukopf on Craftsy. She does gorgeous landscape sketches in pen, ink and watercolor. I’m not the best at sketching…. Yet! But I did learn a few pointers from Sheri about plein art and sketching. The best thing I learned, however, was about some brushes she recommended that made such a difference in my painting! The Raphael Squirrel Mop and Escoda Versatil are my first experience with professional brushes. Oh the way the mop holds and spreads water and the precision point of the Escoda! Up until now, I struggled with cheaper brushes not holding water enough to carry across a larger piece of paper or the flexibility of a large brush with a point to do large washes as well as small details. Shari also has a blog called The Sketchbook where she posts art every day from her hometown in Montreal.
I also watched some Youtube videos, and tried some landscapes from various artists there. I especially enjoy watching Alan Owen, an artist from the UK with over 70 years of painting under his belt who shares so generously of his talent.
This was my best attempt (in 11″ x 14″), and though it is extremely far from what I intended, he loved it! Phew! I guess that is why they say love is blind. Actually it is why love is so sweet. He thinks it ranks up with some beautiful art he took me to see at a local exhibit in Cranberry. I know it isn’t. I know exactly what I’ve done wrong and want to improve. I know what it took to produce some of the masterpieces we saw at that exhibit. But to his sweet eyes, he saw art, he saw beauty, and I love him for it.
Maybe next year I can replace it with a better one, but this year, my Valentine said “This is just what I would like our backyard to look like!” And if we squint really, really, REALLY hard, we can imagine that our little stream and woods do! (wink wink!)
Cheers & Hugs,