Art Exploration “Discovery”

This is the first in a series of posts where I explore a painting or artwork I’ve done and discuss the process, what I was thinking when doing the work, etc.  This first one will be a watercolor painting I call “discovery.”  If you have any questions, post them up and I may alter the way I do my next entry in this series.  Click on the image itself to get a better view.


This painting was a lot of fun for me to do. I got the idea from a story my partner and I were working on, about creatures from the Age of Mammals being found in Canada and Siberia. I wanted to show a scene that could be from that story, but also I wanted to practice a new tree painting technique.

As I commonly do with watercolor, I started by wetting the paper down and painting a blue gradient on the top half of the paper. I made it nice and bright because this is a forest in the mountains. I let it dry thoroughly before putting in the trees. This painting was done in many layers, letting everything dry in between layers to keep details sharp and unmuddied.

The bark of the birch trees were one of the final details – they were accomplished with opaque white watercolor paint. I had a lot of fun modeling the kayak and the hat! Also, I was pleased with how the water turned out.

When I look at this painting, I can imagine myself kayaking along some Canadian or Siberian waterway, enjoying the forest, and suddenly happening upon these great brown shapes… what a discovery that would be!



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