watercolour down memory lane #2 – forest pool

Here is a painting of  a pool in Newlands forest that I did long ago.  I found these 6 versions, but there were more.  I was battling to show water and leaves and rocks.


version 2


Version 3 – here I got frustrated:


version 4 I like the saturated French Ultramarine in this one.


And here is version 5:


And here is version 6.  The previous versions were all 12 x 15 inches and now I decided the way forward was to go bigger (double size):

I did at least two more of these but I could not find them in my tidy up.  I think I painted on the other side.  I think there is progress but there is a lot of the same sort of stuff.  I remember sitting down to reflect on what was working and what was not – I think there are some lessons on the learning process here like Quantity has a Quality of its own and the need to look at the body of work.  This was a lot of work and I suppose I worked hard.  But painting never feels like hard work to me.  Which is the gift – I think.   I think talent takes a lot of work.


12 thoughts on “watercolour down memory lane #2 – forest pool

  1. You know it’s not the case that I’m a slow blogger…it’s just that I’m surrounded by overachievers!

    You captured the water in the pool in the 2nd painting – spot on.

    There’s much to be said for doing the same painting several times, although fairly frustrating, it’s a necessary learning exercise – something I don’t do enough of.

    These make me think of Japanese paintings…not sure why.

    • Hey June – I have been so keen to paint but have been too washed out lately. I did not set out to do the same painting so often but I just couldn’t get the look I wanted. I am on this sort of trip with my Boulders Beach scene. We have such interesting coloured water here. It is like tea – rooibos tea, if you know how that is. Deep pools have a dark colour, which shades through the reds to yellow in the shallows. Because the water is very acidic it leaches all the colour out the boulders. So we have these white rocks that go through shades of yellow – red and black as they disappear in the depths – I was trying to capture this. Also a worthy project for now. I tried capturing the water colour with Airbrush but that is a whole other kettle of fish.
      Mmmm Japanese – interesting.
      Thanks for your comments. It is always great to hear from you.

      • Couldn’t find the right sort of example for the ancient Japanese pictures they brought to mind but this is kind of like it

        I drink green tea (with lemon) but have read a bit about rooibos tea will give it a try soon as I recall you mentioning it before.

  2. Hi Stephen. It’s neat to see your groupings of what you were working on. We have the same color water here and it kind of throws me because it looks so much like the color of the surrounding greenery. It’s fun to try and work out a solution and fun to watch another artist do so. Thanks for sharing these.

    • Hi C – thanks – these are OK hey? I am keen to do the scene again sometime – that water is elusive – I was keen to get out tomorrow morning but I am on Tuck-shop duty – cheers hey S

  3. Hi Stephen

    I really like these watercolours, they look very fresh. Beautiful composition. Your use of light & dark gives an instant impact yet there is also within that a subtle use of colour. I can see why the first person (inksplodge )who commented here says they remind her of Japanese prints. I guess it’s a lot to do with the light /dark contrast or what the Japanese call Notan.
    I find it interesting what an enormous influence Japanese art has had on western art over the 20th century. Gradually it’s filtered into all sorts of imagery which we accept as good (like Van Gogh for an obvious example)& yet when people were first confronted with it they weren’t always as positive!

    It’s a pity you say you can’t find some of these , I hope they’ll turn up

    • Hi Sonya
      Nice to have you visit here again. I have read about how Japanese prints influenced the painters in previous centuries. Last night I was in a bookshop looking at a book of Hokusai’s prints which I may buy one day – I love his calligraphy. Thanks for the comments on my paintings.

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