poetry and prose about place

Watercolour lessons # 2

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In week four of the watercolour course I am taking, we are using the techniques we have learned to paint landscapes.


First, we were asked to find an image/photo we like. I chose a scene from our cabin property, a photo of the lake through the trees, in late fall. It offered near and distant views and the colour palette I wanted to work with.


lake at camp


Then, we planned the painting, either visualizing the final presentation or actually sketching the landscape in pencil. I skipped the pencil because I love to draw and I guessed the end would be a full-blown pencil drawing.


in the painting, I also wanted to try a technique I have seen on Pinterest. Canadian artist Holly Anne Friezen’s paintings of forest sometimes interpret the jumble of leaves in the canopy as stained glass, and I have wanted to try this for some time. Other artists have also used this technique.


Scan_20200309 (4)


To do the painting, I took the work in stages:

  1. I used painter’s tape to mark the locations of the main trees. This way, I could concentrate on the background without worrying about painting the trees.
  2. I painted the background sky, lake and far shore using a wet on wet technique.
  3. I painted the forest floor of the near shore using the colours of the fall.
  4. I removed the tape and painted two types of trees, the mountain birch and the red maples that live along the lake shore.
  5. I switched to a fine brush, to paint the many branches of the trees. For the colour, I used some black, but also created dark grey by mixing the complimentary colours red and green, or orange and blue. I tried to criss-cross the branches so I would have many triangles and odd-shaped shapes to use for the stained-glass part of the work.
  6. After the paint was completely dry, I used orange, red, purple, yellow and green to colour the ‘stained glass’ shapes.


I loved the result so much, I did three paintings. In my opinion, the third painting is the best.


Scan_20200309 (6)




In retrospect, I would have created more transparent, pure colour in the ‘stained-glass’ by not painting the sky, lake and far shore under the areas where I wanted to paint the ‘stained-glass.’


I don’t always frame and hang my paintings, but I like these so much, I am going to find a place for them in my home.

All my best,


Written by jane tims

March 9, 2020 at 10:19 pm

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