Red Barn Winter Landscape in Watercolor

Art, Outdoor Adventure, watercolor

A local photographer, Cindy Plumb Bishop, captured a stunning image of a Red Barn in snowy New York State, which inspired me to paint the scene in watercolor. Places close to home are some of my favorites to paint, as it helps to enhance my awareness of where I live. This scene is simple, yet effective in creating visual interest because of the dramatic contrast between the snow and the red barn. If you’re looking to do a quick and simple painting, scenes like this make terrific subject matter. Not a lot of detail, no fuss, just great color combinations.

Red Barn Winter Landscape (watercolor on Arches Rough paper)

I’ve also recorded a time lapse video of the painting process.

For more examples of my work, please visit my Etsy shop!

The Road to Nowhere

Art, watercolor

A quick silhouette style painting! On the road late in the day, the light fades, causing the objects nearest to the viewer look very dark, which then allows for a dramatic silhouette effect. Watercolor paint always dries lighter so I found myself going back several times to darken the foreground. Then, you naturally look toward the lighter areas in the painting. Finally, I added cable wires for more perspective.

A Pond for Wildlife

Art, Outdoor Adventure, watercolor
Wilderness Pond – watercolor 14”x20”

When Covid-19 first broke out, I found myself with a little extra time to build a pond. I call it: my Pandemic-Pond. This is not that pond. This is a pond created by nature! This pond is somewhere out there in some obscure location where I imagine thousands of insects are abuzz on a lazy hazy mid afternoon. Frogs, turtles, and salamanders bask in the sun, as few random lazy clouds float on by.

This painting is available on my ETSY shop

Snowy Woods – Anthony Wayne Recreation Area

Art, Outdoor Adventure, watercolor

I painted this watercolor in January 2020. A typical northeast gray winter afternoon. The sun is shrouded in thick clouds. In January this place is very quiet and solitude is possible. In the spring, summer, and fall – get your socializing hat on.

Stairway to Heaven Hike, Vernon NJ

Art, Hike of the Week, hiking, New Jersey, Outdoor Adventure, plants, watercolor

Sunny Mud Path

Sunny Mud Path, Vernon NJ

The Stairway to Heaven hike in Vernon showcases some of the most beautiful parts of northern New Jersey. But what did I choose to paint from this hike? A puddle of mud! I’m sorry, but beautiful vistas don’t always scream “paint me”. I found beauty in this mud puddle for these reasons – simplicity, reflection, composition, and color. The view from a mountain top can make for an excellent painting, but I’m craving a certain something else these days – something sort of interesting, though difficult to pinpoint.

Simplicity

I like a good architectural challenge once in a while – buildings in truthful perspective, arranged with charm. This time, I”ll take a couple of cedar trees and a muddy path, please. The freedom to paint a simple landscape promotes a sense of joy and relief, as if a tremendous weight has been lifted.

Reflection

I’ve broken a painting rule – the reflection of a subject in water should be darker than the actual subject. Not in this painting. But that’s the way it is – there is a thin layer of water covering the muddy path, making the reflection of the tree appear lighter because the sun shining on the mud under the water is bright.

Composition

There’s no mountain in the background, but artistic liberties must be taken to make things a bit more interesting. Even without the mountain, the composition of this scene made me stop walking. I saw the potential for wonderful depth  – the muddy path and lighting draws the viewer further into the painting.

Color

This scene is located at the base of Waywayanda Mountain. The habit is mostly field with numerous red cedar pioneering the area. Whether the trees were planted here, I do not know. I found the color contract tremendous. Red-ish green cedar trees (hence the name Red Cedar, Juniperus virginiana) against a straw-yellow field, with a cobalt-blue bright sky (some of that in the reflection).

That’s what hooked me then, not sure what will hook me next 🙂