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.
I’ve also recorded a time lapse video of the painting process.
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I decided to try something a little different by doing a quick 1 hour painting while also creating a time lapse of the process. The time lapse turned out to be 26 seconds, originally. Then, I started messing with it in Videoshop and extended it to about 2 minutes by slowing down the speed, adding music, and adding text. I had fun making this little video and I hope you find it helpful as you try to paint your own light effect in watercolor!
This past September we had the good fortune of visiting Acadia National Park in Maine. Acadia is a wonderland of forests, granite peaks shaped by glacial events, and as depicted in this painting – rocky beaches. During our time on this rugged Atlantic coast, most days were very foggy and overcast, but rapidly changing, so I was inspired to paint a moody sky in transition. Toward the end of the timelapse, I also start to show some the kelp sprawled along the beach, which becomes a very prominent feature in the bay during low tide.
I hope you enjoy part 1… I will post updates as the painting progresses!
For many of us, the real sauce in a watercolor painting, any kind of painting, is direct experience. As I walk, the light bulb goes off, multiple times if I’m lucky. But, walk and be there I must in order to set the mind ablaze with ideas for a painting. It is a wonderful thing to suddenly be struck with excitement about re-creating, and maybe even embellishing the thing being experienced in real-time. It is one of the few things in life that doesn’t feel like pounding a square peg into a round hole; it happens with ease.
I’m still playing around with these watercolor time-lapse ideas. This is the 2nd one I’ve done since the “Winter River Scene” from a trip to Connecticut early this year. I’m fortunate to live close to Harriman State Park; a 47, 527 acre mixed deciduous forest, containing some of the oldest rocks in the world. The idea of showing the sun hitting this exposure of presumably Precambrian (1+ billion year old basement rock) is what sparked the inspiration for this painting.
There were also two gnarly Eastern White Pine growing in this spot. Evidently, this type of pine is iconic of the type of ecosystem found in this region before European settlers began exploiting these giants for economic purposes, such as ship building, and it quickly became a major export. In this painting, I wanted to show the gnarly bark of a White Pine that is allowed to reach a certain maturity; reminiscent of a time when it reached old age regularly. To cap it off, there is autumn color to celebrate the season!