Study of a Northern Lake

Here’s a simple Northern Ontario scene,  just the lake, trees and sky.  The kind I’ve done time and time again.

But I like painting these scenes.  I just love the scraggly black spruce trees of the boreal forest.   It reminds me that I’m “up there”, far away from the big cities and shopping malls.  And that the fish will soon be biting.

The painting was not so simple, though.   Decievingly difficult, actually.

The sky wasnt’ too bad.  But the reflection in the water were tricky.   The ripples in the foreground made hard edges, which is difficult to capture on watercolor without making the painting look harsh.

I tried to paint the ripples on, but it was on the verge of looking like crap.   Then my art teacher suggested a trick:

Instead of adding pigment to make the water ripples, take it away.    Lift the paint off with a brush, and leave a few white areas.   But not too many.

It worked.  I’m reasonably happy with how it turned out.

And it helped salvage the painting.



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3 Comments on “Study of a Northern Lake”

  1. SVC Says:

    Love the painting. Simple. The true art of watercolour. It has so far escaped me … Maybe some day … For now I stick to my detailed acrylic art. Learning to let go is a journey for me. Good job.

  2. Friar Says:


    Watercolor takes a lot of patience…which I do NOT normally have.

    I have no idea why this is my medium. But it seems to agree with me. Even though I keep saying one of these days I’ll switch to oils/acrylics.

  3. svc Says:

    I think our art and the medium reflects who we really are. Due to anxiety, I tend to be controlled, detailed … I start painting with big brushes, and big canvas convinced to do otherwise, and then find myself holding the smallest detail brush. AH!

    My fourties has brought me some relief from this … Maybe there will be hope in my fifties, and sixties.

    Exercise is the same … I really don’t like cardio work. I prefer weight lifting, dance and yoga.

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