Teahouse of the February Morning – TEA for Illo Friday

A watercolor sketch of the teahouse at Descanso Gardens. Kind of. Sort of. I took a lot of liberties with it, as I understand a painter has a right, maybe even an obligation to do.
I might make a painting of this someday. For now, it’s just a study for practice. Did you know that a pivotal scene from Memoirs of a Geisha was filmed here? I didn’t – until a few days ago. Can you spot the koi in the water?

I am also going to call this my first “local landmark” for the Everyday Matters “draw a local landmark” challenge. I have a few others I think I will do also.

Arty notes: 9 x 9 Super Deluxe Aquabee sketchbook, watercolor and some colored pencil for enhancement.


  1. carole
    February 17, 2006

    I can see the Koi ! That’s such a delicate touch. Those gardens look beautiful. I’ve never tried sketching with watercolour without drawing first.
    I like the way you have caught the light in the top right corner as well.

  2. Bonny in BC
    February 17, 2006

    What a beautiful painting! I felt really calmed as I was gazing at the water (with the Koi!) and the flowers. This is absolutely one of my favourite pieces you have done. Brava!

  3. Lin
    February 17, 2006

    How lovely, Karen— what a wonderful place to be able to visit and sketch and relax!!!

  4. TeriC
    February 17, 2006

    Karen, this is so beautiful and serene.

  5. Nina J
    February 17, 2006

    Wow, this is beautiful! Makes me long for summertime and painting out in the open…

  6. Lindsay
    February 17, 2006

    Karen you get such amazing watercolor effects on this paper. I love the subtle koi and the lovely washes in the sky. Lovely !

  7. Jenna
    February 17, 2006

    Hi – I’ve really been enjoying your blog the last couple of days. I love this latest – I wish I could do “sketches” like this! :) And yes, I see the Koi – lovely!

  8. Malinda
    February 17, 2006

    Mmmm, lovely Karen! I can almost smell the cherry blossoms!

  9. Roz Foster
    February 28, 2006

    Such intricate reflections on the water. Very impressive “sketch.” You do beautiful work.

  10. james palmer
    February 28, 2006

    beautiful work… nice sense of atmosphere and drama… beautiful…

  11. carla
    February 28, 2006

    Karen – this transports me! The colors, the gentle dabs that create the blossoms, and yes…the koi. It’s beautiful!

  12. coffee
    February 28, 2006

    Oh! Memoirs of A Geisha was filmed here? I read the book. Some people told me that the movie is not as good as the book.
    Have yet to watch it though.

  13. Karen
    February 28, 2006

    Roslyn (coffee) … yes, you are right, the book is better and so much richer in detail. But the funny thing is, the movie “looked” exactly as I envisioned it as I read the book. I mean, right down to some of the camera angles and lighting and the floor plans of the sets. Eerie! So in that way, it was quite faithful to it.

  14. Jennafer
    March 1, 2006

    So beautiful and peaceful. You captured two of my favorite qualities of japanese gardens.

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