Pine Hillside – Daily Painting

“Pine Hillside” 7″ x 10.5″ – Watercolor on paper – A scene from the Angeles Crest Forest, about an hour from our house, up in the mountains.

Time for an update. The past few days have been more than a little hectic. My aunt went back to the emergency room again on Wednesday, but this time did not have to stay overnight. So we’re hoping that a solution will be identified soon. I have my hunches, we’ll see what it leads to.

I’ve been reading an older book by Edgar Whitney that I’ve had on my shelf for a very long time. It’s out of print now but it still has some of the best advice on watercolor I’ve seen. Whitney’s approach was based strongly on designing good pictures and not simply painting what one sees, a topic that comes up a lot in various discussion boards I participate in.

The Design Principles he discusses are Unity, Conflict, Dominance Repetition Alternation Gradation Balance

Each of these principles can be broken down into design components such as dominance of a particular color, value, shape, line, color, size and so forth. This is basic stuff, certainly, but it’s so well explained and demonstrated that I could probably read it every day and still find more to learn. And the concepts, of course, apply to any painting, not just watercolor.

So much to learn, so little time. Sigh.


  1. Brenda Yarborough
    February 9, 2007

    Karen, I love this!! It reminds me a bit of a double exposure photo, but much better. Very appealing style! The simple palette is also VERY nice!!

  2. Linda
    February 10, 2007

    Gorgeous! Thanks for the mention of the book — I’m going to have the library put it on hold for me right now! :-)

  3. Pamela
    February 10, 2007

    there are so many books and so many theories.
    I just know one thing I either like it or I don’t.

    I like yours.

  4. Annie
    February 11, 2007

    It’s even more breathtaking when I moused it into the enlargement– it just takes off!

  5. wendy
    February 11, 2007

    Nice painting – free and fresh kind of brushwork.
    About those pointers re watercolour – I’m afraid I used to just PAINT! There wre no rules and advice. But, really now I’m thinking – yes, there are pointers such as: unity, repetition, focus, etc. that should be thought about. And I’ve always thought that a painting is not a ‘photograph’ but has be different because the painter can delete, exaggerate, alter shapes and colours. If we are painting from a location, the scene before us is a point to take off from and imagination and fun takes over from there.

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