Illo Friday “Clear” – Wild Stream


“Wild Stream”
7.5″ x 11″ Watercolor on 140# paper

Clean, clear, water – what a precious resource. Can anything match it for clarity and freshness?

I did this painting today just for fun for some water practice, using a very limited palette of two blues, a red and a yellow. That’s about it. Oh, and a little gouache white for some ripples here and there. The Angeles Crest forest above La Canada is just full of places like this.

I don’t think there’s any way to paint wild water in a quiet, contemplative way. For me, it’s necessary to be a little bit excited about the subject matter and to paint quickly and almost impulsively, even though that usually means making a lot of mistakes. The vitality of the water flow is communicated by the energy of the brushstrokes.

(My watermark and blogaddress is not in the painting – only in the scan.)


  1. Wendee
    November 8, 2006

    Oooo! Just wonderful! I love the little back-splashes against the rocks in the middle of the stream! Ahhhhhh :)

  2. Pamela
    November 8, 2006

    water is moving!!!

  3. Tami
    November 9, 2006

    This is excellent, Karen! My DH looked over my shoulder when I popped this open, and said, “Wow, is that a painting, I thought it was a photograph. She really captured the rushing water!”.

  4. lin
    November 9, 2006


  5. TeriC
    November 9, 2006

    Oh, I just love this one!!! It has so much movement and wonderful color.

  6. Carolynk
    November 11, 2006

    This looks so cool. It is full of energy too. I wish I knew how to paint moving water

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