Painting a watercolour… again

Maybe you recognize this? You love painting watercolors and see such a nice subject!
You paint the scene and love what you just created. Then  you look at it for a while and it ends up in a box, after 10 years you search for something else and find your piece of art again!

It’s absolutely disappointing what you just found, you remember painting it and we’re proud on it, how can it be.. its looking so worse this time. Well for a start we didn’t have Facebook, twitter or blogs ten year ago. We did have watercolor forums, websites like Wetcanvas, but on a much smaller scale. And ideal for amateur painters. There were specialists in landscapes, and other amateur painters that knew a bit more about sea and marine related things. They were specialist because they painted a few years longer than yourself. They would help you with small tips, so you knew a bit more after this watercolour. The distance between your painting ability and theirs wasn’t so big.

First one I tried in 2005

When you started with watercolour it didn’t took long to be a painter in the middle class on the forum. people became enthusiastic about your new watercolour cause the forum was the only place where you looked.
Of Course we did have Ron Ranson and David Bellamy in that time, but they were in a book! no doubt about it, when you are in a book you are better!
Now we have Facebook, the comparison is huge! To become a middle class painter is almost impossible, when you are one, you are compared with the top class painters, because they make better work.
You almost get the feeling (I never can make watercolours properly.)
People don’t want to paint like the middle class, they want reach the same level as the top. Impossible in many cases!
If you compare it to football how many of us will be the new Messi or Cruijff?
Its nice to have contact with artists you saw before only in galleries or books, but don’t forget they are very talented people. If you aiming for that you could be ended up frustrating because your watercolor skills let you down.
Painting should be fun,  you have to have fun in what you do, and there will be always a better painter then you.
My teacher said once, the bird in the tree doesnt care if you like his song, he just sing cause he liked to! 

The last one in 2016

Back to my painting, I saw it and thought, it was a nice spot, I still have it in my head.
So lets try how I wanted to look back then.
Also an advantage we have as a painter, because we drawing the scene and then paint it. We stand in front of our subject a longer period of time, and we notice all sorts of things and see all sorts of things! So we remember a scene much better.

So I didn’t even bother to look for a photo, I am sure I have one between the other trillion digitals on my Terabyte Hard disks! So I used just the old watercolour and my memory how it looked.
I am happier with my new one in comparison to the old one.
There is room for improvement, but that will take a few years I know now!
Maybe I should look for a nice forum?

Tell me what do you think?

Regards Edo

Paper: Quarter sheet Millford from St Cuthberts Mill 140 Lb
Colours: Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, Cobalt Blue, Raw Sienna, Lemon Yellow.
Brushes: I used a few..



Categories Art

14 thoughts on “Painting a watercolour… again

  1. Excellent subject. Thank you for these heart felt thoughts. It’s good to be reminded of who we really are in this art world and where we’ve come from. Your bird analogy is my favorite part of the blog. Nice job on the painting too.

    1. Thanks Tom, glad you like it!
      I was looking for a bird in my blog, but I suppose it is a phrase how you explain things??
      Regards Edo

  2. I was introduced to your work through Doodlewash and am so very grateful for your tips and insights. You not only showcase your work, which I admire, but you show compassion and understanding for beginning painters like myself. Your ‘solutions to paint better’ post has great advice as does today’s post. Thanks for sharing your work and your wisdom, Edo.

    1. Hello Lisa, thank you so much! And also nice that you like it.
      Well the compassion is years of struggling too I must admit.
      I often think if I knew it would take 25 years to reach this I probably never hat started in the first place!
      But with watercolor you take small steps at the time, and when you become more advanced the steps are getting smaller and smaller.
      I was lucky I began on small forums, I even became a sort of tutor for landscaping!
      When I see my work from that time, its no way good enough for these days on facebook.
      But the small painting forums were much more friendly for amateur painters.
      regards Edo

  3. Love it, Edo! You have a beautiful soft touch style. Really like your blog! You certainly hit the nail on the head….so true about our journey in watercolor…..learn, learn, learn……but mostly enjoy the journey. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    1. Thank you Bette, I am always trying to make a blog that make sense, words that you can relate too.
      In a way its all me I write about, my journey in watercolor.
      Its long and I have years of struggling, years of not painting.
      I am not there yet, but I feel I am on the right way!
      Sincere regards Edo

  4. What a sensible and sensitive analysis! The second picture is much more direct and the composition is better. I find I get attached to parts of a painting that actually aren’t helping the overall effect and time teaches objectivity. Thank you.

    1. Thank you Anne, well I always think it is strange that you like something, and when you see it back after so many years it is no way how you thought it was! 5 years ago I could paint already I took some lessons with Kees van Aalst, he teached me the wisdom of looking at paintings how they work, and what not work. what you have to do and dont’s. so that helped me a lot.
      best wishes Edo

  5. Hello Edo, I discovered your blog recently. I agree with all your points on how we compare ourselves to thousands of artists now instead of a small handful of masters in museums. The exposure seems overwhelming at times. As for these paintings. I really like the second version. The middleground has been unified, the sky and water relate with the patterns of shapes and colors. it has good balance and is a very sweet landscape. Thank you for your sharing. I hope to put some more work on my website soon. I haven’t been satisfied with my work but I go thru my pile and review!! Best, Nancy

    1. Its sometimes very overwhelming all those good and wonderful paintings. And some of them are really beyond our reach. So much talent is out there. We forget to have fun and why we paint. we chase likes and nice comments! but the thing is, enjoy the medium. and make from every painting a small party! I think I leave the painting as it is. as I noticed that the real painting have more gradation in the grass then the photo. thanks and best wishes Edo

  6. Thank you Edo, I am new here but I like your watercolor style and your words of wisdom!
    We tend too often to spoil our gifts because we want more. Forgetting not only that exceptional talent is by definition exceptional but also that it is often nourished for many many years and at high personal costs (take Turner as an example… who started as a child and kept working at it for 40 years for hours and hours everyday, walking up and down Europe….!!).

    Happiness is desiring what you have😊 and if you love to put color on paper, that’s a blessing.

    1. Thank you Marianna. I always think a piece of paper and a pencil and we are ready to make art! Keep it simple, not to many colours, and above all enjoy what you do! regards Edo

  7. Thank you for this post. I must admit I also love the first pic in its freshness and movements. Progress is important, but I think it is ‘overchased’. I absolutely agree what you wrote about social media and bigger forums. I was totally sucked in by them, now I try to get back to my normality, and hear the real silence enjoying watercolour can offer. I also find it very calming that you use the classical siennas – ultramarine blue combo. Pigments are also a subject of competition in bigger forums, and it is not healthy in my opinion, it takes the attention away from the painting itself. You can still create a masterpiece with just the basic pigments.

    1. Hello Vica Szilfa, sorry for the delay in my answer. busy times I guess. So nice you took the time to think with me on this subject. I know I make decent work. but I cannot live from it. Even so I seldom sell anything. maybe 3 in a year if I am lucky. Maybe I have to try harder. But for me painting is not successful if you sell a lot. Painting is perfect for me when I am happy to paint. Last month I did two commissions. I can tell I will never do them again. it feels like work. And work is not something I associate with fun. About basic pigments. my last one was done in one brown and two blues and it is a snow scene a lot of people did like. so you are right. we dont need boxes full of tubes! Just a few you need to paint! regards Edo

Leave a Reply to Edo Hannema Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.