Painting of Beautiful Fir Trees in Kuju

Watercolor painting of beautiful fir trees at evening time in Kuju. Kuju is a national park in Oita prefecture, Japan. In 2016 I went to Kuju and saw this scene of beautiful fir

A watercolor painting of a river in Kitsuki, Oita prefecture, Japan. I came upon this river by chance during a family trip. It was such an enchanting scene that I just had to stop and take some photos - which then led to this painting.

“A Moment Away from the World”, watercolor, 31.8 x 41 cm (12.5″ x 16″), $350

Recently I went to a cafe-cum-gift shop where they sell handmade crafts by foreigners living in Japan – and I was invited to add my own work.

I will soon be putting up some prints in this shop. They are really beautiful 8 x 10″ prints that come with mats and backing. Here is one example. They only cost $60. To see all the others just click on the image below.

Anyway – getting back to the story of the gift shop and how I came to paint this beautiful Japanese river. 


The shop is in Kitsuki, a small rural area in Oita prefecture, and although I’d been to Kitsuki city several times I’d never been in the surrounding countryside. It was beautiful.

I had a lovely time there with my family and also now have 4 of my paintings on display in the shop.

We left late because my daughter was having such a good time that she didn’t want to leave. She even cried and said that she wanted to live there. Children really know how to touch your heart don’t they.

On the way home, we came across several beautiful scenes as the sun was setting. One of them was the river above. It was so beautiful that I had to stop and turn the car around and go back and take some photographs.

Perhaps what appealed to me was the color of the river. There was a mysterious mix of warm orange and cool blue in the water.

But I was hesitant to paint it because normally I paint light and this scene was after the sun had set. A strong light source is a must for me because it makes the painting much more dramatic and powerful. Whereas this scene was a much more tranquil one without strong highlights.


What do you think, was it a mistake to paint it? Is it too dark?

Promo video

Yes, I even made a promo video of me painting this beautiful Japanese river – with music! I hope you like it.

And if you are interested you can learn how to paint this beautiful Japanese river by clicking on the button below.

A few details first though:

1 This is a challenging lesson meant for watercolor artists with some experience.

2 You’ll learn a lot about using the wet-in-wet technique which is one of the most difficult techniques to master in watercolor painting.

You’ll also learn how to paint rocks and their reflections in water.

3 No drawing is required. Yeap, we’re doing this without the safety net of a pencil outline.

4 Very few materials are required. Just 5 brushes and 6 paints.

5 The cost is just $20. You even have a one month guarantee in which you can get your money back if you’re unsatisfied.

If you are ready for a challenge, ready to grow and to take your watercolor painting to another level – not to mention having a lot of fun – then sign up.

Paint a Beautiful Japanese River

Well that’s all for now.

Happy painting,


PS Do you have any problems with watercolor painting. I’m now creating watercolor lessons online and am very interested in knowing what problems people have with watercolor. Just let me know in the comments below.

PPS I have a new gallery. If you’d like to have a look and tell me what you think then click here. Any of these paintings can be made into 8 x 10″ prints for $60 – so let me know if you are interested.

I am an Englishman living and painting in Japan. I have now been here for over 17 years and have been painting for all that time. I love to travel around the Japanese countryside and find beautiful places to paint.

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