Painting the Cherry Blossom at Shidaka Lake

Painting of a Fishing Boat and Island

Version 8. Going extreme with the pattern of the sea surface.

Initial painting

I really liked the subdued sky in the painting below. And the island which has a beautiful shape. And I like the way the sea begins below the boat with the waves that the boat creates.

Initial painting.

Second version

I changed the subdued sky to one with sweeping clouds. Basically, I couldn’t make this subdued sky work in several more paintings that I did and I couldn’t find a real source such as a photo so I decided – somewhat reluctantly – to do a different sky. I like these sweeping clouds though because they emphasize the island and make it look even more dramatic.

Version 2. Adding sweeping clouds.

Third version

In this painting I played around with the sea and the pattern of the sea and I was delighted with the result.

Version 3. Creating a more exciting sea surface.

Fourth version

I found that a band of sparkling white sea behind the boat really looked lovely and helped to create a powerful contrast around the focal point which is the boat.

Version 4. Creating a band of light behind the fishing boat.

Fifth version

Next I decided to have a warm yellow background but to keep the objects still quite monotone darks. Although not a great painting I like the look of this painting.

Version 5. Adding a warm yellow background color.

Sixth version

Next I decided to make it more colorful and used very noticeably a lot of alizarin crimson as well as burnt sienna in the trees of the island. I’m not sure how well this one works though.

Version 6. Adding red coloring as well as yellow.

Seventh version

A more intense use of color and play around with the shape of the clouds. I liked this so much I got chicken and couldn’t add the island.

Version 7. Going a little extreme with the colors and the sweeping clouds.

Eighth version

I’m really happy with this one. The sea does look a bit like a check tablecloth but I like it.

Version 8. Going extreme with the pattern of the sea surface.

Final version

I did one more painting and tried to make a sea surface that looked less like a check tablecloth and this also became a time-lapse video which you can see below.

Version 9. Final painting for the video..

A brief talk about this painting series.

Time lapse video of painting no. 9.

Happy painting,


PS Comments are welcome. I can’t always reply but I do read them. I’d love to know which painting is your favorite and why. And if you have any ideas for a title please let me know as I might make that the actual title – choosing a title is so difficult.

Buy a Giclee print of this painting on Canson Aquarelle Rag (watercolor paper), 8 x 10″ (20.3 x 25.4 cms), $60 (includes shipping). Full refund if damaged during delivery. Please include the title of the painting – in the caption at the bottom of the painting. 

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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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