Painting of a beautiful Japanese river at dusk

“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. The owner had invited me and wished to put some of my work up in the gift shop. I felt very honored.

I will soon be putting up some prints in this shop like the one below.

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

I had a lovely time there with my family. And I 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.

The owner keeps some farm animals and my daughter really loves to feed farm animals. And she was playing with some other children.

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.

Anyway I had a go. It took several attempts before I could make a painting I was happy with.


Here is a video of me painting this beautiful Japanese river – with music! I hope you like it.

If you are interested in learning how to paint this river then click here. This is a paid lesson and also a challenging lesson so I don’t recommend it for beginners or amatuers.

That’s all for now.

I hope this post gave you a little joy and inspiration.


Gareth Naylor

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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