For a long time, I didn’t used to like painting countryside scenes.
And given the choice, I would prefer to paint an urban scene.
Urban scenes are easier to paint and usually more interesting.
Whereas countryside scenes are very difficult to paint well.
One of the biggest challenges with a countryside scene is painting trees, bushes and grass.
Trees in particular are the most difficult to paint as my watercolor students soon discover.
And I have to tell my students that it takes years to be able to paint a good tree.
And I add that: if you can paint a good tree in watercolor it means you are a good artist.
Another reason I don’t like to paint countryside scenes is that despite appearing beautiful they are often look monotonous as a painting.
This is especially true of paintings of the Japanese countryside where you often see an endless number of tree covered mountains.
It is very beautiful.
But normally everything is the same kind of green color and in a picture it will look monotonous.
Even in autumn, when those tree covered mountains have a variety of beautiful colors, it is still monotonous as a picture.
I have seen Japanese paintings of such scenes and I can’t say I like them.
They are not visually interesting.
After saying this about painting countryside scenes in Japan, you will understand the happiness I experienced when I started to paint good pictures of countryside scenes.
And the pictures here are my earliest paintings of countryside scenes that I think are good.
Both paintings are of a countryside area called Wasada.
It is on the outskirts of Oita city.
And I found this beautiful countryside area during one of my bicycle adventures.
Of the two, I think the painting above is my favorite.
In this painting the foliage looks very beautiful.
And the rice field has lovely colors and texture.
Even the rough grass by the side of the rice field is well done.
The houses are beautifully painted.
And the figure with the dog is fairly good too.
As for my signature, I’m just glad it isn’t so noticeable.
You can see that the second painting is similar to the previous one.
I’m fairly sure that these two paintings are of the same village, or two small villages next to one another in Wasada.
And I’m fairly sure that they were painted around the same time.
Once again I am very happy with the foliage and the rice fields in this painting.
And the figures are fairly good.
The houses are okay but not as good as in the previous painting.
And once again, I’m glad that you can’t see my signature clearly because it’s too big and not very well done.