Painting of Willow Trees by a River at Dusk

Watercolor painting of Willow trees by a river at evening time from a small Japanese city called Yanagawa in Fukuoka prefecture.

“Evening Glimmers of Light from the Leaves of Willow Trees”, Watercolor, 41 x 31.8 cm (16 x 12.5"), $350

This painting of willow trees is from a family trip to Yanagawa city in Japan.

It is in the southern part of Fukuoka prefecture and it took about 2 hours to get there by car.

Yanagawa is famous for having many rivers. And we went on a 1 hour boat ride around the city. It cost only 30 dollars for the 3 of us.

The boat ride was very enjoyable and we learnt many things. The most interesting thing was that Yoko Ono’s grandfather was from this city. I think he had been a rich banker.

We had to be careful during the boat ride as you pass under many very low bridges and you have to lower your head if you want to keep it.

One of the highlights of the boat trip was the singing of the punter. He sang several lovely Japanese songs. I learnt that in Japan they have a song to sing after it has been raining.

The name Yanagawa comes from Yanagi, which means Willow tree in English, and kawa, which means river.

The Attraction

So the attraction of this scene was a number of things that worked beautifully together. Of course, the willow trees and then their reflections in the river and the time of day. I knew it would be a challenge to paint such a complicated scene and I did about 20 attempts. To be honest, I'm still not satisfied with my final result but there is a point where you have to move on. But I will come back to it. I have another version of this scene that I want to paint at some point.

An Early Sketch

Below is one of the early sketches I did. At first I used umber, it's a color I never liked previously but in this painting I think it worked beautifully. In the final painting I used Burnt Sienna instead of umber I'm not sure that was a good choice. But you have to experiment.

Watercolor sketch of Willow trees by a river at evening time from a small Japanese city called Yanagawa in Fukuoka prefecture.

“Evening Glimmers of Light from the Leaves of Willow Trees”, Watercolor Sketch, 37 x 24.5 cm, $350

The Video Performance

The lesson

If you'd like to paint this picture then you can start right here. I have to tell you though that it is a challenging lesson. On the other hand, the way you improve is by challenging yourself. And if you are a total beginner then check out my One Brush, One Paint and One Lovely Painting course here. For the moment it is a free for feedback course.

Prints

This painting is also available to buy as a giclee print. These are really beautiful 8 x 10" prints that come with mats and backing. Here is one example. They only cost $60 including shipping. To see some of my other prints just click on the image below.

Well that's all for now. 

Happy painting,

Gareth.

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.

Leave a Comment: