Am I fiddling? Or ‘fixing’?

What do you think. Can you see the sequential improvements?

watercolor landscape mountain, impressionist landscape,

This watercolor landscape has undergone 3 renovations over the past year.

Originally  it started as just an experiment I wanted to try on a dampened mount board. Then, using a palette knife – I applied watercolors, allowing the paint to flow at will.



When is a painting ‘Finished’?

When to stop?

I usually  “pause” and put a painting on Hold, when I’m not certain what the next brush stroke needs – to be.

This could be 5 minutes. 5 weeks, or 2+ years.


It really doesn’t matter how long this takes. I’m here. Its here. It will keep.

That’s my attitude.



Its ‘a feeling.’ 


I get a sense of when a painting is ‘done’  when the painting has communicated the message it was meant to do.  When it has answered the question.

*When there is not even one more brush stroke I can add, that will make it any better.

Then.  I stop.   period.



This,  I must tell you,  comes from experience.

This ‘knowing,’   this feeling isn’t a thing the beginner knows straight away. I certainly didn’t know it as a beginner.

It comes.

With time. With practice.  With patience.





painting #1  The Original

I liked it.

Yet, it did not … answer the question.

It hadn’t fully communicated the message.

It was ‘underdone’  and overdone in parts.

image and post from  Epic art failures 

fun creative watercolor techniques, watercolor with palette knife, mountain landscape,
Watercolor with Palette Knife





painting #2   Second  pass

I like this second go, better.

I needed to lift paint off some areas and to regain some lights.

Also, attempting to create more depth and improve the temperature balance. ie  warm cool dominance.

image from the post,   ‘resolve those old paintings’

resolved painting
Resolved painting



painting #3 Renovation with blues

What I did with this third renovation:


Rewet the board and dropped in blue and sienna.

Created more vibrancy.


I also added a hint of a distant mountain range in blue behind the front mountain. This was to help improve the sense of depth and perspective in the landscape.


By adding these layers slowly and thinly, I gave myself the opportunity to return again. If needed.

If I go in too heavy, too hard, too dense and strong…. I’ve shortened my future chances! Well. Unless, I wash it off.   Which, is do – able.



watercolor landscape mountain, impressionist landscape,



I ask the major questions:

is there clear, evident Light tones, mid tones, dark tones?

is there a clear Focal Point in an appropriate location?

are mosthe perimeter edges, nice and soft, blurred a bit?

is it easy to envision myself, in the scene…back at the foot of the Newnes escarpment, looking up at the ring of rock face around me?


If, I can say yes to most of these then that is pretty clear to me – “We’re done here.”




At this point,   there is no more work to be done here.

Except for mounting it back onto the slate blue matt.

I’m finished.



The mountains have no more to say.