Softening the edges …art and nature

watercolor impressionist landscape, softening edges for depth, prussian blue foliage greens, patience persistence, not fiddling with watercolors,

As many things do…. it held,  Promise.

This old watercolor landscape.

It sat upon the studio table among 20 others, all needing further contemplation, further work.




watercolor techniques for beginners, soften edges watercolour, impressionist landscapes trees, prussian blue mixes watercolour foliage,
Soften the Edges, watercolor basics


Watercolor Landscape Painting

How old was it?

How long did I hold it in reserve?

I’m smiling…. it may shock some, but it is about 15 years old.


I know I’ve mentioned it before, but its so true;

when   I don’t know precisely how to   use my brush to resolve a thing – I Stop.


Put it aside.

And go on to work on the other papers and canvases I’ve laid out for myself.



I’ve come to realise that there will come a day,

when … it becomes crystal clear, exactly how to resolve the art work.

And then, it is so unbelievably easy!



Beginners’  Frustrations

I understand the beginner’s frustrations.


The urge to shred the result that did not (YET) meet nor yet match the vision within one’s mind.


it is key, to note the word …. “Yet.”


It is important to be aware that as Beginners, we can not possibly do it as we wish to, right now.

We can’t jump into the pilot’s seat and fly the plane, swooping and diving, rolling and performing the aero gymnastics.


There will come a day.

When each task, each skill, becomes second nature.




Back to Work…..

So.  I’m back to the old watercolor painting and deep in thought.


I consider the outer edges and have realised they’re far too sharp, abrupt.

Those outer bordering edges are too hard.

They need gentled.



Even though the painting is so old, with watercolor,  I can still soften the edges.

I’m in luck.


But, the paper I chose was a smooth hot press type, so it requires a more delicate touch.

Had I used Arches Rough or even Cold Press,  I could have been more vigorous in my approach here.

Knowing your paper, is critical for making those resolutions successful.



Once the perimeter edges are softened sufficiently to my eye, I rotate the image.

I decide that I’m pleased with it more with the weight being on the right and the bottom.

Rather than Top and left, as before.



The other change-up I’ve played with is the matting.

I wanted to see how it might look, if it was surrounded in white.

But moved towards the left.  I was ‘curious.’




watercolor impressionist landscape, softening edges for depth, prussian blue foliage greens, patience persistence, not fiddling with watercolors,
Reflecting Soft Edges




As many things do,

the painting, held promise.


What we do to and with that creation,  what our outlook, our approach is,   determines if the promise is realised or not.


I think in this case, at least,  I was able to exercise the “Goldilocks” approach.

Nothing was taken away to destroy the lovely enthusiastic promise the painting had from the beginning.


The subtle resolutions  that,  for so long I was blind to,  oblivious to….

Now, came easy.

Yes.  After a long wait.



When I think about it,   this process in its own way, is ……

softening our ‘own edges’ in a round about way.




Follow Along Posts…….

3 Edges of Watercolor – Softening the Edges

Natures Edges – so soft and gentle   

Prussian Blue mixing  and greens 

Impressionist Landscapes in Watercolor 

Relax,  but  don’t fiddle 

Resolving, altering paintings    –  changing the look of old paintings 





There will come a day.

When each task, each skill, ….softening edges …….becomes second nature.





Published by debiriley

The act of creation, in any media is a fascinating and magical process. I simply love to create. Expressing in color, line, tone, texture - as if, they were words upon a page. Creating a uniquely me, interpretation. Enjoy More of my "one-of-a-kind" expressive art at and,

23 thoughts on “Softening the edges …art and nature

    1. thanks David 🙂
      Yes…. I’m with you there, 100% ‘busy’ is fine to a point. but this insanity we have created worshipping 24-7 non stop busy-ness…. No.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Wow – amazing – 15 years. And it turned out beautiful. Is there some Naples yellow in there? I’m feeling like using Naples yellow today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hi Jodi, thank you! this yellow was Quin Gold. when its super diluted it can look warm and soft, similar to Naples Yellow (Opaque) I usually go to Quin Gold when using prussian blue and foliage. I just like it! And Naples Yellow, ahh, love its soft gentle Warmth that envelopes you. a great color for you, Jodi… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. i love quin gold! I have found it to be quite granulating, so surprised to see it looking so soft. I’m guessing the key is the super diluted-ness! Thanks! And what a sweet comment about Naples yellow. You make me want to find a way to use it more! 🙂


  2. Oh, Debi, I LOVE this!! And your truth written here I wish hubby would read. He doesn’t know when to quit and then ends up so frazzled and exhausted. I couldn’t tell you how many projects I’ve come across by cleaning out closets and say …. Oh yeah, I remember this. LOL Have a great day!! 🌹

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks Amy! I had to chuckle…. I DO get frustrated, LOL but then i just shove that paper in the closet. For Later. darn it. much much much later. when I don’t want to rip it all up. I’ve been told…. to finish, projects.
      But. Why ruin them, in the rush to Finish them Off, I ask myself….

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Revisiting our projects from the past does bring new creative thoughts gathered along the way. Your sutble changes are perfect. I like the new matting very much.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful watercolour work Debi – I liked your comments about beginners fustrations. That’s me! Knowing in my head what I want to create but lacking the knowledge and skills to do it! But I’m making progress, learning to be patient (it’s hard!), and practicing LOTS….


  5. This is a lovely painting. I’d frame and hang it without another thought. Wow, I had no idea you could get that stunning yellow shade with diluting down q gold. Now I’m wondering what q burnt orange might be capable of!! Thanks for your constant inspiration! I’ve been off for awhile and feel inspired to revisit blogging. Visiting here again just because of your lovely offering that is on my screen today is so random and reveals the endless possibilities of showing up. I hope that made sense 💙


    1. yes it did! and thank you so much 🙂 I do love the q burnt orange…. it packs a whallop, when needed but, softens off nicely. and is a great mixer too. it glazes like a champion, as well. cheers, Debi

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