Sketching Out Blog: Sketches of art, watercolor, photos, recipes, books, interviews, Jewish topics, and Highland Park, New Jersey

Watercolor: Stream Thoughts

Yesterday this painting, “Contemplating a Stream”, made its debut on the blog of A Simple Jew. Today I will tell you a bit more about the painting. It is a copy of a watercolor by John Singer Sargent, one of the great masters of watercolor. Next week another watercolor will be shown, that one a copy of a painting by another great American watercolorist, Winslow Homer.

One of the best ways to learn art is to copy great artists. That is why in the 19th century so many Americans went to Europe. Nowadays, we have reproductions in books and online. By copying both of these painters, I learned so much about how to describe water with paint. I hope I can use some of my talents toward making a watercolor of one of my canoe photographs.

Click on the painting to see it enlarged.
What do you suppose the man is thinking?

 Read this post to find out why I chose this man by the water theme.

Ilana-Davita says

That is why in the 19th century so many Americans went to Europe. Nowadays, we have reproductions in books and online.
I wonder if this means that artists travel less or for different reasons. Come to think about it, there is nothing like seeing the real thing.
The man makes me think of Huck or Tom Sawyer, even if a bit older. maybe he is wondering if there is fish in this river and if he stands a chance of catching any.

Leora says

Good point, Ilana-Davita. Nothing like the real thing when it comes to art. What I really would like best would be to do an entire watercolor at a stream...then you've got two real things, one of art and one of nature.

Louis la Vache says

This is a fine watercolor! "Louis" prefers watercolor to oil or acrylic because of the transparency and the immediacy watercolor offers.

Leora says

Louis, so glad you visited my watercolor! I'll be posting more next week.

Michelle says

The man is thinking how blessed he is to be able to sit and enjoy mother nature. Oh maybe that is what I would be thinking.

Robin says

I love the feelings this picture evokes in me, so calm and happy, with a strong desire to step through the computer into your painting.

PS I never even noticed the man sitting there until you pointed him out.

Leora says

Robin, that's an interesting note, that he wasn't an important element in your eyes. You're the viewer; you didn't need him!

torsdag says

This week I take the second chance, a comment to the watercolors instead of SWF.
What you are painting is never a coppy, it is your own way of documentation, much more than a photo, just do it your way, I love it.
One of my watercolors is in my first posts.
Hallo from Germany

Leora says

Thanks for the encouragement, Hartmut. I'm going to peek at your early posts to see your watercolor.

hihorosie says


Carol says

I've just come from Carmi's at Written Inc. I saw your post and here I am... :) Your painting is outstanding, it is very pleasing to look at... nice blues and the young man on the banks looks like he contemplating.... on life perhaps. Your painting shows what a special talent you have, I enjoyed immensely.


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