Watercolor Landscape Demonstration of a Farm Pond, FieldsThe and Apple Tree

Sometimes when a commission request comes in, one never knows where it will lead. I was excited to paint a watercolor landscape of a farm pond and field. The client ordered it as a Christmas gift for her husband since her family's farm is his favorite get-away.

When she showed the painting to her female family members, they wanted to give their men an original of the scene for Christmas too. So I got to paint it three times! And no two came out exactly alike.

I took pictures of the progress, but some pics are from one painting and some from another. So if you follow how I painted the scene, you may notice variations. But it's basically the same. You can click on any image to see it larger. Here's what I did:
Sky and clouds first. Notice that the sky is deeper blue at the top and becomes paler toward the horizon:

Then the trees in the distance behind the pond. I keep them bluer and softer because they are far away:

Next the pond including some reflections, dead tree stumps and surrounding grass. I know that someday the tree stumps will be gone, but this captures the pond as it is today:

Then the trees to the right. I use French Ultramarine Blue, Cad Yellow and Raw Sienna to make the various shades of green:

In the foreground are low, ground cover-like purple flowers. To denote them, I paint streaks of rose and cobalt blue into the green grass while it's still wet:

Last is the apple tree. The client did not mention an apple tree and it wasn't obvious in the photo, but upon very close inspection, I could see the tree had small green apples. I am painting them red and ripe so they will show:

The apples are still a bit wet when I paint the greenery, but that's fine with me. The red blends into the green a little which softens the edges of the apples:

After the pale green, I paint mid tones and then dark tones to shape the tree. With watercolor, it's easier to begin with light colors first and add dark tones last:

When the apple tree is finished, one painting is done! For the other two, I followed basically the same plan. I tried to make them like the first, but with fluid wet-into-wet watercolor there are bound to be variations.
Here is the first original version:

Watercolor Painting of a Family Farm Pond, Apple Tree and Fields
Donde Family Farm 6x12 inch watercolor

This is the second version:

Donde Family Farm II 6x12 inch watercolor

And the third:

Donde Family Farm III 6x12 inch watercolor

At first glance, you might think all three paintings look alike (my students did), but if you look closely, the skies, the shape of the pond and landscape, and the colors of the trees are different. The apples grew a little bigger in one of the paintings!

So I wondered whether the client's family would like the final two. But it seems all three were successful gifts. The client recently emailed me with this feedback:
"I had to email you about the beautiful paintings you did for me. My husband loved his as you know but my brother and father absolutely loved theirs too! You are so talented!! Thank you!"
And I love hearing that from her!

I'm happy to take custom orders. Contact me for a custom painting of your pet, home, garden, grandkids, favorite vacation spot or whatever your heart desires.
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