She’s Here Again

I make no apologies for painting yet another watercolour of the same image of my step-daughter, Ruth.  Inexplicably, this particular image fascinates me and I may still do one final, very loose version.  For art to work, it’s important to do what satisfies you and to keep doing it – not what other people expect or what may sell – you have to do your own thing because that is your unique voice.



Watercolour is often thought of as a light, delicate medium.  Used correctly, however, it has wonderful, intense depth.  In this painting I took my cue from an exercise I did in negative painting.  I built up numerous layers, using the most transparent colours from a fairly limited pallet:

  • Quinacridone Gold
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Phthalo Blue
  • Ultramarine Blue

Despite watercolour being a fast-drying medium, waiting for each thin layer to dry wasn’t easy.  Still, it provided the opportunity to stand back from my work and view it from a distance in order to evaluate it.  Turning a painting upside down, viewing it in the mirror or via a photograph are other ways to help seeing it through ‘fresh eyes’.

Fifty percent of my art is detailed thinking – sometimes days of repeatedly going over the process in my head before getting the paints out.  That being said, once the painting begins, I don’t really know what I’m doing and have to put my trust in the paint…but that’s creating!.

For once I’ve uploaded a large image, but you’ll need to click on it about three times to get the largest version.

6 thoughts on “She’s Here Again

  1. Hi June, I’m familiar with this image and think you’ve done an amazing and wonderful job on Ruth’s watercolor portrait. I’m envious of how delicate it is despite having quite a bit of depth and vibrant color. I can see some of the brush strokes on her hands and face which I really like. The image is quite realistic but still has the looseness of watercolor. Keep painting her. I look forward to the next one.


  2. Ha! Think I was commenting on your site while you were over here Carol. Thank you for your detailed, careful and generous comment. I’m pleased that you like it and noticed so much about it. The layering does help make it ‘pop’.


  3. What a masterful portrait. I can’t believe that you painted this with just the five colours – the detail and shading is amazing. While I often need to stand back from my work, I had never thought of looking at it in a mirror – thanks for that tip. As ever, it’s a real pleasure to see more of your work.


  4. I love this, June! The layered color actually makes this glow. You did a great job (waiting for each layer to dry). I don’t think there is one way to do anything in art. The sky is the limit and you can choose to create in anyway that is natural to “you”. Love this!

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