©2014 Joy Makon. Not to be reproduced without permission.

Last days of summer in the Japanese Garden

©2014 Joy Makon. Not to be reproduced without permission.

The first version. This painting has gone to a new home!

The weather is changing and the leaves are starting to turn

In college, my illustration professor disapproved of redos. Mr. Zagorski thought it better to move on to a new piece and let the disappointing work fade into the background or hit the trash can. He convinced me more than once to let it go and I have usually followed this advice, as it appeals to my sense of impatience. With this scene, however, I decided to paint two versions when the first one didn’t go quite the way I hoped for. Version one became a test sheet to play with colors and light, especially tricky dark tones. Version two—the finished art—was painted looser, quicker, with better shapes and colors overall. In both, the sky was created by pouring the paint rather than using a brush.There’s an element of unpredictability to this technique that doesn’t reveal itself until the paint is dry—it works best if one can resist not going back in with a brush and disturbing the results. I love how the second sky turned out. Definitely worth painting twice.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden is one of those gems in my Brooklyn backyard, and a late-summer Tuesday in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden was the setting for this painting. The cypresswood torii glows orange in the bright sun while the manicured trees are revealing hints of red and gold color to come. Time to get out the cadmium red (rumor has it, there’s going to be a ban on cadmium pigments?)

September 2014
Watercolor and graphite
Arches cold press, 300 lb, 10″ x 21″

This entry was published on September 30, 2014 at 5:02 pm. It’s filed under Brooklyn Backyard, Home, landscape, plein air, Summer, Uncategorized, watercolor and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

5 thoughts on “Last days of summer in the Japanese Garden

  1. I like the first version better. It is beautiful and has spontaneity.

  2. Marian on said:

    Very serene, lovely!

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