Doug Condon

art blog and portfolio

Watercolor complete and lesson learned (painting sold)

It has been a busy few weeks since my last post.  Varnish, shellac, paint and ink have all been flying around the apartment as I have been in a whirlwind of artistic creation.  The Fruit and Wine painting for the “Feast” show looks great with a coat of varnish.  I have tried a new type of varnish, GamVar which I learned about through the website of an artist I admire, Sadie Valeri.  She does an excellent job describing its merits, I will simply say that it looks very good, applied very easily and is perfect for oils since it allows the paint to dry underneath.  This was a very good find.

The first new painting to be finished is the work below:

Now this boat painting has been lingering around for a long time.  It was one of those kind of paintings that I worked on here and there for months.  Partially it’s because other projects kept popping up and partially it’s because the painting became a real struggle.  Somewhere along the line I really wanted to do a really good job on it and in doing so I tightened up to such a point that the painting suffered.  I took everything I love about watercolor: the spontaneity, the looseness, the excitement and I lost it.  I grew so concerned with putting down details that my brush got smaller and smaller and the work got stiffer and stiffer.

Yesterday I did my best to fix all of that.  I picked up a nice fat brush and attacked this painting and tried to breathe some life back into it.  What you see above is the result.  I really enjoyed painting the reflection and I think that the looseness down there helps balance the residual stiffness above.  I wouldn’t say this is my best work but I will say that this painting taught me a lot about relaxing and enjoying a work or art and not letting the desire to “get it right” take away all the fun.

All and all it was a good experience and a good change to grow.


  1. I think you’re being too hard on yourself. This is a beautiful painting. I can’t see the flaws you see, only the beautiful finished work.

  2. Thank you. I know I am tough on myself but this painting was tough on me too. I do think it came out in the end but it was a struggle to get there.

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