Stream and Bridge Watercolor Sketch – Waterfall Glen


This is down stream from Waterfall Glen. You might remember last year’s sketch in the springtime. With this sketch, I tried to get layer upon layer of watercolor distant trees to convey depth. I also love the way the stream is partially frozen, the bright white ice is the paper showing through, very easy to do! I did this sketch from a photo and in the comfort of my nice warm home.


Here is the photo. Sketching outdoors if fun, but sketching from a photo has its benefits too. With this I could take my time, my paper dried fast, and enjoy a glass of wine while listening to classical music!!!

Do you prefer to sketch from a photo or en plein air and why?


  1. Looks cool – pun intended. I am especially fond of the trees in the distance (though I like the waterside plants in the lower left also); nice sense of depth.

    haven’t done enough open air sketching to own grounds for a preference; I am just used to working from photographs. it always seemed to me to sport a greater flexibility – and, believe me, I need all the leeway I can get.

  2. If the best I can do is look at your sketch paintings to feel better at this desk in Hell, then I accept that and thank you for creating them.

  3. I prefer to sketch from a photo most of the time because sometimes the weather is a factor and sometimes looking at something in 3D is very hard for me to get perspective – but I like plein air because of the experience of being outside – so when I do paint plein air, it’s more in the spirit of “play” than making art, although I have had rare occasions (with you) when I did make some art. Usually, I am not satisfied with my painting when I paint plein air. With a photograph, my subject doesn’t move around like it does when I’m outside because I’m always moving.

  4. Christine — I need more instruction on how to use the micron pen to make my sketch paintings “pop”. I’m trying to use a micron on The Blue Truck by outlining the flowers in truck bed but I KNOW that if you were painting The Blue Truck, you would be making different decisions than I am – can we talk more about using the micron pen at the next Meetup?

  5. I learned something by seeing how you did the trees from the photo. The sketch is quite nice and am sure would be a lot more difficult to do if on site. I tend to do all my sketching on site just because I am using the sketch to remember what I had seen.

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