Elegant Pines of a Setting Sun Watercolor


Setting Sun
Mild 59°F

As the sun sets it casts an amber glow to everything it touches. The dried grasses blaze and pine boughs glisten. A radiant moment indeed.

Friday I caught this moment and simplified it. Instead of painting every single thing in my view/picture, I painted what was necessary to capture the mood and left out the rest. Sometimes less is more.

Many beginning painters are overwhelmed by a scene and have difficulty starting, therefore they never even try. But what if you can just trim down a bit or a lot? Would that take the pressure off?

When you see landscape that you love, ask yourself: What do I like about this scene? Hold on to that idea and subtract most of the rest. Limit colors and details too. Don’t try to paint every leaf on your tree if your tree is the focal point. Heck, I would never suggest painting every leaf. That’s work, that’s not play!

To purchase a print or greeting card:
Art Prints

To purchase the original with a beige mat:
My Etsy Store

Here is the reference photo:
Morton Arboretum by Meadow Lake

How can you simplify your landscape scenes? What has helped you when feeling overwhelmed when beginning to paint?


  1. Love it! As I took my walk at our local lake–filled with families walking or playing frisbee golf, I took a lot of photos of 3 muskrats, the sunset, geese, etc. I’m going to try to simplify one of those–thanks to you and your advice! Thanks. I love your paintings.

  2. the colors flow on and flow off your page; it pools for a moment only … and you have captured the moment; then it is gone. fluid. running away. dissolving into the background
    I like it
    but then
    I like motion for its own sake
    I like what you’ve done with this place – grown trees from the seeds of visions

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