"Fen's Forest" Watercolor Painting Process

Fens Forest Naomi VanDoren Watercolor painting Process

I wanted to share with you the progress images from a recent watercolor I completed back in July. I've been so thoroughly engaged in the painting process, and new projects, and packing that I've neglected to share with you some of my watercolor paintings from the last few months. I'd like to remedy that now.

I would like to start with what is still one of my favorite paintings, which I'm calling "Fen's Forest".

I started this piece while flying back here to Japan after a 2 month stay in California (more on that adventure later). On my 8 hour layover in Hong Kong I was determined to be productive, so I sketched for a chunk of time and here was born the idea for this piece.

It is also important for me to mention that up until this point, in my still very young watercolor painting pursuits, I had only been painting landscapes, and two heavily referenced portraits. Never have I attempted creatures in this medium and rarely in my normal sketching. So it was to my own surprise that I came up with a creature there on the spot. He was sort of born out of a personal love for foxes and dragons.

At this point in my process I take a clear photo of my line work into Photoshop and experiment with color schemes before moving on to the actual watercolor part. It can get very experimental, often resulting in inverted colors and hue/saturation mixing. This process for me helps alleviate some of the stresses and uncertainties that come with the watercolor medium. And while I don't try to copy exactly my color reference when I am painting it goes act as a general guide for color mixing.

Fens Forest Naomi VanDoren Watercolor painting Process

As a challenge to myself I decided to try to paint glowing bioluminescent water. I feel like the effect is believable. The waterfalls are becoming a common theme in my work as of late. And you will see this little creature reappear in several new paintings as I share them throughout the weeks.

The Art Shop Is Live

watercolor prints & originals

(Edit 9/27/205: the art shop is now live! Check it out) I have in the works plans to offer some of my watercolor paintings as limited edition prints. I already am starting to set up an art shop with plans to open the first week of September. In the meantime you can follow me on Instagram for all of the process pictures in real time or check out my watercolor page if you haven't already.