In the studio: First Day of Spring a watercolor and a poem

This painting was a demonstration for one of my watercolor classes.  I kept the background really cool and nondescript and used a large flat brush to apply the cerulean blue and cobalt violet background.  I used a really small rigger brush to paint everything else.  I used the rigger every way I could think of trying explain that the use of different tools creates more opportunities for unique solutions.  This light is captured with the bright foreground and dark cast shadow.  Try a different brush and make  your paintings more expressive.

“first day of spring” 12×16 watercolor on 300lb arches

First day of spring

Low horizon’s dazzling light

Casts long winter shadows,

viridian greens

dark on lime colored grass

Big stocky robins

breasts painted red

do the two leg happy dance

followed immediately

by their shadows

As they peck, hop and pick

Staying just out of range

of my crazy pinball puppy

Bounding to the end of its’ long black leash

Like an atlas rocket

tied to a tether.

After weeks

of endless miserable weather,

today feels like what I believe is


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  • MercedesApril 21, 2017 - 5:53 pm

    This watercolor is very luminous and beautiful. Thanks for the explanations and for sharing it, Steve. Respectfully Mercedes.ReplyCancel

    • SteveMay 1, 2017 - 1:24 am

      thank Mercedes, it is always nice to see your comments. SteveReplyCancel