Sunday, February 25, 2007

Lake Powell Quiet Canyons Painting

Quiet Canyon painting at Lake Powell by Roland Lee

I feel like I'm catching on to it a little. With a nod to my hero David Drummond, I used a photo I shot near Bullfrog on Lake Powell and tried to capture the glassy undulating feel of the smooth water beneath the striated cliffs. I can almost hear the "plop" of my bass lure as I sling it near the rocks. I had this one framed with a knotty alder frame in a light stain, with ivory mats, and the whole package looks great. Maybe I ought to just keep this one. Ah, but it's going in the upcoming St. George Art Museum Canyon Country show in March. Click for purchase information

Quiet Canyon painting at Lake Powell by Roland Lee step 1The first step is to sketch out my drawing on 140 lb. Arches paper. I then begin with a wet-in-wet wash for the sky. It is completed in just a few minutes and allowed to dry with no overglazing.

Quiet Canyon painting at Lake Powell by Roland Lee step 2I also use a wet-in-wet watercolor technique for the water and the rocks. After they are dry I can use wet-on-dry overglazes to add color, contrast, and detail.

Quiet Canyon painting at Lake Powell by Roland Lee step 2A good way to build up texture on the rocks with watercolor is to splatter with clear water just before the glaze dries. This creates a fun random texture that looks very much like stains on the canyon walls.


  1. Dear Mr. Lee,

    First of all, I'd like to say I love your watercolors. I come regularly to your website (and blog) to appreciate your work and to learn from your art lessons. Thank you for your kindly sharing so much worldwide. I wish I could attend one of your workshops (I'm from Brazil).

    I'm a watercolorist, but I still have a lot to learn and practice.

    Thanks a lot,
    Gisele Pellegrini

  2. Thanks a lot Gisele for your kind remarks.

  3. Kacey Chidester7:56 PM

    I would have to agree, I love your paintings. We have some of your paintings, and I love looking at them. This one of Lake Powell is beautiful! I like seeing the process you go through. It's very cool.

  4. Jussi3:49 PM

    I think these are one of the best watercolor paintings I've ever seen. I didn't even know watercolors could be so potential. I'm glad I found (and bookmarked!) this page. Very Inspiring. :)

  5. Anonymous9:19 AM

    Dear Mr lee,