Pine King :: Le roi des pins

The master is the piece of paper, the watercolour you are working on at the moment, listen to it; watercolor is the boss.
— Josef Zbukvik (further quotes by Josef are found at the bottom of this post)

This is my third version of the same majestic tree. Speaking with other artists, they have told me that they often need to paint the same subject three or four times in order to get it right. Well… after three times, I would say that the “lone pine” has turned into the “Pine King” or should I say “KingPine”? As you will notice, all three trees have different personalities and that is due to artistic license, where the artist is accorded leeway (take out or add) in his/her interpretation of what is observed. This is what is tremendously liberating when painting a subject as opposed to taking a picture of it.

Voici ma troisième version du majestueux pin. En parlant avec d’autres artistes, ils me disent qu’ils doivent refaire la même peinture jusqu’à trois fois pour être satisfait. Eh bien, après trois fois, je dois dire que je suis satisfaite et que mon “pin solitaire” est devenu le “roi des pins”. 

Paper: Handbook Travelogue Series
Colours: Aureolin Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine
Fountain Pen: Pilot Prera F
Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: St. Georges Road, Rigaud, Québec, Canada




















1. Painting precise locations is irrelevant; simply capture the character
2. Connecting shapes is most important, after that come tonal values. Color is last
3.  Analyze your subject; see the foreground, background, balance, shapes and tones
4.  The master is the piece of paper, the watercolour you are working on at the moment, listen to it; Watercolor is the boss
5. People are seldom still or rigid; they are off-balance in movement and animated.
6. Tone is the king; color is a mere assistant.
7. Watercolor will paint itself; if you let it.
8. Look at the subject; reduce it to a visual language.
9. Look at the values; where is the white, where is the light? How does it relate to the dark background?
10. Indicate, don’t state
11. Let the energy of the original line remain; don’t kill it with paint.
— Josef Zbukvik