Friday, April 7, 2017

Beautiful Spring 2017

Spring is beautiful this year after a lot of needed rain in southern California. Below are paintings I painted this spring. In southern California the first days of spring are richly experienced sometimes at the beach. The "Ride the Wave" watercolor is a demonstration I did in one of my classes.

Below is a watercolor from a class I teach where we paint one of the local chapels in Coasta Mesa, California.

This next watercolor is a compilation of three photos I took while I was up in the Napa Valley of California. I grew up in the are just right over the blue hills in the background.

The barn is an old redwood barn in Woodland, California. I discovered it on a farm road in that area. 

This watercolor is of an old redwood barn behind a winery on Price Road in San Luis Obispo.

This watercolor is of Pismo Beach, California which I painted on location from the cliff in front of  the Cottage by the Sea Motel.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Portraits have always been an interest for me but I have devoted my art time to my favorite subject of landscapes. I have enjoyed studying the portrait lately. Below are a few studies I have done from copying other artist or photographs.

The above portrait rendered in watercolor is from a photograph. The pencil drawing below is also from a photograph. I changed the color to from grey graphite to sepia in Photoshop. It is a lot warmer.

The below portrait is a study of an oil painting by Andrew Loomis. I rendered it in Watercolor.

The following watercolor portrait I did on 140 lb. cold press Arches paper. It is from a photograph.

Below is a pencil drawing I did from a photo I found. There is a lot of pencil graphite on this drawing.

This pencil portrait is a study I a pencil study I did of one of John Singer Sargent's portraits. I always learn from these studies.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Winter 2017

Below is work I have been wanting to do, mixing pen and ink with watercolor. This is nothing new. I did similar drawings when I was in school. Artist have been combining the mediums for hundreds of years. The first one below is from my sketchbook. The second is the same drawing scanned in and "tweaked" in photoshop. The drawing is of the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel in Paris.

Another "Paris Painting" using watercolor and pen and ink. This is a late summer afternoon painting of the 12th arrondissement of Paris.

Below is a more traditional watercolor. It is of a Boat Yard in Newport Beach, California. I am trying to focus on painting figures at this time 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

2017 Calendar Available on ETSY

My 2017 Watercolor Calendar is now available on my Etsy shop for $12 US dollars, plus applicable postage. The calendar features 13 watercolors for 13 months. I print the calendars on a digital printer myself and staple them as well. If you would like to see samples of a calendar page, go to kenharriswatercolors on ETSY or  click link below:

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fall 2016

This is from a photo a friend sent to me. It is a town in the South of France.

Bridge Over the Seine, 11" x15" (28cm x 38cm). This is a watercolor I like. Just When I thought I had worn out Paris subject matter, I painted this one. I like the old bridges on the Seine and the Thames.

The watercolor above I started on location, one late afternoon at the Lido Bridge in Newport Beach, California. I worked on it for about an hour then went home and finished it. When I finish it at home, I am able to focus more on the composition instead of the environment. Click on the image to see a LARGER view.

This painting I have show before, but I like this watercolor. I did it from a photo I took in Paris when I was there last. It is of Boulevard Diderot at sunset in July. It is near the Paris-Gare de Lyon train station. 

This painting is a compilation of photos I took at Rabbit Ridge Winery in San Marcos, California. I like the dirt and the quiet solitude of walking on this road. 

This is an old farm structure in the town of Lynchburg, Tennessee. It was very cold outside and I didn't have time to paint so I took this picture with my phone. Then I went back to where I was staying and painted this watercolor.


The watercolor above is from a photo I took in Switzerland of the Rheinfall in the town of Schaffhausen.

Crystal Cove, Late Afternoon. This is an Acrylic painting measuring 16" x 20". Crystal Cove State Park is one the subjects I like to do. The white house on the foreground I have painted many times.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Summer 2016

This painting is from a very hot trip to Northern California this last July. We passed a barn in Paso Robles, California and I took a photo. I would have preferred to paint on location, but it was 104 F degrees outside (40C). One good thing though back in my studio I spent more time thinking composition. So below is my watercolor barn from Paso Robles, California. it is available for purchase at my ETSY shop.

The painting below is one I had done before, but I painted it again as a commission this last summer. It is a northern California barn.

This painting below is of Villefranche-Sur-Mer. It is from a photo that a nice couple commissioned me to paint. The final size was 15" x 22" (38cm x 56cm). They sent me a photo and this is how I interpreted the photo. Below is the drawing I made before I painted it. Always good to do a drawing of your subject to learn the ins and outs of your subject matter.

This is a watercolor sketch I did mostly on location on Lido Island, but I finished it back in my studio. When I finish a piece in my studio I am able to be more creative and not be controlled by the  actual subject and envoirment.

The watercolor below I started as the one above on location and finished in the studio. I like the results. It is entitled Moon Over Irvine.

Same with this watercolor. I started on location, but didn't like the results. A week later I revisited the painting and saw that I could fix it. I like the results for this one as well.

This sunset is inspired by painting trips to the beach. It is a full sheet watercolor (22" x 30"). The British came up with this system. It is painted on 240 lb. Windsor Newton watercolor paper.

This was done from a photo my son took while he and his wife were in London recently. It is of the Regents Canal. I liked the photo so I painted this facsimile.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Late Spring 2016

Can't believe how fast time goes. As I am writing this, spring is in full bloom. The white Irisis I saw at the Castoro Cellars in Paso Robles, central California. I took a photo with my phone and then painted this painting after I returned to southern California.

The above painting is really a concept painting for another project. The concept was not accepted, so I put the boat and birds in to make it peaceful statement.

I started this painting at the end of the day on location at Castoro Cellars in Paso Robles, California. I quickly brushed in the color and established the lines of vines pointing to the building. I finished it the next morning from a photo I tok on my phone.

This is a cityscape of London from a photo I took when I was there a few years ago. I took tracing paper and put it over the photo and with markers created a new value scheme, different form the photo. I then used this new value pattern composition to create the painting. For example I have late afternoon light shining through the street and lighting up the bus. I darkened the values of the buildings in shadow on the left and the cast shadow of the bus.

The watercolor above is a view from the Coulée verte René-Dumont in Paris, France. I painted it in June of this year, 2016, from a photo I took three years ago when I was there. I used pen and India ink in this watercolor.

The Gum Tree above is located in a local park near my home. We have different kinds of Gum Trees growing through out California; imported years ago from Australia. I started this painting on location and finished it in my studio.

The above painting is a version of a painting of Aix-en-Provence that I had previously done in my sketchbook. This version I did on Arches French watercolor paper. Once again I manipulated the value scheme.

This is a recent panting I did in early June, 2016, at a park in southern California. It is of a Gum Tree, by a lake in the late afternoon. I started the painting sitting on a bench at the park and finished it at my office the next day. There is great value in developing your skill as an artist by painting on location. You learn about light and how it visually affects nature.