Art, gouache, Landscape, Painting, Plein Air, Portland, Sauvie Island, watercolor

more painting outside – a little farther from home


The hunting season is over on Sauvie Island, and I headed over to paint last weekend. Unfortunately, when I was half way there, I realized I had forgotten to pack any panels to paint on. This is the second time I’ve done this. I suppose age is catching up with me. Rather than turn back, I continued on knowing that I had my watercolor paintbox and sketchbooks along.

"Multnomah Channel" 7 x 10 watercolor
“Multnomah Channel” 7 x 10 watercolor

I went to a part of the island where I haven’t painted for several years and found a nice spot along the Multnomah Channel ( a narrow side channel of the Wilamette River, and started the piece above as several sailboats and fishing boats came and went. While I waited for the colors to dry on this one, I started the one below, of the same subject.

"Multnomah Channel sketch 5 x 8 watercolor and ink
“Multnomah Channel sketch
5 x 8 watercolor and ink

I moved on down the road and did one more from a spot I painted a few years ago. It’s a view of the famous  volcano, Mt St Helens, across the cow patures.

Mt St Helens from Sauvie Island gouache
Mt St Helens from Sauvie Island

I was hoping for some cows but they didn’t show up until later



9 thoughts on “more painting outside – a little farther from home”

  1. Hi Bill,
    I have been following your progress for a time now and I’m always impressed, lots of great painterly examples that are a real motivation to me as a fellow painter. Just one question, I have been looking up close at your latest post (top image) and notice that although it states ‘watercolour’ there are some opaque or semi-opaque areas. What materials are you using for this? Watercolour pans or tubes?
    Thanks in advance,

    Dan Haycocks. Shropshire, UK.


  2. Hi Dan. Thanks for your note and for following my work. You’re correct about the opaque areas. I use watercolor tubes (Mostly M Graham but also some Daniel Smith and W&N) and I always fill one pan with titanium white gouache. I’m a bit lazy about preserving white areas and the titanium white allows me to over paint opaquely, similar to what I do with oils.

    I also have a ‘Stay Wet’ palette filled with gouache paint that I try to use like oil paint. I’m not very good at it yet but my goal is to be able to use gouache in the field and avoid dragging all the paraphernalia required for oil painting. The third painting above was done with gouache.

    I label the first one watercolor because I only used a bit of white toward the end, as opposed to the third piece, where I was intentionally trying to make an opaque painting. Does that make sense?

    I enjoyed looking through your sketchbooks on your blog. Very nice work.


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