Country Church Bells - 1 Hour Watercolor PaintingsteemCreated with Sketch.

in #art4 years ago (edited)

It Wasn't My Intention ..

To try and create a watercolor painting in an hour. When I added up the minutes spent on it, between last night and this morning, that's about what it took. I enjoy making these little black and white watercolors. They don't take much time and give me a lot of satisfaction when finished. It was cloudy, misty and down right gloomy yesterday, as well as today. I wanted to do something to break the funk I was slipping into. What better way to do this than create something.

The Inspiration For The Piece ..

Was hard to gather. I pondered what to paint for a good while before settling on a church scene. I googled for subject matter and reference photos, and turned up empty handed. I have a couple of books on the churches of New Jersey, so I got those out. They were worthless. The pictures in them were poorly taken and did not represent what vision I had in my head. I went back to the internet and was starting to get frustrated when nothing was presenting itself. So in the end, I just painted what was bouncing around in my head.

When I Was Finished ..

I was left with a cute little church painting, in black and white. A small country church nestled in at the edge of the woods, at the end of a country road. I could almost hear the church bells ringing in the Sunday air, to alert people that service was about to begin. I rested on the name, 'Country Church Bells'. Being it's winter here in the Northeast US, I painted it as a winter scene. If you use your imagination, you can just about see a little snow left dusting the ground, here and there. The lane is well traveled and carved into what remains of the snow. Bits of grass and weeds poke out in all directions, from small patches that remain from the summer past. Stately evergreens stand tall and proud by the churches side and nearby. The late morning sun is starting to warm the roof of the church and exposed areas of grass. Although there is winter's chill in the air, the weather inside the church is warm and welcoming.

'Country Church Bells' ~ Watercolor by BDMiller


I Started Out ..

Collecting a few items such as a piece of 5x7 (inches) watercolor paper, 2 or 3 different brushes, a pencil, my Derwent Ivory Black watercolor pencil, a paper towel and of course my jar of water. Now that I had all the items needed to create my small painting, and the idea of a country church nestled in the forefront of my mind, I was ready to begin.

The Supplies!

The Water! I've been using this small jelly jar for years now. It's the perfect size for me and hold the water sealed tight if I decide to transport it.


I started off by sketching out the church and a few trees. I placed the base of the church at about 1/3 up the paper. My usual starting point.


I then added a few more trees and evergreens. I also added in a bit of direction and topography. This is going to be a simple painting, so no need for over crowding the scene with too many trees and background noise. I kept it simple.


Now I think that most of the scene is established and drawn out. The basics are in there. I will add little touches here and there as I begin to add the water to the drawing.


I am using Derwent watercolor pencils, so all you have to do is draw it out then lightly brush water on to it. I simply dip the tip of the brush in some clean water and then gently move it to dampen the color. What looks like pencil lines begins to melt away to paint.


I continue the process of dipping the brush, removing excess water onto my paper towel, and blending the Ivory Black paint into the paper. Life begins to unfold and reveal itself with every brush stroke.



Now I am ready to add in a little shading to the church, the foreground and the background. For this step, I dip the brush into the water then gently and rather quickly touch it to the tip of the pencil. By doing this, I can pick up small amounts of color, in this case black, mix it with a bit more water and then apply. I like to use the inside part of my water jar lid for this. It acts like a little mixing cup.


A few more touches of shading to the church walls, roof, and windows. with every application or layer of shading, brings more life to the piece. I don't want to over due it though.


A few more splashes of Ivory Black, to bring out the tonal values, and we are almost done. I go ahead and complete the lane that leads up to the church door. At the beginning, I didn't see or think of adding in a lane. After I got to this point in the painting, I could almost see one laying in there. Adding it really made a big difference and gave a bit more depth to the overall painting.


All That Was Left ..

Was to add my signature with a fine point sharpie and grab the last and final photo. I choose to take the final picture over by the window. Here the sunlight is nicely diffused and casts very few shadows. I always like to take the photos in natural sunlight (shaded not direct) whenever possible. Today I had a little helper.. Pepper!!! He was chilling in the bunk bed by the window when I took the picture.


There We Have It ..

The piece is finished and another little black and white watercolor now sits with the others. As you can see, there weren't too many steps from start to end and why this piece only took an hour to complete. An hour of time invested put me in a good mood for the rest of the day. I would say that was well worth the time invested. I am ready to paint another one!

Here is the summary photo from start to finish if interested ..


'Country Church Bells' ~ Watercolor by BDMiller



Thank you for swinging by my blog and checking out the post. Have a great day!


All words, pictures and art pieces are the sole property of B D Miller Gallery, unless otherwise noted and credited, and are not to be reproduced or copied without the prior written consent of B D Miller Gallery.

About Me ~ The Artist

My art work incorporates a wide variety of subject matter, including landscape, seascape, cityscape, and still life images. My works are the product of a continuing process of exploration through which I seek to portray personal and visionary interpretations of my surroundings. My paintings are impressions of places and events from everyday life, an interpretation of my imagination, and personal responses to what I see and feel on a daily basis. More recently I have invested generous amounts of time into my landscape painting. I am surrounded by natural and man made beauty, which inherently presents itself in the tri-state area, and almost demands that I paint it.

Not everything is art. Art is not everything, but it comes close. Art is everywhere and all the time. Art makes you experience the beauty of the world, the people in it, and the places we call home. Art itself is so influential that it can tell stories, show feelings, and express passion or fury. Art exists in addition to language; expression of sensations and thoughts, revealing a way of thinking too subtle and delicate for words.

For me art requires love, honesty and perseverance. In return, it reveals some personal, non-analyzable, and creative untamed passion. For the public, art with its magnificent beauty, improves mood and health and builds better human beings and communities. It engages the intellect, softens the heart, strengthens the soul and frees the spirit.

~ B D Miller


If Your Interested In Purchasing Any Of My Work:

They can be found for sale in

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If you don't see the piece in either shop, It may still be drying. Let me know and I can upload it as soon as possible to be available. Or you can always make me an offer (in SBD or STEEM) in the comments section of this post. If we agree on a price, I will then ship the painting to you. (shipping costs will be determined by your location).


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