Last modified Friday, 24. November 2023 - 9:21 o'clock

Progress Honolulu panoramic motif

To get me going, I decided to create a progress BLOG here. I will upload a photo of the progress here every day. I have so much built up that I can no longer concentrate in the evenings. So I’m going to start straight away in the morning and paint for as long as I can. For anyone interested in watercolor painting, I always write an accompanying text.


The motif template is in DIN A4 (29.7×21 cm) and the watercolor is approx. 70×50 cm, more than twice as large. With this motif, this isn’t such a big problem for me because there are very striking objects that make it possible to recognize it. However, it is immediately clear to every watercolorist that the remaining high complexity of the cityscape needs to be reduced. The question, however, is whether the viewer of the watercolor accepts such a reduced painting or finds it beautiful.

I know from experience that a large proportion of watercolorists complain about the reductions in my pictures. It’s still far too precise for them. That’s why I’m warning you here. I’m not doing any urban sketching on this project.

And here we go:

First I attached the sheet of paper to a tilting drawing board with masking tape. Now I transfer the prominent objects and their distances from each other onto the watercolor paper using a proportional compass and a pencil. I group the small houses, which are basically only visible as dots, into areas on the paper. I completely neglect the leaves of the trees. These are then painted at the end. I won’t mask anything. The green leaves are created in the sky by the blue by first painting the leaves with yellow. It is important to once again highlight the gradient from the viewer down to the city. Here the fixed point of the horizon is set a little in front of the city area. This should enhance the effect. Here is my failed attempt again. I reworked it a bit digitally by duplicating the super small houses in the right area for testing purposes.


Tomorrow we’ll start drawing with pencil.

Today on November 16th, 2023 I transferred the most striking objects onto the paper. So that you can see anything at all, I removed the brightness from the photo using Photoshop. In addition to the “Diamond Head” crater, some well-placed high-rise buildings are intended to increase recognition value. I measured the distances with the proportional compass. I hope it works. The next step is to paint the sky and then the Diamond Head.

Today on November 17th, 2023 the sky and the Diamond Head were painted. The sky has become a bit granular (gritty). This is currently trendy, but it’s not my cup of tea. Anyway, now everything is finished being painted. Tomorrow we’ll head to Honolulu City. When the leaves are painted at the end, the right part of the picture in particular is covered. I thought of something special for the finished picture.

So far I have used failed images as scratch paper. But now I have the opportunity to paint over it completely opaquely with an airbrush and acrylic paint.


Today on November 18th, 2023 there is a small interim report. I’ll continue painting this evening. Here in the enlarged image section you can already see where the journey is going. I have already started some areas and added drop shadows. I’m going to do some washouts here and there because I think the front high-rise buildings are already too dark.

This is the most difficult part of the picture, although much of it will be covered by the leaves afterwards. I was thinking about painting the houses “freehand” or with a stroke. Freehand seems a little looser. Let’s see if I can’t correct this later. So, let’s move on…


Here is the current status. The houses are being reworked even more precisely. A few houses are still missing and the shadows. House pixels are also missing to the left of Diamond Head. I have also already mentioned the green area. The image looks quite harsh due to photography in poor light. It continues tomorrow. Oh yes, we had exactly that kind of sky this morning…

Today on November 20th, 2023 the sky and the outer edge were already covered with leaves. Now I see where something needs to be added in the city area and beyond. The steep slope that I have to stage from the bottom edge is also important. This will follow tomorrow in the next step.

Today on November 22nd, 2023 I completed the picture. I pulled the ripcord before the picture became too painted due to the
many details. Tomorrow morning I will take a daylight photo of the framed picture and upload it here.

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