The Oatman Post Office

One of my most common mistakes in watercolour painting, is to take on a too complicated or detailed scenery.

I just don’t have the skills to master it yet.

So, for this painting, I decided to make it a bit less complicated.

I wanted a scenery with just one main building, adding some people to the street to make it more interesting.

An old post office from Oatman, Arizona immediately came to mind.

We visited the small village when we did a roadtrip on the West Cost of US in 2014.

The main (and only) street were full of loose donkeys, being set free in the area after the mining industry got closed down long ago.

After that, the donkeys just kept living in the mountains near by, coming down to the village to get a bite or two form the visiting tourists (maybe not the best diet, though…).

Anyway, the post office lay just in the start of the road, with a jolly old man selling souvenirs inside.

It looked like this:

Oatman, Arizona

So I did an initial sketch using a pencil:

The sketch

Then came the wash:

The wash

About an hour of painting later, this became the final result:

The Oatman Post Office

I think the mailbox in front of the post office got a bit too dark, and could have been removed from the painting altogether.

I’m happy with this painting, though.

Especially since I didn’t use any tutorials or other form of help doing it. Just having a go at it all by myself.

It could have been more detailed, sure. But this was all about keeping it simple.

So, on to the next one!

7 thoughts on “The Oatman Post Office

  1. Good going, it’s a nice representation.

    It seems a part of the artist’s skill is picking the details that make the cut on the final painting. In theory we should be able to pick from even the most complex scene but hey. in practice not so easy – even with the squinting trick to reduce the details to shapes and shadows.

    I’ve got a church sketch planned to do within the next couple of weeks. I’ve been inspired by your posts to try and do the washes and layers – which really I should’ve already be doing. Your persistence is encouraging.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Steve! 🙂

      It was just recently that it dawned on me that you don’t actually have to paint every little detail from a scene. You can both add, remove or move things around. That made the whole painting process much more fun and saved me from loads of frustration 🙂

      I’m looking forward to seeing the church sketch, then. I’m honored that I could be of any inspiration to you, and I really recommend trying to work with layers. It’s really fun, and challenging, and gives a whole new experience of the medium 🙂 Based on the stuff you’ve made so far, I think you’ll do great!

      Like

    1. Thank you very much!☺ I really like when someone else like the things I don’t. It just shows that sharing your «worst» pieces or features can be appreciated by others ☺ I really appreciate the feedback ☺

      Like

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