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Craig Pirrall
356 followers -
.Net Developer and Watercolorist
.Net Developer and Watercolorist

356 followers
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Tomonoura is a great little port town in Hiroshima prefecture, but outside of the city proper. This seaside port, fishing harbor, and town is where Hayao Miyazaki based the location of Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea ( 崖の上のポニョ). He was inspired by the location after taking a vacation there, and even designed one of the cafes in the town.

It’s a wonderfully quaint little Japanese town and perfect for sketching. I guess I wasn’t the only one who thought so. A large number of school children were there with their sketchbooks as well.
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Watercolor Paintings and Sketches
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Ikoma Mountain House
Watercolor on Fabriano Artistico
34 x 51 cm

This home is near the summit of Ikoma Mountain and sits high above the road along one side of the ancient Kuragari Pass. It overlooks the scenic terraced rice fields, but what fascinated me more than the beauty of the location was the way the building seemed to be almost pieced together of rusted patchwork corrugated steel panels, mud walls, and stone. Perhaps at one time it was a majestic home rising above all that surrounds it and has since fallen into disarray, or maybe it was always like it is now. Either way, its haphazard construction is what made it such an intriguing subject.

Ikoma Mountain separates Nara and Osaka and is networked with ancient footpaths, statues, temples/shrines, and tombs. I’m not certain how old the Kuragari Mountain Pass is, but one of the statues I saw is dated at 1270, which is about as old as the Fabriano paper company, on which this scene is painted. The cobblestone streets wind along the steep incline on the Nara side, over the summit with the Suehiro tea house just on the border between Osaka and Nara, and down the even steeper road on the Osaka side. It’s not an easy walk, but it is rewarding for the amazing sights and history. Along the way there are many cafes and small restaurants to rest. 

#watercolor #Nara #Japan
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Boats on the Canal
Kurashiki, Japan 
Watercolor on Fabriano Artistico 140 lb.
56 x 76 cm
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Boats on the Canal
Kurashiki, Japan 
Watercolor on Fabriano Artistico 140 lb.
56 x 76 cm
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This is the first in a series I'm planning on doing. A beautiful model in a beautiful dress.

Black Dress #1
56 x 76 cm
Watercolor on Fabriano Artistico

#watercolor   #dress   #art   #figure  
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I’m not big on painting flowers. It’s just not a subject that generally motivates me on a personal level. I have great respect for artists who can capture the delicate intricacies and light atmosphere of flowers, but I’d rather paint people, or the sea, or scenes from town. Still, once in a while someone gives us a bouquet for a special occasion, and I like to give it a go. These huge Casablanca lilies were given to us after a piano concert. They remind me of something out of the movie Day of the Triffids, or that original Star Trek episode (This Side of Paradise) with the flowers that spray spores on people and control their minds. Anyway, it was a fun exercise, if not entirely successful, and only enhances my respect for the people who can do it well.
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Lancaster Farm, Pennsylvania.
Watercolor - 52x72 cm

The last time I was home I took the family to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire at the Mount Hope Winery. Saw this gorgeous farm under an incredible sky while driving through Lancaster. Having lived in Japan for some time now, it's amazing to come home and see how big the sky is. I can't explain why it seems that way, but the sky in America is vast.
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Wishing a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and a joyous holiday season to all of my friends around the world. I hope the new year will bring you much happiness, peace, and love.
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Hi folks! On my blog is the 6th installment of my watercolor lessons. It deals with making an inexpensive easel that can swivel and tilt in almost any direction without making adjustments. Enjoy!

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Hi everyone. Here is the fifth entry in my watercolor lessons for beginners series. This one talks about my setup and supplies when painting on location.
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