January 2018. Montagu, Western Cape, South Africa. We’ve been visiting Monica’s family over Christmas which has been a new experience for me – my first ‘hot’ Christmas. Looking at the weather currently lashing Europe, it was a good move.

While we were here we visited the Montagu Nature Garden and Hugo De Wet, proprietor of the park, who has been working tirelessly on the renovation of this once neglected park land, showed us around. I planned to spend the morning working on a watercolour painting before it got too hot and Hugo helped me find the perfect location.

I’d originally thought of a painting in a landscape format but the spot that caught my eye definitely called for a portrait format with the water leading the eye passed the bridge to the trees and mountains beyond. I sketched the scene then started adding sky and background tones, building up each layer as the previous one dried. That didn’t take long, believe me.

I’ll be adding a step by step tutorial together soon but in the meantime, here’s a video we put together of the mornings’ painting.