Secrets of scenery painting revealed
Watercolour is one of the most exciting and enjoyable of all painting
media. It is also a highly expressive and versatile medium. Just as a
short poem can say more than a thousand words, a good watercolour is
capable of capturing all the glories of nature, of light, sun and air
and mist, with just a few brief strokes. It is the unique freshness and
immediacy of watercolour that appeals to the artist and viewer alike. It
is also the most challenging and unpredictable, and when a painting is
unsuccessful it is often difficult to pinpoint exactly where things went
However, "Darshana Chitra" methodically guides all young and adult
interested in painting sceneries, in overcoming these difficulties to
make painting an easy and enjoyable task and to become successful
scenery painters. Nayanajith Premaratne, artist, author and teacher
highlights guidelines that provide simple logical solutions that work.
The book illustrates each problem with a typical beginner's painting
and then demonstrates the pitfalls and solutions that should be applied
as remedy. There are close-up details that reveal the artist's technique
and a wealth of information offering many alternative colour solutions
when doing typical scenery. Colour mixing in watercolour can be both
fascinating and frustrating. Sometimes magical things happen, other
times colours could turn muddy unexpectedly. The book deals with the
practical problems involved and the solutions on how to control it
totally. Once the reader grasps the theory and practices, he or she will
be the master of the medium.
The theories and solutions shown in the book are applicable to
painting in any medium whether it be oil, watercolour, acrylic or
pastel. The book covers a broad spectrum, from simple colour mixing to
overcoming difficulties with composition, size and shapes. Special
emphasis must be made of the 10 formulas that solve design problems and
offers a wide colour coding variety to the artist. These 10 formulas
could be described as absolute lifesavers in the choppy waters of
Thus the main idea of the book is to make scenery painting an
enjoyable task to all who are interested in the subject, and to dispel
the belief that scenery painting is reserved to those who are more
"talented" than others. The book proves that when armed with the proper
knowledge, anybody with enthusiasm and plenty of practice "can do it".
Apart from the practical business of mixing colour the book also
looks at the creative use of colour in adding variety to the palette
with a limited number of colours. The paintings and sketches illustrated
are a welcome bonus. The practical details in colouring and simple use
of brushes will probably earn the book a place on every shelf of a book
seller. Nayanajith's zeal and passion for the task, combined with
experience has provided an entrancing publication.
For ease of reference the author has shown full colour step-by-step
demonstrations on how to paint a wide range of subjects, houses, trees,
different textures and light effects.
Nayanajith has also shown is a unique work of art "Seevalee Maha
Thera" by his grandfather, the famous early 20th century Buddhist
revivalist painter Kala Guru M. Sarlis, and watercolour paintings and
picture story illustrations done by his father Kala Booshana Susil
Premaratne. Hopefully, finding these paintings inspiring one could use
them as starting points for own creative solutions.
The publication also serves as a worthy tribute to three giants of
Sri Lankan art, Kaluguru M. Sarlis, who belong to the old masters, Kala
Soori G. S. Fernando eminent water colourist and Kala Booshana Susil
Premaratne the artist and musician and the author's father. These
masters dedicated their lives to foster art in Sri Lanka and have been
the teachers for me and Nayanajith.
Therefore, it was an honour and a privilege to have been able to
contribute a foreword and thank Nayanajith for allowing me to become a
small part of the publication. Today the only two pupils who remain from
this generation is Nayanajith and myself who are still active at the
The book will serve as a lasting memorial of an artist's effort to
the present and future generations which blazed and truly created waves
in the sluggish back waters of art. The book is available at Vijitha
Yapa Bookshops, Sarasavi Book Shops and Thusitha Book Shop Ratmalana.