Okoboji Queen Sunset

If you visit the Iowa Great Lakes region you need to experience a sunset at Spirit Lake.  The view is particularly nice at Arnolds Park in Okoboji and that is where the Queen II docks for the evening.

I really can’t tire taking in all the beautiful colors of a sunset.  They are particularly stunning, and hard to give justice when painting.  Yellows, oranges and pinks glow against the water, land and everything else that the last rays of sun touch before it disappears until the next day.


The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;

where morning dawns, where evening fades,

you call forth songs of joy. 

Psalm 65:8

A special thank you to Chelsie Stettnichs for allowing me to paint this from her photo!

The original for this painting is available along with a limited number of signed prints.  You can find them here:  DSJonesStudio Etsy Shop


Let Go and Have Fun at Arnolds Park, Iowa

For a change of pace, painted a quick, loose, watercolor of Arnolds Park in Okoboji, Iowa.

Usually I start with a sketch on the paper, but this time I just begun by laying down water and dropping on layers of paint.

The fun and often and scary thing about watercolor is not exactly knowing what the paint will do at times.  Sometimes you have to just let. go.  After adding some shadows, I decided to go back and add a layer of cadmium orange to the trees and shoreline.  I like how it brightened up those areas, so I figured, what the heck, let’s see what it does to the water, and then proceeded to lay down a layer over that.  It added a depth to it that wasn’t previously there.

Watercolor painting is about learning, having fun and experimenting sometimes.  Couldn’t think of a better thing to do on this subject matter, where having fun, learning and letting go is what you do at Arnolds Park!

Overall image size is 5 1/2″ by 12″