Thursday, March 31, 2016


During watercolor class Tuesday, I had the students trace out the photo printout I used (from a watercolor book by Elizabeth Groves), and then had them put that aside and we played with learning some new texture techniques.  I showed them how to use salt, sea sponges, plastic wrap, splattering with a toothbrush and other ways to create texture in a background.  That took up the 2 hours.

Next time we meet, they will paint the background using any of the techniques they liked and then they'll paint the flowers.

Here is my version so far.  (Can you tell the two texture techniques I used?)

The photo in the book had yellow crocuses at the bottom, white in the middle and purple at top - but I wanted to change that so I'm going to do purple and white only. 

The book I used for the photo reference is 
Exploring Watercolor 
by Elizabeth Groves.  

Sunday, March 27, 2016


I finally got to the shadows on these berries!  Done :)

This is a half sheet (15 x 22 inches) on Arches 140# cold press paper.

AMI Palm Berries

Friday, March 25, 2016


Here are a few of the cards I made for Easter and Spring - to mail or give to family and friends this year (or next).  

Once I got started, it was fun to cut and paste a lot of the watercolor paintings onto the printmaking cards or paint directly onto the watercolor cards.  

If you think you don't have anything painted for cards, look into your sketchbooks or small art journals and cut out some good things to glue onto a card = easy!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


Remember that old Batman movie where Michael Keaton was Batman and Jack Nicholson was the Joker?  And at one point, the Joker asked, "Where does he get those wonderful toys?" 

Well, I got some wonderful toys last week in the mail.  We had a very belated birthday celebration with the family in March (the birthdays were in January and February but the family is BUSY), and I got 2 more gift cards.  One from Dick Blick and one from Cheap Joes.  So...drooling over the catalogs, I picked out some toys for printmaking.

Watercolor cards, Printmaking Cards, a Speedball Lino Cutter, 2 easy-cut blocks, a heat gun and moldable foam stamps (which is why I wanted the heat gun - you heat the block then press a firm stencil or item into the block which leaves an imprint that can be used again and again OR you can reheat the block and start over with something else).  Also got a couple of small stencils although they seem fairly flimsy - hope they work out.  

I need to do some planning for class so my students can make watercolor monotype prints without a press - we'll see how it works.  

Have you purchased any new art supplies this year?  What did you get?  How are you going to use them?  

Monday, March 21, 2016


I finally got off the sofa and painted a couple of Easter Peeps cards.  

I didn't put popcorn salt on these - just let the granulation of the pigments work - but they don't have as much of a sugared look.

I will probably do a couple more before Easter rolls around...if I am going to mail this out this year.  

These are quick, easy, and fun.  Not sure why I kept procrastinating about doing them.

I have done these in the past, but if you want to see some really creative and fun peeps paintings, go to the blogs of
Chris Beck and Pablo Villacana Lara 
and type in peeps in the upper left search feature of their blogs.  

Saturday, March 19, 2016


On Tuesday during class, we set up some Peeps as models and then drew and painted them on a Strathmore watercolor card.  Both students set their own up and painted them - choosing the same Peeps but in a different order (neither chose the Peeps that were bunnies). 

I didn't get a photo of the finished cards (they both left with cards ready to send to someone), but did get the start-up of each.

This one belongs to Joy.  She made a green-yellow background around the Peeps before painting each of them.

This one belongs to Linda.  She did a pale wash of yellow behind her Peeps before painting them and putting in Happy Easter in red.

I hope the recipients of these cards are glad to get hand painted Easter cards this year :)

Me, I still haven't done my own!  But will - those Peeps are sitting in a plastic bag, waiting for me to set them out and paint them.  I did compose another set-up, using some cut out eggs from an old acrylic painting that failed...

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


It's that time of year again.  Peeps in boxes in all colors at the stores.  Sweetie picked up some for me to use in my watercolor class Tuesday so we could set up our own compositions and paint peeps :)  They are so bright and colorful and fun to paint.

I set up some models and took some photos of my own before the students arrived Tuesday morning and then had them set up their own compositions on white paper, choosing what colors and types (chicks or bunnies) they wanted.

If you want to see previous paintings of peeps I've done in past springs, just type in "peep" in the search bar (top left) of the blog and they should all come up.  

Sunday, March 13, 2016


Slowly building up the colors.  
The reds are
Permanent Alizarin Crimson + Perylene Maroon for the dark cool reds
Pyrrol Red + Hansa Yellow Deep for the lighter warm reds
(all Daniel Smith Colors)

Now just need to get that strong shadow shape in there with some reds and blues and...

Friday, March 11, 2016


Began a new one - half sheet.  Drew it out on tracing paper and then traced that onto Arches 140# cold press paper. 

 Started with the stems...

There'll be lots of reds in this one and I want to go slowly, building up the colors a little at a time.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


Painted the second little piggie and the stone wall.  

Because of the lights around the piggies, they look cut out and pasted on the background - just a little softening around some edges (not every one but those we want pushed back into the background more) will take care of that.  

I wonder if the left piggie is singing and the right piggie is a critic? ha ha

By softening the edges, I had to lay in some more color so darkened the greens to play off the pinks.  

Not Everyone Liked Hermione's Singing

And don't forget it's the month to paint Peeps!!!  I need to find some photos - or buy more and take new photos.  They come in so many colors now.  Remember when there were only 1-2 colors?  I don't eat them but Sweetie does (after melting them a bit in the microwave).  And I've been thinking about pomegranates.  I'm sure they have some at the grocery.

Monday, March 7, 2016


Did you know that Tuesday, March 1 was National Pig Day?  I didn't either.  I was watching the news (checking weather) before class and they said it was NPDay.  They had a cupcake maker making the pigs from Angry Birds.

So I figured if the students didn't bring anything to work on, we could all do little pink piggies.  I drew out the piggies on tracing paper, traced it onto a fourth sheet of Arches 140# cold press paper, and turned the photo and the paper upside down to paint it, doing the background first.  

And I softened some areas of the ginger plant - it looked too cut out and hard edged all around.  I think it works better now.  Sometimes just a little pushing back works to make a watercolor read better when you don't want everything to look pasted on.

Saturday, March 5, 2016


A little tweaking and it will be finished!

I like it but...(there's always a but, isn't there?)...

I think it looks a bit stiff, especially the ginger.

Thursday, March 3, 2016


I wasn't in love with the firecracker peppers although it had lots of energy so...began another, more traditional wet on dry Arches watercolor board, but still a few drips and drizzles to come before I finish it.  

Linda worked on her painting of the peppers and finished it.  Joy worked on her truck, lifting some heavy paint on the truck, and then playing with colors on a scrap piece of paper (sometimes you just need to play!).

And I finished my peppers, giving them a little bit more movement and energy without the drizzles = 
a softer explosion! ha ha

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


More work on this one, bringing it closer to a finish.

Next steps = the greenery and the ginger corm (?) if that is the right word.