Tuesday, February 27, 2018


Added some dark colors over the Shadow Violet underpainting, trying to make it still read as "black" but without using black.  Next the background will need some darks here and there.  You cannot change one thing in a painting without changing something else :)  

Friday, February 23, 2018


I started this one using a few greens in the background and Shadow Violet in the crow.  I will add color or darkness to it next.  

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


Using a postcard, gouache and colored pencil, I made this little bluejay flying - it's going to be flying to a friend soon.

I started another (I'm now using postcards I've collected and never sent).  One tip:  When putting on colored pencil over gouache, make sure the gouache is dry.  I didn't do that and the colored pencil just lifted the gouache and some of the postcard off :(  Oh, well, start over.

I think it's time to put a little bee on a postcard, don't you?

Saturday, February 17, 2018


No caws for alarm.
Just another crow.

Thursday, February 15, 2018


I reworked the crow by just adding some pigment and water and letting the water move the pigment out...a sense of movement?  

Still working on The Year of the Bird so you'll be seeing many more crows this year...along with every other kind of feathered friend.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Painted, using gouache, on the 3rd vintage postcard sent to me for the Val Webb online class.  After the computer crash, I was wary about going on with the online videos so am just using the postcards and what I learned in the class so far.  This little ladybug seemed like a good thing to add to the postcard :)  All using gouache only to paint her there.

No hearts and flowers for Valentine's Day but she's red :)

Do you have any old postcards lying around - or ones you've collected but not used or sent?  Just "age" them with watercolor or tea or coffee staining - and paint something...and then mail them off to a friend!

Sunday, February 11, 2018


Had enough ice cover everything the other day/night and cold enough for it to stay on most things for a couple of days.  It is very pretty in the sunlight.  Not so nice when you have to scrape it off your car windows and you're stuck in the driveway because ice has melted and refrozen under your tires :(

Friday, February 9, 2018


OK, my laptop died - now my Keurig coffee maker (after just receiving a new box of K-cups).  What next?

Time to fly away.  Perhaps a cabin in the woods.  Or a cottage on the beach.  Or...

Another crow, using only Lunar Black by Daniel Smith.  A great pigment.

Found this beautiful male cardinal on the ground the other day :(  
We still have 3 males and 3 or 4 females coming to the feeders.  I wonder, if they were all mated up, what happens to the lone female?

Wednesday, February 7, 2018


When I was on Anna Maria Island last month, I saw a notice for a member's show at the Manatee Art Center in Bradenton.  I didn't go, but liked the image that won first place (and I had seen it in real life in December during a gallery tour in Holmes Beach on the island).  I am 99% sure that the artist took her photo into PhotoShop (or a similar photo program), unsaturated the photo and then used the Posterize tool in the program to get the shapes she painted in after transferring the photo to her watercolor paper.  

I thought I'd try it on one of my Savannah, GA photos of an old building.  It was a bit tedious, since I didn't enlarge the photo much (just an 8 x 11 inch size paper). 

Now, some people will tell you they don't posterize their work to get this look - but they do.  And I learned this technique years ago in a Nick Simmons workshop as one way to "manipulate" your original photo using the PhotoShop tools, and make it more interesting.  Nick spent a day on how to use PhotoShop in this way.  

So this is not new.  It's just that some artists are now saying they've discovered this new technique.  It's interesting that this technique seems to be a big thing right now in some of the juried art shows, so look for some of the posterized and painted watercolors - I bet you see some.  

Monday, February 5, 2018


Using a photo from Val Webb's online reference photos, I chose one I didn't have - a puffin.  On one of her postcards...I have one more left of the small postcards she sent and will probably put a crow on it!  We'll see.

All of the postcards are painted using gouache first and colored pencil on top of that layer.  A fun technique, but I still love my watercolor the best.

Saturday, February 3, 2018


Well, my sister spent hours and hours and frustrating hours working on my laptop.  She did get my photos and documents off it onto a clean external hard drive, but I think it's dead.  Last resort is to call McAfee and ask them to remote look at it and help me - but I think it's a goner :(  Oh, well.  It was purchased in May 2010 so I guess it was time to start looking for a new one.  

And I want to thank my sister for all her technical help and the hours she put in, and apologize for the stress of it all.  I don't know how she can do this kind of stuff for a living!  

I'll use Sweetie's desktop (sporadically) with posts until I get something new.  But that means learning his photo program to resize and crop photos (which I have to learn slowly and it's a tedious process.  It works, it just takes 5 extra steps so...).  Learning curves....grrrrrr!

But here is a photo I took of my new Prismacolor pencils and the 2 butterfly postcards I made, using the Val Webb info she shared online before I crashed.  I won't be going back to her videos (just in case) to watch the bird ones so...I can take what I learned in the 3 buttefly videos I saw and try them out with the birds - or maybe even little cute ladybugs or something?

I won't be getting a new computer until I do some research so bear with me for another week (hopefully, not more than that).

While I've been gone, I've had another birthday (those things just keep cropping up!), my computer got deadly gremlins, my mother got pneumonia, and it's been a strange few days of warm & sunny and then cold & snowy and back down to 0F weather - and it seems like weeks since I've posted anything or given the blogs more than a glance (sorry).