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This was my recent challenge. I limited myself to two colors to render a value study of a landscape. I used burnt sienna and prussian blue. The most difficult part was deciding what colors to alternate for the beginning light washes. After that, it was like putting a puzzle together and it was actually pretty fun to watch it develop. I will try this exercise again.

This painting has been used by Joshua Sellers to illustrate a Haiku he has posted on his blog Sketches From Life.

Linda Halcomb did a similar exercise here.



  1. Awesome results!

    • Thanks Kim! Now I know you are watching, I’ll have to stay on my toes with this.

  2. Leslie,

    Very Nice! Are you familiar with the watercolors of Sandy Ezell? Her favorite colors are prussian blue and burnt sienna. Uses them for virtually every painting she does. She has a website that she launched late last year. it is:

    When I started painting seriously 2 years ago the first thing I did was take an experimental watercolor class from Sandy because I was familar with her paintings. Her paintings on yupo are really incredible.


    • Thank-you for visiting, Linda! Thank-you, also for the link to Sandy Ezell. No, I didn’t know of her. Her work is beautiful!
      I also like what you are sharing on your blog. I will be following you in your discoveries!

  3. This is very nice Leslie – it reminds me of a marquetry picture made of different pieces of wood! There is also something Japanese about the composition which I find very pleasing! A haiku would go wonderfully with this image. 🙂

    • I agree with you, Lynda. There is a flavor of something Chinese. I know I really enjoyed creating this painting. I don’t remember the name of the dinnerware, but they had farm scenes on the center and my Grandmother had them in blue and I think they also came in red, but this scene reminded me of those scenes I’d seen on her plates.

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  1. […] was reminded of duotones when Leslie sent me a link to her blog. I love this painting. Click here to see it. My next challenge will be to create a photographic equivalent to Leslie’s painting that has […]

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