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Monthly Archives: July 2009


This is a bend in our St. Joe river, here. I wanted to try this because the scene was a mixture of  greens.  I painted flat washes for the river and the field behind the shoreline. I used a loose pointillism for the foliage and trees.  I painted this on a half sheet of 90 lb Saunders Waterford cold press.

For another example of a GREEN painting visit Beth Parker’s.

herbprofile              herbfrontal

I have had a few questions about figures from bloggers. Here are two poses of the same person on the same night. These were 25 minute poses and I completed them in the time frame, doing no extra work later. They are on 9×12 cheap 90 lb watercolor paper. I always use a light line drawing to get the basic form, never describing anything but some contours I need as a guide.  I work in the reverse of what most watercolor books tell you to do, when I have to record in a limited time frame. I work my darks first and allow them to bleed into my midtones. I leave the lightest values the white of the paper. In the final minutes, I punch anything with color that looks like it might need it. …….and, no, I don’t get ones like these two, frequently. If fifty percent of my work comes out fairly decent I’m elated. The more I do this, however, the more proficient I become at capturing the human form.

potatocreekturtles click image to enlarge

This was the most fun to create! My daughter in law sent me a photo and asked if I might be able to do something with it. At first I could not discern what she sent. In the photo, all the colors blended together like a Bev Doolittle painting. I chuckled when I finally saw the turtles. For this painting I used the same colors throughout the composition to try and give the same effect, but darkened the darks and left the lights a little lighter than the reference photo. I used that new Cartiera Magnani paper because I thought it might brighten everything up.

Isabelle challenged me to do a beach painting a couple weeks back. Does this qualify? There’s no beach but there’s water and sunbathers. It is very Indiana.


Here is a painting I did of my little dog, Tucker. I did create this fully from life. Oh my what a task. I just wanted to see if I could do it. It took two evenings, of course, because he kept moving. The first night I followed him around and gestured all the different poses in. Did you know that dogs assume the same positions over and over again and that all I needed to do was be patient and he’d sit or lay down the same way again?  So, the next night, I just had to wait for him and keep misting my paints until I could quickly describe his form.

The other thing I wanted to do was design the white spaces so this would be a vignette like Judi Whitton describes in her book, Loosen up your Watercolours.  A vignette is a piece where you don’t paint  all the white.  The white space that the artist leaves should enhance the piece and be part of the design. The artist is supposed to make sure that several of the edges have paint contacting a portion of them as I have done here. I would like to do more of these. Another artist that does a really good job of fading his paintings into white space is John Lovett. It’s not that easy to do.


I found a new watercolor paper that I love! It’s 140 lb cold press and acid free. It is called Cartiera Magnani. I like to try new papers. This just beat out Lanaquerelle cold press 140 lb for me because of it’s reasonable price. I was amazed with the transparency of it. I would not recommend it for the beginner/beginner who is trying to learn to master technique, but for anyone looking for more transparency and more of a wet look, combined with lifting properties, this is a good choice. I’ve already put in a request to the site where I purchased it for more sizes. This piece is 8 x 20. I found it in the blog roll on Dissengallery Blog 

The  flamingo is from a reference photo my daughter took at Busch Gardens this spring. Thank-you Corey!

walkingthedogs2  click enlarges

I wanted to try a street scene. This is going to take time to master. I’ve made a promise to myself to try to have a street scene going while I’m working on other things, too. I had to stop and think about value, color, and line a lot with this.


This is the Chicago Bears Fan little sister on a previous post. This was the first time I’ve ever tried a flat background that wasn’t ink. I decided to use red because of the green dress. This is one of my favorites because it is simple.


I started this painting last Sunday, on site. I was able to get the drawing down as well as the shadows on the building, foliage and some of the reflections  in the large window. I was most interested in the doorway as its’ color and the way the light was hitting it just drew me in. We have had a bit of a dry spell here and it seems to make the light look more severe due to burned-out lawns and dried-out everything.


This is Timber who suffered an unfortunate fate and was one of my daughter’s beloved pets. I painted this picture shortly after he passed. He spent his last year on three legs but got around really well. He is pictured here in a March snow. I tried to portray melting snow under where his heart would be with large washes of prussian blue and permanent rose around the edges and some salt for special effects. Because he left her shortly after this, I painted in the footprints wet-in-wet leading off the left side. I tried for the angle of his head to appear as though he was looking toward my daughter like he always did. It was as though he was there to be her best friend. Sometimes I think it’s so hard to say something that is bigger than life with paint, but it’s always worth a try.


Another thing I like to do is what I call dot art. I play around with laying color next to color and let them run together., but in blotches rather than large puddles. I try to use the colors to define the shapes of the subject. This is an example of that. I so admire Judi Whitton and read her book Loosen Up Your Watercolours. Obviously, I didn’t loosen up much but her descriptions and examples were so inspiring that I came up with something new and refreshing that I could call my own.