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wonder: “The emotion aroused by something awe inspiring, astounding, or marvelous.”                   

The above portrait was done in an evening working primarily wet-on-wet on inexpensive  90 lb cold press paper. This paper does not take readily to layers of  glazes but is fun to work on because it enhances that wet look no matter how you choose to apply the pigment. I like it for short sketches of this nature.


  1. Leslie San,

    the portrait is so wonderful, breathtaking, and beyond description.

    With my best regards,
    Hidenori Hiruta

  2. Ah the ‘joy’ of playing in the dark hours. Hola Leslie. Caught you at otto’s casa.
    Wonder–what an emotion to try to capture. Your granddaughter?
    What eyes she has!!!!

    • You caught me, Eva! 🙂 Yes this is one of my granddaughters. The blue is too blue, but with a sketch, I just go with the flow and move on. No extras in these.

  3. How perfectly you captured the expression. I suspect you could be quite the portrait artist. I love the eyes. Thank you for this.

    • Thank-you, Yousei. This just seemed to fit the Holiday spirit.

  4. Wonderful colors! They seem to be your signature.

    I have a couple of questions, if you don’t mind… What is the size of this portrait? Interesting about the light weight paper. Did it buckle or warp on you from the wet-on-wet approach? How many glazes did you do? I understand it wasn’t many, seeing that the painting was finished in one evening, but am curious as to exact number.

    I apparently work too wet, because my 140lb paper buckles too much on me.

    • Thank-you for the compliment on color, Alex. It took me a long time to learn that images can be painted in any color.
      This portrait is 8″ x 6.25″. No glazes in this. The color behind the figure was done by wetting that area of the paper, first, and then working a light wash of prussian blue all over and then, while still wet, stroking in some quin gold around the face area. The face was painted much like you would draw as this paper will not take layers, so color was scumbled in next to each other and mixed to render the skin and values there. I actually lifted pigment with a thirsty brush (one that is wet but extra water blotted out) on the light areas of the face and the hands. I tape these papers down but yes this paper buckles. It is meant for quick paintings such as this. In fact, you can see where paint pooled in areas around the side of her face, along the brow, behind the eyes and on the neck. I try to look for things like this that the water does and leave them. The water is my partner and it has taken me some time to learn this.

      • Thank you so much for detailed explanation! I now can see some puddles, after you pointed out where to look for them. I have learned a method to flatten the paper after the painting is complete. Good thing since buckled paper annoys me.

  5. OH WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!!!! I absolutely GASPED when I saw this. Amazing, truly amazing!!! Thank You and Cheers and Namaste. 🙂

    • Thank-you Bliss. Sometimes some of the quickest sketches say something a little better.

  6. Leslie, this is an amazing portrait! Her little fingers are adorable!

    I enjoyed reading your answer to Alex. It’s interesting to learn more about wet on wet painting.

    • Thank-you Beth. Check out Alex site. She is learning to draw and paint. Pretty good for a few months at it…..better than I was that early on!

  7. I like your new painting,Leslie 🙂
    I hope that everithing was fixed now 🙂
    I was receive an email from wordpress 😉

    Have a great time!!!

    • YAY! You came through Alina. Hey…I like the theme of your new blog. Glad wordpress could tidy that up for you.

      • Thank you,my friend 🙂
        I’m glad that you like the theme that i was chose it.
        They make a great job,isn’t it? 🙂

        Enjoy your time,Leslie!!!

    • All things nice..
    • Posted December 21, 2009 at 6:43 pm
    • Permalink
    • Reply

    Very beautiful painting, santa has just come to this girl 🙂

    All things nice…

    • Thank-you, Allthings! I suppose he has. We asked her what she told Santa she wanted for Christmas and she said, “shhhh. It’s a secret.”.

  8. Leslie, you are right about Alex. She’s doing beautiful work.

  9. Oh, it’s beautiful!

  10. congratulations leslie another success

    • Thanks Kokot. What would I do without you dropping by? You were one of the first bloggers I met. 🙂

      • then we were both infant bloggers.
        its been a pleasure sharing the journey

  11. This has a very unusual quality of its own Leslie, which I do not see as a quick sketch but rather a finished piece. It gives it a kind of fluid feeling to it.

    • Hi Heather
      This paper helps the wet look of this. Thank-you for saying this looks finished. I didn’t mean to imply that it was not a finished piece. When I call a watercolor a sketch, I mean it went down without layer upon layer and was something I painted quickly to capture the essence of something.

  12. Hi Leslie;

    I stopped by yesterday and saw this and was moved. I didn’t comment as there are times I am rendered speechless.

    It is the expression, the hands and eyes combined with the color.

    I like your flow 🙂

  13. How beautiful, her chubby little hands are gorgeous. You’ve captured the expression so well. A beautiful portrait.

    • Thank-you Paintedbrush. The hands get to me in this also. Oh, how fast they grow up.

  14. You are the master of color, I really love the mix of colors and the free flowing yet purposed lines. Great work, but it always is.

  15. The face captured the emotion nicely, its like she is enjoying watching something. Your wet on wet works perfectly, actually i always have fear when working on wet on wet, just can predict the flow of the colors and fear it might ruin the piece. Well, with fear comes excitement too. Wish you and your family a very Happy Merry Christmas.

    • Thank-you Francis. You are right.The wet-inwet is a little unpredicatable and exciting at the same time. Sometimes I don’t really know what I have until it’s dry. Merry Christmas to you and your family, also, Francis.

  16. My first thought was Oooooh, she just saw her Christmas tree and there’s tons of presents underneath it.

    You have aptly named this wonder. You can see the “wonder” all over this girls face.

    Another beauty.

    • Thank-you Carol. I am sure she will look like this Christmas morning, but she does this when she watches a plane fly overhead, when she looks at the giraffe at the zoo and, recently, looking up at the tall buildings and lights downtown.

  17. What an appropriate painting for the Christmas season (I imagine she’s looking at a massive, beautifully decorated Christmas tree)…

    Merry Christmas, Leslie to you and your family! o<:-)


  18. Certain I’d already commented, must have been dragged away again. When enlarged, it’s fascinating to see your deft, quick brush strokes. This painting of your grand-daughter personifies a child’s delight at all things Christmas – you’ve captured the sparkle in her eyes beautifully.

    • Thank-you, June. This was truly pretty quickly rendered. The nice thing about this paper is that you can lift pigment out, also. Mistakes are fairly easily iradicated. You know that you can skip commenting and my heart won’t be broken, but I love hearing from everyone, anytime. I’d feel pretty lonely posting away and not hearing from friends I’ve met here. 🙂 Oh you who taught me about tags and smileys!

      • Not comment here? I’d rather stick pins in my eyes.

        We can’t NOT comment on your art Leslie 😀

      • My turn to blush. Thank-you, June.

  19. Happy holidays Leslie! When I see your paintings, I feel like I want to paint, paint and paint away….Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience.

    • What you probably don’t realise is that you do the same for me, Raji. I feel incredibly bonded with all of us and all our experiences seem so rich. We are all growing together. Paint on oh partner in watercolor!

  20. That is sooo beautiful… its adorable also!!!

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