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Tag Archives: CitraSolv

Kari Zeplin6

Diane Winningham

Joe Isca4

Bill Lambert5

The above paintings are from our Exploring Watercolor class. These artists learn the basics about watercolor. They learn how to create colorful darks and value differences. They learn how to recognize differences in value and that it is always better to allow the water to help them create. Basic color combinations are discussed and practiced. They learn to use a sponge, masking fluid,  a magic eraser, salt, make a rubber band brush for grasses, and how to soften an edge with their brush. They practice skies and water and trees and buildings. They take watercolor magazines home with them, each week, so they can see all the different ways artists use watercolor. This is the class that starts it all. If .ou would like to see all of their incredible work, click here.

Mary Ann Berron3

Kathy Cron4

Masa Paper Painting

Laura Nellum

Ink and Watercolor Painting

Linda Gerbers3

Joyce Racine4

Rachel Peterson3

Gouache Resist

Jennifer Hope

Tammy Enrietto

Watercolor and Collage

The above paintings were completed in a class titled Watercolor Plus. It is probably the most creative as well as the most demanding watercolor class that I teach. I pretty much teach different techniques for the use of other media in watercolor. The artists select the things they want to try. I am so pleased with the results in this class that you must visit their gallery page by clicking here. These artists worked with masa paper, gesso and watercolor, gouache resist and watercolor, many different forms of waterproof black ink and watercolor, elegant writer, citrasolv collage and watercolor and rice paper and watercolor. High praise for the work you all did!!!!

Nancy Longmate

Sue Joseph6

Janet Heffley4

The above paintings were completed in the Advanced Watercolor Class. This class is designed to be a class where artists, who have completed all the other classes, may come and work together on paintings of their own choice. They must complete at least 3 paintings in the 6 week period. I am available as a mentor as well as them helping each other. They have a sharing time at the end of each class session. If you would like to see all of their work this period click here.

Henn Laidroo


Laura Butchko

Kara Morris3

Jim Wulpi5


Jan Reche

Diana Ringer2

Linda Flatley2

The above paintings are just a few from the spring classes in watercolor this year.

The beginning class learns about their supplies, basic techniques in application such as wet-in-wet, wet on dry and dry brushing. They learn about color combinations and value, texture and techniques to enhance texture. They learn to use masking fluid. We talk about things we need to be concerned with when painting trees, clouds, buildings and little people. If you would like to view more of the Beginning Watercolor  paintings,  there is a temporary gallery set up here.

The Watercolor Plus class worked on six different mixed media approaches with watercolor. They painted on masa paper. They worked with ink and watercolor and chose all sorts of different techniques with ink. One example using ink might be this technique. They used citrasolv collage and watercolor. They used white gouache to glaze a painting. They did a gouache resist.  Everyone painted on a textured gesso surface they created.

If you would like to view a gallery of the  Watercolor Plus class paintings click here.

Thank you to all my students who attend my classes and share their art here!

My Watercolor Plus class has been working away on trying to complete a painting a week; each one using a different medium with watercolor.

The photo reference for the above painting came from one of my students. Thank you to Dawn!

If you enlarge the above painting times three,  you will be able to see

the different rice papers I used for the nest leaves and grasses and the citrasolve collage papers I used for the adult bird’s feathers.  Just another way I enjoy working with watercolor.

For more on citrasolv click here. For more on rice papers and watercolor click here.



Sorry for my long absence. I will slowly be getting back to visiting all of you and hope to post more frequently.

The above two paintings were done by using the gouache resist technique that I have outlined for anyone to try by clicking here. I have always enjoyed this process, even though it is lengthy. I like the rustic block print-like look to them. Some of them, I have liked in the black and white stage and choose to not color them in with watercolor.


Another painting I worked on was one that I combined waterproof black ink and watercolor to create. I initially splattered the surface of the watercolor paper with white acrylic gesso and waterproof black ink ( I use india ink). I then drew out my composition and used two separate techniques to lay in the inking. I drew and scraped in the mane on the foreground black and blue horse with a razor blade. I also drew some of the fine lines on the background horses with the tip of the razor blade. The larger black inked lines were drawn with an eye dropper and spritzed with a fine mist from a spray bottle.


The last painting I completed was a self portrait of me with my new rescue dog. This is painted with watercolor, first. Then I added numerous paper collage. The dog is mostly rice paper and watercolor.  The dark creases in my sweater and the bit of blouse under my chin are citrasolv collage papers.

Again, I apologize for my long absence and will be around to play catch up and see what you all have been working on.


My watercolor and collage class just ended . This is probably the most time consuming, creative and experimental class I teach.

Susie Covitt

Susie Covitt

Laura Lindsay

Laura Lindsay

The above collage paintings were created using watercolor and Citrasolv collage papers that we made from treating National Geographic photos with Citrasolv. If you would like to know how to make these papers, click here.

Midge Wallace5

Midge Wallace5

Next we created abstracts by experimenting with the different textured rice papers we had purchased and layering watercolor and rice papers, one atop the other. We payed attention to elements of design as well as attempting to create a center of interest. The purpose of this assignment was to get used to the use of the papers, pigment and glue.

Jan Reche4

Jan Reche4

Cindy Guzik3

Cindy Guzik3

The next week we began much the same way with layers of pigment and rice papers and searched our compositions for something representational and developed it to portray what we saw. Both of the first exercises were free of any reference material until we saw something begin to appear. If we needed a reference, it was only to be used to help us bring what we saw forward.

Dianna Burt2

Dianna Burt2

Beth Akey6

Beth Akey6

For the final week, we created something realistic with watercolor and rice paper collage.

If you would like to view all the watercolor collage paintings created by this class, click here or scroll to the top of the page and click on the page Student Art: Watercolor and Collage.


The above painting was  created by using colored collage papers that I made by treating National Geographic photos with a solution called Citrasolv. I have a tutorial on how to create one of these here.

I felt the initial painting of these cows looked a bit washed out and wanted to deepen the darks in the cows and connect them a little better; allow them to stand out.

The original painting can be viewed here.


We just finished our last class of the school year 2014-2015 last night. I save this class until the end each year because it is composed of five different ways to use watercolor with other mediums. It is designed to stretch our creativity and give us other options to use when creating our paintings. It is probably the most challenging of the classes because these take an investment of time that some of the other classes don’t require.

Kathleen Smierciak2

Kathleen Smierciak2

The first week we worked on anything ink and watercolor.

Linda Flatley2

Linda Flatley2

Jan Reche2

Jan Reche2

The second week we worked on Gouache Resist.

Mary Smierciak

Mary Smierciak

Sue Joseph4

Sue Joseph4

On the third week we learned how to make gesso juice, apply it to our paper and create texture in it.

Melissa Scare

Melissa Scare

Roxanne Yoquelet

Roxanne Yoquelet

The fourth week was devoted to learning how to treat National Geographic photos with CitraSolv to make beautifully colored collage papers and use them to create watercolor and collage paintings.

Nancy Longmate5

Nancy Longmate5

Ruth Karau3

Ruth Karau3

On the fifth week we worked on creating paintings using wax resist.

On the sixth and last night everyone worked on a technique where they paint into a soaked piece of watercolor paper, developing the painting as it dries. They could even use pastels and work them into the watercolor.

If you would like to view the other paintings created by these students you can click here or scroll to the top of the page and click on the page that says Student Art: Watercolor Plus 2015.

Thank you to all my students who shared their work here! 🙂


I had so much fun creating this image! This bird caught my eye the minute I saw the reference photo on wet canvas. I think it was just listed as a vulture. Thank you to wet canvas for continuing to supply artists with inspiration through your reference library!

When I first drew this bird, I did not include the beard because the background in the reference photo was so dark you could not see it. The other thing I was intrigued by was the full hood and crest of feathers, which were mostly white in the reference photo.  Ha! I began a search for this strange bird and found him and his hood and crest were red or reddish brown! Those in the wild “dust bathe” and the red coloration comes from the soil. I found a good description of him here. The reference photo was probably of a bird kept in captivity. Their hood and crest are generally white.

I began this with a line drawing and painted the entire bird and background before I added CitraSolv collage papers to his wings and hood. Click here if you would like to learn how to create these beautiful collage papers and use them in a watercolor painting.

I just read a really creative post on Carol King’s blog here. She used an Elegant Writer pen to design her composition and then painted into it to cause the ink to run. I took the time to watch the video about the technique and wish I could have tried it with this vulture prior to painting and collaging him. I am definitely going to try the Elegant Writer, watercolor and citrasolv as a mixed media this summer on my break. Thank you, Carol, and all of you bloggers who continue to share what you learn! I first learned of citrasolv from Carol’s blog, also.

century tree

In my recent composition class, I gave an assignment asking the artists to create a tree like no tree they had ever seen before and include a number and a word or words. There were so many interesting paintings that came from this assignment. You can see some of them on the Student Page here.

The above tree is my rendition. It is a combination of watercolor, ink, rice paper collage and collage. The entire background was created, first, last year. I had wanted to do an abstract painting that resembled bark and had torn pieces of fibered rice paper and glued them to the surface using a two parts acrylic matte medium, one part water glue. I then painted the bark-like forms with browns siennas and olive greens. I pulled this bark-like thing out of my stow-aways (unfinished things) and drew a humongous trunk of a tree and reaching branches on it using waterproof ink, which I spritzed with water, before it dried. It caused the ink to spread and follow various fibers and the edges of the torn rice papers, enhancing the bark-like look and feel. I let that dry overnight. I then painted into the tree trunk with darker tones of siennas and greens and browns and let that dry overnight. I found the word “Major” running across the trunk and darkened the rambling letters with ink. You might make it out if you study it carefully. The letters are wiggly and ghost-like starting with an “M” at the base of the trunk on the left and the tails of the “R” end at the figure’s leg on the right. I added the ghost-like figure, next.  May I mention that this became all-consuming as I created and I enjoyed every minute of the time it took to ramble around this tree? There is a huge figure of a woman kneeling, made up of the left side of the trunk and spreading arms of two of the large branches. Her nipples are quite distinct as knotholes on that side. It is as though her head is tossed back and she is rejoicing in the light of day. Enlarge the piece, stand back and look for her. You may see her, too!

I found words in a magazine that I wanted to include in my tree. There are four eyes in this tree and a bird (colored black like a silhouette). Can you find them? I chose blue and gray citra solv papers to cut the leaves from and glued them on. I wanted them to have a shimmering effect. I don’t know that I achieved that, but tried. I so enjoyed working on this and wish every painting I ever created was this much fun. I felt like the imagery was giving back every bit as much as I gave to it as it changed on the surface of the paper. By far, the most enjoyable mixed media I have ever worked on.



Recently, I gave an assignment to my Creative Challenge class that brought up some interesting responses. The assignment was: Paint something “you” think is ugly and make it beautiful. Almost everyone questioned what I meant by ugly. Some responded that they could find beauty in almost anything. Others saw beauty in the ugly before they even began to paint. I thought all these responses were so interesting. One little assignment brought with it such thought!  As it turned out, not a one of their paintings was ugly. They all achieved beauty from something they thought was ugly.

This assignment made me think of something I learned from an instructor a long time ago. She said, “We all spend time creating drawings and paintings of things we love. The real learning and improvement takes place when we try something new. We have to rely on “seeing” the form, feeling the edges and become accustomed to something new.”  That is what happened with me, with the above painting. I chose the snake as my “ugly”. She almost immediately became beautiful when I studied all the intricate patterns and the shapes of her scales. I decided to give her a bit of a grin. The patterns of dark strips of color was there for me to do that. I learned it was not so much her looks that I thought ugly but how she had to constrict her prey and devour it whole. Just another example of how we categorize things, in our minds, without looking deeper.

If you study this carefully, you can see where I added some citra- solv collage.

I do not know what kind of Python this is. I did some searches and think it may be a Burmese Python by the markings. The Indian Rock Python has shapely patterns, also, but they do not seem to have that golden glow in the center of the pattern. Thank you to Wet Canvas for the reference image for this.