Friday, December 19, 2014

Handmade mini watercolor tin

Several weeks ago Jessica Mack of  Brown Paper Bunny

made a short video on making a mini watercolor tin using an empty candy mint tin.  Her instructions were clear and easy to follow.  So I thought I'd make one for my Sennelier watercolors that I started to collect.

I like the idea of  recycling an empty mint tin that is small enough to fit in my pocket for a quick watercolor painting.  I used an empty Brighton mint tin, Fimo bake-able modeling clay, and 8 tubes of Sennelier watercolors.

On the inside lid top, I used a  white Sharpie Pen-marker that is oil base, which allows me to mix my paints and easy to wipe clean when done.  Now I just need 6 more colors to complete my mini set.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sketching Now with Liz Steel lesson 5 Measured setup

In week 5 of Sketching Now, Liz explored measured setups.  Learning how to look at objects, measure the distance, and draw them as accurately as possible.  One setup was an indoor prompt and the other was an outdoor prompt of a doorway.
I'm really learning a lot and a different way of approaching a drawing. 


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sketching Now with Liz Steel Lesson 4 Constructing volumes

Sketching Now Lesson 4 we looked at constructing volumes.  Trying to develop eye and hand coordination.  Needless-to-say, my hand did not want to co-operate.  I think I must of drawn this stack of books at least 20 or more times.  Perspective drawing has never been my strong drawing skill; I tend to struggle with getting the angle correct.  It wasn't until I just looked at the volumes of the books that I finally was able to get a drawing I could live with.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Sketching Now week 3 with Liz Steel

 Week 3 of Sketching Now Foundation Course looking at abstract shapes.

This week we looked at abstract shapes--mapping the light and dark of abstract shapes.

Liz really knows how to break down the process of drawing with step-by-step instructions.  I've learned so much just viewing Liz's instructions and excellent demo videos.  She makes the process of drawing so easy. 


Add caption

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sketching Now week 2

This week's assignment for Sketching now Feeling the edges was to do point to point drawings of items from the kitchen, and a outside partial view of a building.
Indoor prompt


Indoor prompt with color added
Outdoor prompt partial view of building


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sketching Now with Liz Steel

 I'm taking a 12 week online class with

This is just a sampling of my homework for the week.  I really like her approach to sketching and how she breaks things down.  This week was about getting to know the tools in our sketch kit.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Maddie portrait

My Shih Tzu Maddie spends a lot of her day following me through out the house when I am home.  This was a quick sketch of her looking at me while I was busy capturing her face with Faber-Castell watercolor pencils.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Many shades of fall

I just love it when fall comes.  The hills start to turn colors and the weather starts to get cooler. 
I used handmade watercolor paper which really soaked up the watercolor paint.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Jean Haines Workshop in Seattle, WA

I'm excited about the workshop that I'll be going to in April 2015.  I discovered Jean Haines blog a couple years ago.  Then she came out with two books.  I've bought both and also her DVD.  I like her style of painting, but really feel like I need to see her work in person.  So when she announced that she would be in Seattle next year, I immediately signed up. The best part is that the workshop is being held at Daniel Smith store.  So I not only get to paint, but I get to browse and buy to my hearts content.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A day at the beach with flamingos

I think I used all my art supplies painting this picture.  I made the mistake of not leaving enough white that I had to use gesso to shape the birds.  This painting was done on 140lb watercolor paper using Sennelier watercolors, Derwent Intense colored pencils and finished off with Faber-Castell markers.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Colors of fall

I wanted to capture the meadow of trees before they completely changed colors.  I used Derwent Intense colored pencils on toned paper.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Shades of of Green

I just love the colors of the ocean, especially the different shades of green.  I used Sennelier watercolors and a 1/2" dagger brush.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Abstract of a rose bush

This started out as a painting of roses hanging from the vine, but I over worked and turned the painting into an abstract.  Colors are a bit dark.  Probably would of been better to have just tossed, but the painting is a journal that I'm trying to complete.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Eastern blue birds

Here's my take on Eastern blue birds.  The female has the grey/blue feathers with a white belly and the male has a bright orange breast.

Thursday, October 02, 2014


I love daffodils when they are in bloom.  When there not in bloom, I paint them.  I used watercolor pencils to lay in the outline of the flowers and vase.   Using my wet watercolor brush, I moved then color around.  I went back in with watercolor paint to finish the painting.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014


Today is my husband's birthday.  He likes celebrating his birthday with presents, going out to dinner, and cake, but has a real issue with the number going up.  So we celebrate without mentioning how old he really is.  In his mind he's still 30, but I know better. LOL.
For one of his presents I did a painting of his girl Zuzu, who is no longer with us.  When she was alive, this girl traveled with us all over the world.  She always had this look of "what's going on?"
I hope he likes it, but I know he'll really like his new digital Nikon D3300 camera that takes up too 24.2 mega pixel and came with a couple of lens.    I just hope he remembers my birthday with some good presents too! LOL

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Oregon coast

I know it's been  awhile since I last posted, but I have been making art.  I just find it time consuming to scan.  Today I decided to use my mini IPad to take photos so I could upload to my blog.  Sometimes the photos appear in my I cloud on my computer and sometimes they don't.  Obviously whatever bug  my I cloud had, it seems to work today.
I've been working out of a small notebook 7"L by 4.5"W.  When open I have a whole 9" to work across.  With this painting I just used my Princeton Neptune  1/4" dagger to paint with no drawing done before hand.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Birds hanging out on the branch

As long as I'm been painting in watercolors, I've never really thought about sketching with watercolor pencils instead of using a pencil or pen to get a line drawing.  On this drawing I sketched a rough outline of these two birds, then I laid down the various details with watercolor pencils.  I used a wet watercolor brush to blend in the color. To add more depth, I added watercolor paint. 
I used my Stillman & Birn Beta series journal, Caran d'ache watercolor pencils, and finished the drawing off with Daniel Smith watercolors.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Bella as a puppy

I recently bought a Stillman & Birn Beta Series 7 x 7 journal.  I've been reading good stuff about Stillman & Birn, so I wanted to try out the paper in these journals to see how they handled watercolor paint.
The paper is thick with lots of tooth. I can paint on both sides with no bleed through, which is nice.  Overall, I really like the paper in this journal.

Monday, September 01, 2014


For the last several months I've been taking this on going botanical painting class online with Billy Showell.  The month of August lesson was on drawing and painting a Peony.  I loved the step-by-step instruction, but also liked  seeing her actually apply the watercolor and some tricks to achieving the same results. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Afternoon tea...

I like making journals on a specific this case on "Afternoon Tea". 
The size of this journal is 7"L x 4"W and has 4 sheets of handmade watercolor paper, giving me 16 pages to paint anything related to afternoon tea.
One the inside cover I included a color swatch of my current watercolor set...which is a Sennelier  1/2 pan Travel set.   Sennelier watercolors are reformulated with an increased honey content which gives each watercolor incomparable brilliance and luminosity while acting as a preservative to extend the paints longevity, according to Sennelier. 
So far I like the color saturation and the dry time.


Friday, August 29, 2014


Not to long ago I bought one of those Tim Holtz distress marker sprayers.  What's so cool about this sprayer is that you can use any type of marker with it.  Basically the marker tip is positioned at the bottom of the sprayer.  You squeeze the bulb and a fine mist sprays out.
So with my watercolor painting, I picked one of my markers and sprayed a couple of mists around the watercolor paper.  While the mist was still wet, I got a damp watercolor brush and moved the mist around to create an even background for my watercolor.  Once that was dry, I used a extra fine Sharpie to draw out my daffodil. Next I just started adding color until I was happy with the results.  I finished off the painting with some shading marks.
Item image

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A little scrap piece of paper...

Whenever I make my own watercolor journals, I always seem to have a lot of scrap pieces of watercolor paper left over.  So instead of tossing those scraps,I would save them for  small little paintings.  Most pieces of watercolor paper are 3.5" x 5.5".
So this guy was created with one of those pieces.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Experimenting with 1/2" flat brush

Usually when I paint, I work with a #8 round watercolor brush and then add details with a #1 round.  To mix things up, I thought I would experiment with a 1/2" flat watercolor brush.  It was OK, but I do think I have better control with my #8 round watercolor brush.  But that's the whole idea of experimenting?  I know what I'm comfortable with and what works for me.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A zebra

There is nothing that I like doing better than playing with my watercolors.  I've been painting up a storm.   I really like painting on handmade watercolor paper, that I probably should order some more soon.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A view of the ocean

I miss living by the ocean, but the ocean is only 2 hours away.  So that's where I went this the ocean to smell the fresh sea breeze and soak up the sun.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Face of Chloe

It's been several years since my beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has been gone.  Every so often I come across a photo of her, so I thought I'd capture her intense look she'd give when she wanted a cookie.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Orchid study

Working on orchid study.  Going slow as I try to capture each line.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Flower patterns

I've been thoroughly enjoying creating in my sketchbook journal.  Using handmade watercolor paper has really spoiled me and I'm not sure I can paint on anything else.  This painting was working on flower patterns.