Inspired by Debi II (World Watercolor Month, #5/31)

A few months ago, I saw a photo posted by my friend and inspirational artist Debi Riley here on WordPress and tried to capture it on the page.    Recently, I’ve been going through folders of images I’ve printed out to draw and those I’d like to draw again and came across it……and just like that, I knew what I would paint for today’s watercolor.   Debi’s image called me back!   No surprise there, as she is a rock star artist and photographer, let me just tell you.   🙂    This is 5.5 x 8″ on 300 lb. Arches cold-press:


First, I sketched the flower with a B pencil.   One of the things I promised myself at the beginning of this month of watercolor is that I would try working more often with the largest brush I own, an Escoda Versatil #16 round (synthetic sable brush) that I purchased last year for Shari Blaukopf’s Craftsy class on painting landscapes in watercolor.    I enjoy wet-in-wet watercolor, but it is so unpredictable.  (Kind of a double-edged sword, because this is also why I love it.)

This brush holds so much moisture/pigment that wetting the paper to lay in a background wash is super fast and easy.    I was able to cut in around almost all of the petal shapes, and if I had more patience, probably could have made it work for the whole painting, but subbed in a #6 Isabey sable (the watercolor brush I use most often) here and there for the very small bits.  Once the area was wet with clean water, I let the shininess leave the paper until it came to a dull sheen, and then dropped in my color, making for a fun, relaxing experience, which is what I was after.  I may try working with the larger brush more often, as Debi and other artists do.   Loooooose, looooose, I keep reminding myself… to go into a watercolor thinking loose, especially when I can’t seem to resist those wet in wet washes.   (Note:   As a Blick Art Materials affiliate, purchases from these links will help to support my site.   Enjoy, and thank you!)

It’s back to work for those of us in the States today, and I hope the week is a happy and productive one for all of you.   Peace in the paint, peace with the paint, just peace already.  ❤

51 thoughts on “Inspired by Debi II (World Watercolor Month, #5/31)

  1. That looks like a nice brush, and I like the results. I usually work with both a small and large brush. But the shape of this looks like you could get detailed with it if you wanted (my large brush is flat).
    And of course, as always, great colors. (K)

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  2. Beautiful background colors! That is my FAVORITE brush. You recommended it to me a while back and it is the brush I use most often. You can do both washes and get in kinda small with the point. I might need to get that smaller one you speak of. I need one as good as this but about half the size. I think. Lol.

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    1. I hear ya, Jodi. I do like my Isabey #6 round, but I’m looking for a good #10 round…..thinking about a black velvet silver brush. I believe it’s half squirrel and half synthetic. The Mind of WC and many others recommend it. I tried to get free samples today, but no dice. I will probably buy it and then review it. It’s actually really reasonable. Also thinking about one just like this but smaller, as you said. I have to at least try that silver brush though so that’s my pick for now. I’m glad you really like this brush! It is so much bigger than I’m used to, but you work larger than I do usually also. 💜

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      1. Mmm well I have a selection of sable brushes, I like round kolinsky 10, 12 and 6, eskdale rigger, and round 2. I guess I paint mostly with rounds, then a few specialist brushes for the animals and hair -terry Harrison golden wizard….it is fab for hair, derwent fan, not used much,Royal soft grip rake 730, terry Harrison golden sword, great for whiskers, but I couldn’t find it yesterday for my hare, so did it with rigger, and that is not quite so great for extra fine lines, I prefer the sword. I have many more, especially rounds, I do have many flats, but use those more for back grounds…oh one last love it brush, Windsor and Newton no 10 petit grispur, squirrel hair, it’s like a Chinese brush, very nice……. Other favs for oil, but I work with the similar varieties, and sizes, just stiffer and different specialist blender brushes, love love Mazart, and Bob Ross.

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      1. No, I haven’t. I am going to go and purchase a new brush. My brushes have had many uses and are chipping. It’s always nice to treat yourself to a beautiful new paint brush. 😉

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  3. Beautiful background colors as always! Yeah I do love big brushes I have one smaller brush of Escoda brand and it’s super awesome I might need to get bigger brush of the same brand like you.

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    1. Thanks so much, Sharon. I had thought of leaving it here because I am pretty sure I would mess it up if I tried adding all the petals. Or I could always turn it into a cool abstract and make this the initial layer. I’d enjoy that much more I think lol. I hope you had a nice weekend, been thinking about you. 💜

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    1. This was lots of fun but it wouldn’t be if I tried to do the flower itself lol. Enjoyed the background. Thanks, Jill. I would think this type of thing would be like breathing for you. Right? Seriously, your background would be way better than mine, you really have a gift for color.

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      1. I don’t post everything I do! Some things don’t turn out but I do believe this is how I learn. I painted some watercolors at the lake this weekend that I actually like! I posted them on IG and will post on my blog this week. I’m finding that sketching and shading in pencil first helps me. 😊

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