Lighthouse in Watercolor (World Watercolor Month, 24/31)

I found an artist on YouTube whose work I really love; his name is Peter Sheeler.   I couldn’t resist trying one of his lighthouse tutorials (This is 8 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ on Arches 300 lb. cold-press watercolor paper:


He works in pen and wash, which I also enjoy, but haven’t done for awhile, so I thought I’d stick with pencil and see what took place.    I did this one early in July and wasn’t thrilled with it, but since what I turned out yesterday wasn’t thrilling either, thought I’d post this one for something to share.   I hope you enjoy it!   And if you have any interest in line and wash or quick watercolor sketches, Peter’s channel is a great one to follow.

For my fellow art supply addicts, Blick Art Materials extended its Free Shipping on orders of $35 or more through this Monday at midnight Central time.    Remember, they do match all art supply house prices if you put a link to the competitor’s offer in the Delivery Instructions window at checkout.    I need to place an order myself!    World Watercolor Month has really helped me to use up my paints and papers.   🙂   (Note:   Purchases from this link helps to support my site and a fledgling art business.   Thanks so much!)   I hope you enjoy a relaxing, rejuvenating Sunday, and that you find buckets of peace and even a cool sea breeze.   Peace.

Freedom: Welcome to World Watercolor Month, Day One!

Due to the efforts of our talented friend Charlie at Doodlewash, July will now and forever be World Watercolor Month!   Isn’t that the coolest?!   It’s time for artists young and old around the world to splash in paint puddles and have fun!     This is M. Graham watercolor (cobalt teal and Prussian blue) on a 5 x 8″ piece of 300 lb. Arches cold press paper.


One of the reasons I love birds so much is they represent freedom to me.    I’ve always wanted to be a bird…a seagull, actually.    To live at the beach, and to be able to fly wherever you’d like to go, carefree and beautiful.    This is what I’d like to achieve in my watercolors this month.    A tall order, I know.   But I’m gonna try my best.    To NOT try my best.   To be free, splash, make mistakes, learn something new, experiment to my heart’s content……in short, breathe.  And be free.

Speaking of freedom, it is Independence Day weekend here in the States, so I will be celebrating my freedom this weekend in more ways than one!    I hope that you and yours are doing the Friday dance, and most importantly, I hope that you take some time today to do something just for you.    Something that will make your soul sing.     Peace, and enjoy the watercolor artwork this month!

(Note:   Blick is offering free shipping and handling on all orders of at least $35 made through today, Friday, July 1!   As a Blick affiliate, purchases made from links in this post will help to support my site.   Enjoy, and thank you.)

Watercolor and Absorbent Acrylic Products

I thought I’d create a quick painting to show the difference between Golden’s absorbent ground (left side) and Golden’s light molding paste (right side).


The absorbent ground is much thinner and soupier and, therefore, smoother. What I like is that these products not only work with watercolor, they are easy to correct. Watercolor lifts right back to the light molding paste or absorbent ground (in this case, applied to the white canvas panel) very easily. Once the paint has dried, it still lifts easily with a damp paper towel or rag.

Artist and teacher Chris Cozen asserts in her videos on Artist’s Network TV that Golden’s absorbent ground can be used to “correct” watercolor paintings by placing the ground over a section of watercolor paper and painting over it. Has anyone tried this? (I had to try painting on the absorbent ground once I heard this.) I find them very similar in terms of absorbency and ability to easily lift back to white. The difference I’m seeing is the much more substantial body and moldability of the light molding paste.   I just love love love the look of the underlying texture of both products once the paint is added.    It jazzes the heck outta me.   And this was really easy to do.   Only took a few minutes.    The products are quite absorbent, and I needed several layers of paint to get this depth of color, but not much more than I’d need on high-quality watercolor paper.   (Note: As a Blick affiliate, I may receive a portion of your purchases generated from these links.)

I hope we are all dancing through this lovely June week! Hoping for more LARGE (well, 8×10″ is still large to me) acrylic paintings soonish! Really enjoying them. And tomorrow will be the June installment of Draw A Bird Day, for anyone interested in participating by posting some bird artwork!    *peep peep*   Peace.

Peace: May Madness Day 7

This was a wonderful escape painting to sit down and create at the end of the work week.    It is acrylic (mostly M. Graham, with Golden too) on 4 x 6″ stretched cotton canvas.   Painting every day in May is a challenge, and a fantastic learning experience.    I am enjoying it.    I hope you are too.


I hope this picture carries peace into your spirit today.    And I wish for all of the moms, of both four-legged and two-legged babies, past and present, to have a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend.

May Madness Day 4: To be Continued…

So tonight I grabbed another 5 x 5″ Gessobord by Ampersand, dampened the surface and went for it with some paints, same as the afternoon before.   Nothing doing.   I lost track of the number of times I rinsed off.   Maybe four?


It didn’t rinse fully, and I had been using bright colors and needed something strong to cover, so after the last rinse, I decided to dry off the surface and do a background.   Jill of Jill’s Art Journal posted a beautiful painting yesterday, which she started with some deep, vibrant greens.   I didn’t have the same colors, so I decided to go with M. Graham acrylics in Turquoise and Viridian hue and added Golden Iridescent Stainless Steel fine on a whim. Oh, and Golden Titanium White.   Jill Kuhn and Chris Cozen make it look so easy!     I am still very new to acrylic paints, but this one already declared what it wanted to be.   I think.    I decided to let this layer dry overnight, and then have another go with the same painting tomorrow.

Tune in tomorrow when you’ll hear Miss Piggy say…….(oh, I know I’m dating myself with that one!)   Peace, everyone.

100 Face Challenge: Mallard Duck (#4)

The best thing about blogging on WordPress is that we’re all constantly surrounded with tons of inspiration coming at us from every direction. This post at Bay Photos by Donna recently caught my eye, and I just had to attempt to draw this mallard head.   It was a magnificent close-up head shot!   It was calling….um, quacking my name!!


I like the ink drawing ok, but this is a face that begs for watercolor.   Don’t you agree?   How could any painter resist the beautiful colors in his head? I ran out of time to paint today, but aiming for a more colorful version of this beautiful bird next time out.   Thank you, Donna, once again, for your wonderful and inspirational photos!

Happy Sunday! Do more of what makes you happy. The world will be a better place if you do! Peace.


Materials Used:

Superfine Pitt Artist pen in black

Strathmore Visual Journal – Mixed Media format

Fun with Neocolors, Part 296

….or something like that. It’s always fun when I drag out the Neocolors!


This painting was a fun unwind at the end of a busy day. Gives me that mesmerizing feeling you feel when standing on the shore and watching the waves come in. I hope it gives you a little break in your day, too! Happy Monday……Friday’s comin’! (And Bird Day is Thursday – I hope I remember, lol!) Peace.

Top of the Quilt (and the Morning!) to You

Here is the little art quilt I’ve been working on lately. This one is 9 3/4″ by 11 3/4″. I would love to get your knee-jerk reaction to this. Don’t be shy if you don’t like it, but if you could tell me what it is you don’t like, that’d be most helpful.   Or tell me what you do like, even better, lol!  😀


I have not “faced” it yet (added the trim that will bind it with the backing and batting to make the quilt sandwich), or quilted it together. I’ll be adding whimsical buttons and some handmade beads to the top and doing some fun hand quilting to finish it off. I see it in a funky beach house. How about you?

The next one I’m planning will have warm fall colors, with more subdued fabrics. But I really love the free-form feeling I get from this, both as a viewer and as the creator. I was inspired by Rayna Gillman’s book, “Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts”, which I highly recommend!

Happy Autumn Tuesday to my northern hemisphere friends today!   Peace.

Painted Art Quilt (progress post)

I have finally made some progress on my art quilt. You might remember the unbleached muslin panel I painted from this post. I added some layers of pigment to deepen some of the tones since then, cut it into three pieces (a scary prospect at the time), and I’ve finally assembled the quilt top!   (Click on the image if you’d like to see it more closely.)

0919 no sculpey

It is fairly small right now at 9 1/2″ x 12″, and I’ve added some hand quilting, but I haven’t bound it off yet. Not sure if I should add another border to it?     ***EDIT:   I’ve now removed the sculpture due to early feedback!***  The small white sculpture between the first two panes was made out of Sculpey (polymer clay) and fired, but not yet painted. I’m also thinking of possibly making small seagull beads from Sculpey and adding them to the top.   And might add a funky beaded fringe to the bottom.  Not sure if I’ll stop there or not!   The border fabric is a primarily dark green and blue batik fabric – not black, as it may first appear.   Here is the fabric next to an ivory piece, so that you can see the colors a bit better:

0919 2

I’d love to get your thoughts on this. As always, constructive criticism is helpful and most welcome. I would really like to open an online shop before Christmas and sell this kind of thing. I’ve wanted to do it for years, and just starting to feel the urge to really DO it. If you think it needs something added (or subtracted), please do let me know! Thank you so much!   Happy glorious almost Autumn weekend to all!   Peace.