Wednesday, April 23, 2014


(16x20 sheet)
To take a break from finishing the painting on the left, filled the other half of the page with the same subject, but without drawing it first.

Katherine asked me which I prefer, which is an interesting question.
I like the freshness and simplicity of the one on the right, but suspect I'd prefer the one on the left if it had a little more of those qualities. The best of both worlds is what I'm looking for!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

easter lily

I bought an Easter lily yesterday, as I do each year; I love their trumpet-shaped flowers and the way the leaves spiral out around the stem.
Painted this this morning on hot press paper, putting down the colors and then (for the most part; the flower's an exception) not going back in, as hot press seems to be very unforgiving.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


A quick one ...

And one I'm working on, a bit here and there.

Friday, April 18, 2014


My first attempt at trying Carol Carter's method since I got home. I think I got somewhat too messy; I think because, painting at home, I sometimes (often?) rush too much and am not careful. When I go somewhere else to paint, like the art center or to a friend's house, I seem to be able to take my time better. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Masked with tape and miskit
Graded wash

The "glow": painted around the shapes while background is still damp
Start painting shapes ...
Drew and began another one; this one only masking the stamens; I'm going to paint the background in sections.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


 Have to get in a few forsythia paintings while I have the chance ... And with last night's snow the window of opportunity may be closing.

And this is a homework assignment I did for class ... and then missed the class to turn it in, so I'm posting here to get my credit. As in HS, I rarely do my homework, but this was kind of interesting. Sometimes I'd like to get away from "naturalistic" or expected colors, but I don't know where to go ... For this assignment (which was supposed to be about values), I painted the same simplified scene using four different tetrads (basically two sets of complements; the colors used are noted in abbreviated form to the left of the sketches), just working my way around the color wheel. So to find "unexpected" colors, spin the wheel.

Coming soon: Today I also started a painting--emulating Rhonda's excellent example!--trying to use the things I learned in the Carol Carter workshop before I forget.

Monday, April 14, 2014

from the workshop

This painting of datura--from a drawing of Carol's--was my best one of the weekend; others in the workshop may have felt the same way as all of the paintings were lovely, bold and bright.
Carol had us mask the flowers with tape and misket to apply a background wash (it was supposed to be a graded wash, oops); then she demonstrated, working back to front, wetting one blossom, painting it and waiting for it to dry before going to the next one.
The main thing she did, that I have to get in the habit of doing, was checking her values with a red screen, which she did numerous times throughout the painting.

I try not to whine about my paper, but this sheet really drove me nuts: too absorbent ... so I kept adding water. Which didn't help. The idea here was to have each pear a predominant color--red, blue, or yellow--but then to add the other two primaries to achieve the greatest range of colors possible within each pear. Not so easy; or, not so easy to not overwork.

Also from a drawing of Carol's, this was fun to work on this, adding bits of color to the bicycle and watching them mix. The shadow was a chance to get away from the usual color choices.
In the background Carol used a Daniel Smith color, Shadow Violet, which when you put it on, is a kind of dull gray but which then separates and granulates into greens, blues, and pinks. Carol uses it beautifully; I need more practice! But it might be fun to experiment with.

Fully recovered now and back to running full tilt. I'm looking forward to getting around to your blogs and seeing what you've been doing.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

cincinnati waterworks

Cincinnati Waterworks

Bridge from Newport, KY, to Cincinnati

In a bar ...

Finally getting around to a post or two on the Carol Carter workshop I attended in Cincinnati last weekend ... The last day, Sunday, I woke up with some bug that settled in my chest and sinuses; today's the first day I've been able to breathe through my nose.
First, thanks to Rhonda, who arranged the workshop and who picked me up at the airport and generally took care of me and made sure I was comfortable. Rhonda's also given a very thorough description of the workshop on her blog, well worth a read.
And to the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society, a very congenial, aspirational, and hardworking group of painters, including Deb Ward. I wish I had such a group to paint with!
And Carol Carter: if you ever have the chance, take a workshop with her. It was great to see her paintings in person, for one, and her lessons were great too. Often, in workshops, I think it's difficult to try to to do what the teacher wants you try without becoming frustrated; but everyone in Carol's workshop went along with her method, and far from being frustrated, I think many were even pleased with the results.