Big Yellow Fish


5″ x 7″ casein and graphite

This is similar in a way to the hummingbird, and I think that I like the casein layering for this. I like the movement of the fins and the composition here. This is just the underpainting, but I think that I will enjoy working on this one. I love this fish! He was in the aquarium at the vets office when we took our Big dog for surgery in May. They told us that he was something like 20 years old! The fish was very interested in people and seemed to come right up to you when you approached the tank. I did get several really nice photos of him.

White Iris


6 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ Watercolor, colored pencil and graphite

I like the composition of this piece…white objects are hard to deal with! I think that I probably left a little too much of the paper in sections, as there is very little in the image that is really that stark. I have another “white” flower in progress… the one with the bee, I may have to abandon this and move on to more color for a little while. I am having trouble with the casein, really need to keep it blocked out more and experiment with laying color blocks and see how drawing over that works out. Right now I have 3 other pieces going and I need to commit to one of them!

Works in progress

I am finding that I do best working on several pieces at a time. I like the casein, but it is a challenge to work with. I need to go more slowly I think, keeping it in the background only. It’s easy to get carried away with paint! I had no idea that would happen.

Almost finished: Iris 5″ x 7″ watercolor, colored pencil and graphite

almost finished

almost finished

This one is casein and colored pencil…I think that I should have done the bee in pencil, but I couldn’t help myself and put the base in with paint. I may have to start it over, we will see.




Final! I am really happy with this little hummingbird. I am going to throw it on the scanner to see if I can get a better representation of it.

finished piece

finished piece

Midway point!

I think that I am about midway here

I think that I am about midway here

Casein, colored pencil and graphite on paper. 3 1/2″ by 4 1/2″


I am trying out casein for this piece. I have been using casein on the stones with encaustic and I would like to try using it on paper. I love the smell of this paint! And, it is opaque but also transparent. It seems to work well not only under pencil but also seems to work well overtop. The ground for this was created using crumpled tissue over paper and then saturated with the casein paint. Once it was mostly dry I took up the tissue paper and the ground is what was left behind. Of course no white of the paper really was preserved, so the white casein was needed to provide the white. This project is slated to be given away to one of my friends.

Ground, white, pencil outline

Ground, white, pencil outline

Spot Fish


Watercolor, colored pencil and graphite: 5″ x 7″

This piece took me a long time! Not so much in terms of the time spent on it, but I kept starting and stopping. I think that I might try it again later. I really liked the composition–this is inspired and pretty close in composition to a photo that I took. I moved some things around. I like the drama of it. I think it could be much stronger with more sky and better clouds. The original photo had a sky that was a beautiful brilliant blue with very light wispy clouds just above the land, but I think a drawing could really embellish the clouds and be stronger. I stuck with this piece because my husband liked it, otherwise I am not sure that I would have finished it. Sometimes it is good to try things that are a little counter intuitive.

This spot fish was hooked right behind his head, the fisherman (my husband I think) did release him and says that he was fine and swam off without any trouble. Sounds like a good fish story anyway.



Watercolor, colored pencil & graphite. 5″ x 7″

Here is the final! I decided to leave the background as is, and I think that I really like it that way. At first I didn’t think that the rougher watercolor paper worked with the drawing, but now that it is done I am pleased with it. I will try and do the next few pieces with a background that is more abstract and see how I like that. I was pretty happy with the way this turned out. Now, I just need to find out what this flower is called! Image inspired by a flower that I took a photo of in one of the botanical gardens in Hawaii–I think on the Big Island…but I am not positive.

I scanned this image directly on a photo scanner rather than taking a photo. I think that the quality is better. I need to experiment with this.



No graphite yet. This photo isn’t as good because my daylight is gone. I was thinking that I would just leave the background as is…but I am not sure.

This one has the graphite shading, trying to decide whether to leave the background as is, or add to it. I think that the paper I chose is not the best for drawing on. Paper is great for the water color, but hard to control with the pencil because of the texture.


Hawaii Flower

photo resource for the drawing

photo resource for the drawing

watercolor base

watercolor base

watercolor and graphite

watercolor and graphite










Watercolor, colored pencil and graphite.
5″ x 7″

I have no idea what this flower is. It reminds me of a Bird of Paradise…but the colors and shapes are different. It’s similar. I am going to post this in stages. I am trying to decide whether lighter is better. As I go, I will re-evaluate to see when I think the piece is finished. I think it will be interesting to see how the piece evolves in stages, and I think that will help me in the works ahead.

Waterlily Pond


Watercolor, colored pencil & graphite: 5 x 7

I am not really super pleased with this. I like the composition and the colors–but I feel like it isn’t finished. I think that I will set it aside and maybe come back at a later date to this composition. I am feeling good about the use of the colored pencil, I appreciate the richness of the layers of the pencils. I think that I need to let some of the watercolor come through more. In the next piece I think I will use more watercolor and just use colored pencil to accentuate areas only. Small amounts of graphite. Light touch.

Hosta Drawing


Watercolor, colored pencil & graphite: 3 1/2″ x 5 1/2″

Okay, I think that I am starting to get a better system down. In this piece I only used graphite at the very end and over the background image to keep the focus on the host flower. Its hard to know what to leave un-touched in the background. I tried to keep it light in areas. I actually really liked the image without the graphite, but it was almost too soft. The graphite adds some strength. I am really enjoying working in this small size format. Because the size is small, I can finish in a reasonable time and then move on to the next project–which helps with improvement I think. This work was suppose to be an about a 1/2″ wider, but early on I tore the paper–not patient enough to wait for the watercolor to dry and while removing the rubber cement the paper came away. So, rather than scrape the whole thing, I just decided to cut it down a bit!