Opaque watercolor and colored pencil

Opaque watercolor and colored pencil

I have to admit, I love daffodil’s. However, I find them one of the most challenging flowers to draw. From the front, from the back, from the side, it doesn’t matter…they are hard to capture. Easier to paint than to draw I think. I am working on daffodil’s only because a friend mentioned that these were truly her favorite flower. I was happy to give her the tulip drawing, but after hearing her story of why she loves daffodil’s I felt I had to try the daffodil’s. It may be awhile before I feel like I am doing them justice. A good challenge.

Daffodil Shadows: opaque watercolor and colored pencil

Daffodil Shadows: opaque watercolor and colored pencil

Drawing for fun

opaque watercolor and colored pencil

opaque watercolor and colored pencil

This was my for fun sketch today. A warm up for a longer drawing. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this…it’s in my “no fear” sketch book. I really like the white paint marker, but it needs some ventilation! It can’t be healthy. I need to find a white marker that isn’t so toxic smelling.

All these shells came from the outer banks of North Carolina.

The Kitchen

Micron blue pen and opaque watercolor

Micron blue pen and opaque watercolor

So, I ditched the shells on the counter idea. I did a quick sketch with a pineapple on the counter–which I liked, but all the proportions were off. The shells just didn’t look right on the counter, so off they went. In the end, I decided to block in the color first, so I put on a wash of a medium blue for the stove, a yellow for the counter and light green for the wall. This made me feel better. I started in with the stove and worked out from that. The pineapple was next to the toaster, but by the time I got over there, I couldn’t squeeze it in!

I have to admit this was somewhat painful for me. I did a lot of complaining while I was drawing. I looked at the clock a lot! I put in 3 hours, I was happy when I finished with this. It’s good to tackle difficult things, I appreciate the assignment. I loved, loved, loved Tommy Kane’s class. The ideas I will take away are:

  • Go ahead and “steal” from your favorite artists
  • Slow down and spend more time with your work
  • It’s okay and often preferable to make mistakes and keep going (often times no one else will know)
  • Finish what you started

Great way to end this semester. I have to say I am so sad that it’s over though. Looking forward to the next semester starting in January.

The Documented Week

Sunday bulb planting

Sunday bulb planting

The second homework assignment for #sketchbookskool is to document your week. I know that when Wednesday rolls around my life will get pretty busy, so I figured I better jump right in to the documentation. I was able to get three pages done today. The first two pages are pretty crappy…but it is what it is. You have to start somewhere. What I like most about it is the slowing down. You have to slow down for a moment when you draw something. So, I cut my breakfast pear and enjoyed the shapes. Then I ate it. I drank my coffee and then did a sketch of the empty cup. Enjoying the cup and remembering that it used to belong to my grandmother. I took my book with me on my walk, and the Big dog and I stopped mid-way to rest and I did a sketch of the tree. The ink is not waterproof!

I decided to plant my bulbs today. And then I thought, well, I will draw those first! So, I plopped them down on the picnic table and the sun was bright on them casting long beautiful shadows. I won’t see these bulbs again, they are going in the ground. I decided to look up the history of the Hyacinth and the Tulip so I could add some words to the page. I am hopeful that the mole that ate my other bulbs in the spring will not come back next spring and eat these!


I am looking forward to tomorrow morning and my next journal page.




Trying to maintain a loose style. It is so easy to get all worked up and tied tight while drawing and painting. I have done some pages in my sketchbook with just random color…they have been sitting in my book for awhile now. I have decided to try some drawing over top the color, it’s oddly liberating. I will keep trying this for awhile. In some ways the color suggests the drawing and in some ways the drawing leans towards one of the previous done grounds. I like the way that works!

broken shell

broken shell

Happy Daffodil

Happy Daffodil

Spring brings these beautiful daffodils! I love them. They are incredibly cheery! It’s still on the chilly side here in Maine, so it’s great to have a little color to cheer one up. I think that I will do a series of these. This one I have decided to give to a friend, but I will miss it, so on to the next one.

I thought I would be able to open my Art Shed last weekend, but it was still too cold and other chores caught up to me. I am hoping that this weekend will be full of good weather and some extra time. I need to open the shed and make a plan for the summer projects.



Sunflower: 5″ x 5 1/2″ watercolor and colored pencil

Sometimes I don’t have enough time to do finished work. So, at times a sketch will have to do. I think that sketching might help me loosen up anyway. I am going to isolate some resource images to do sketches from. For this, I put down a base layer of watercolor and then added the pencil. I like the looseness of the watercolor underneath, and it acts as a really minimal guide for the drawing. The great thing is I can put the watercolor down and then come back and add the drawing without a lot of time commitment.

More snow shadows

Snow Shadows No. 3


Watercolor and colored pencil: 5 x 4 1/2″

The snow shadows are a good series to work on because they force me to see simple shapes but offer up an opportunity to really add color from my imagination. I love this perspective…it slows me down. I am working on adding movement to the work, the watercolor is a little stiffer. The casein has a fluidity that is so different from the watercolor, and it can be worked into. I think I prefer it. The other thing that is nice about the casein is the white takes on layers of other color so well…and snow is rarely really just white.

in progress: pairs

in progress: pairs

This one is in progress…I think I will do several of this composition and try to keep improving on the work.

Big Island Oleander


Watercolor, colored pencil & graphite: 4″ x 3″

This flower was on a very large hedge shrub in the backyard of our house in Puako. I finally got a book on the Hawaiian flowers so I could start identifying everything! This is Oleander. The flower is quite beautiful and really different…it was sitting pretty high up on the shrub. I am starting to get a feel for how much watercolor to leave and how much pencil to work in, I was pretty happy with the combination here.

Gecko from Puako


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

I have been painting on the Big Island of Hawaii. A great place for inspiration. I am going to do a series of the Gecko’s, they are so awesome! Such wonderful personalities and so colorful. Great painting subjects. Here is my first one.