#30x30DirectWatercolor2018… Part One

I just finished a daily painting challenge for the month of June. This was all spearheaded by Marc Taro Holmes and the point was to create a daily watercolor without relying on an initial pen or pencil sketch for guidance.

Whew! Often I felt as if I was walking a tightrope without a net and at times I needed to talk myself through the fear just to start! I’d sit there with a loaded brush hesitant to touch the page.

But begin I did. These would never be considered among my finest work but I knew I’d never get to my goal without practice. I’m going to show you my month’s work in chronological order.

June 1st – Sktchy portrait

Poppies from my side garden, painted in plein air.

Our black kitty and her favorite spot.

Both of our cats as models.

As I wrote above… I was really missing having my pen lines to guide me. I think this marks the end of my whining and the start of me getting my brain thinking of seeing volumes instead of lines.

I’ll post the next batch on Monday… hope to see you then!

#30x30DirectWatercolor2018

It’s All About the Process

Today I’m sharing the process of my latest gouache spread. For once I took a few photos as I went along but I only wish I had remembered a bit earlier as I started to blend the body color of the birds.

Oh well… next time.

I started by creating a basic line drawing over a pre-painted matte acrylic background.


Even though I intended to cover my lines with opaque passages of gouache just having them there helped me feel more confident as the painting progressed.


Then there comes a time when you think you’re done but when you step back you realize you’re still not there.


What’s missing? ¬†Now it’s time to critique. In this case I had plenty of medium and dark values but almost no lights. Daley-Rowney Pro White was the perfect addition.

And then there’s color theory. Violet and Orange are both secondary colors… two of the colors in the secondary triad. The other color in the triad? ¬†Green. Eureka! I need leaves and an odd grouping of them across the spread.

A little Payne’s Gray for feather definition and I consider it done.