Rosy Oleanders

Rosy oleander study

I have continued to work on oleanders in various ways. In this study I was playing with colors, whether to include red in the  blossom and greens and grays in background. It helped me decide on colors: quin rose, ultramarine blue and hansa med yellow, along with pyroll orange. 

Oleander sketch

I added black micromarker lines around major forms to make transferring to watercolor paper easier using my lightbox. 

Here are the first stages of the next painting. The first layer was done wet in wet with front and back of paper wet first with clear water. The next two stages were done with wet paint on dry paper. 

My next step is to sketch foliage forms into paper and then paint the background including dark points, so that I can see how many layers are needed on the blooms, if any. 

What do you think? I would love to hear from you! 


Spurge redone

I’m working behind the scenes on several pieces for upcoming shows, including a watercolor collage of spurge blossoms which I find fascinating.  They bloom in January and February, a yellow green cluster of tiny blossoms and I’ve run across them intermingled with prickly pear pads and I love the feel of English gardens with blossoms all intertwined but here in a desert setting.  so here’s one of the clusters from the collage and more photos will appear in coming days…   I’ve painted the scene before and my collage comes from several less than succcesful attempts to paint it differently.  I’ve blogged about this earlier.

“Spurge Among the Prickly Pear” is on display at the Cottonwood Gallery of the Southwest Environmental Center’s Nature show which runs through the end of August.  The gallery is at 275 W Main Street, Las Cruces, and is open M-F 9 am – 6 pm.

spurge among the prickly pears

“Spurge Among the Prickly Pear” on display at SWEC until August 31.

Lantana again

lantana sprig day3

Lantana sprig Day 3 of World Watercolor Month

I had forgotten how challenging it is to paint and post daily! I feel as other people may feel getting back into the gym…hesitant, tight, annoyed, frustrated …  ah well, at least the painting day is done!


New beginnings

daisy in yellows and greens

demo for early teaching watercolor lessons

I’ve been out of the blogging routine with a lot of new beginnings going on in real life, including expanding the flower garden, my husband putting in a new patio and an above ground hot tub, kids getting out of school and doing camps, my one daughter getting glasses, the list goes on and on!  It’s been hard to find the time to paint consistently with the summer “non”-schedule, but I’ve geared up for a new beginning with the first of July.  I’m going to be participating in World Watercolor Month begun last year by Charlie Shields at Doodlewash, so it’s 31 paintings in 31 days of July for me to share.  Starting today.  Whew!

I’ve also started teaching my first student!  a 12 yr old going into 7th grade.  We meet weekly for the summer, and it’s a good way to get back to basics and to reinforce skills (for me!) and for her.  They say that we learn from teaching, and from our students, and I’ve found that to be true and I’ve been really enjoying the classes!

Here’s my demo from the first lessons. My student loves what she calls the “tie dye” effect of watercolor, when wet pigments merge with other wet pigments.  She was so cute the other day when she had several really great wet in wet blends of pigment on three petals of the flower, the rest was white paper, and she said, “let’s stop now and frame it!”

I could relate to that sentiment because I fall in love with some parts as they happen, but then other parts don’t turn out to my satisfaction, and it can get discouraging. She’s found that out already, although she’s catching on quickly.  I reminded her and myself that we are “painting for the bin”.  It’s all practice and experiences, including new beginnings,  that help us grow.

If you are a painting teacher, do you have any words of wisdom or nuggets to share with me?  I’d love to hear them.  I hope you come along with me on this month’s journey into the World of Watercolor.