Using the Grid Method to transfer Drawings to Watercolor paper

a boy reading a book on a couch near a single lamp in a cozy room with a cat

The Art of Winding Down

This watercolor painting started as a surreptitious iphone snapshot on a winter evening almost ten years ago. Reading (or painting) after dinner to close-out a long day is one of my favorite ways to wind down, and I’ve always enjoyed decompressing with family. Everyone in the same room, immersed in their own adventure through written words on a page, but still connected within the same four walls of our cozy rooms. Do you hang out with your family while reading or painting too?

After printing copy of the reference photo, and pre-drawing the image on watercolor paper usingthe grid method – I stole a couple of moments on the couch after dinner to lay in the first washes of color

A few more washes added two nights later. If there’s no time to paint, train yourself to make progress in small chunks of time – twenty minutes here, 30 minutes there, etc.

Using a printed and folded reference photo as part of the grid system to transfer drawings

From the video I just posted explaining how I use a grid system to place shapes on my watercolor paper with a printed and folded reference photo. I’ll send you a link to it if you’d like.

Inspiration Station

  • As artists, do you sometimes wonder about the visual legacy you’ll leave behind? Beyond the actual artwork , what kind of impressions will your affinity for creative projects leave for your family and friends? This beautiful tribute by Leon Fitzpatrick for his industrial designer father articulates the subtle lessons a son – the youngest of eight – absorbed through a father’s modeled behavior while living a life full of creating.
  • Can you imagine renting out your home on Airbnb, and returning after an artist stayed in your space who also took the time to mural your walls and front door?
  • I found painter, writer and photographer George Pratt while looking at inspiring watercolors on Instagram. If you haven’t seen his work, feast your eyes on his loose and painterly approach to figurative watercolor paintings on his web site here.

Watercolor came somewhat naturally to me because I just didn’t know any better. It’s supposed to be the most difficult medium, but I thought if I learned watercolor I’d be able to oil paint. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. So watercolor has always been fun for me. I enjoy the way it slops about and I try not to control it too much. ~George Pratt

  • Do you have an estate plan that includes directives for all of your art? We may not be in the same penthouse as the Big Players of the art world, but it’s still something to consider if you have wishes for your art, and you want to spare your family from having to guess (and potentially disagree) about what to do with your life’s work.
Using House Paint Chips to pre-select watercolors to use on a grid drawing

Pre-selecting the color palette of a watercolor painting with paint chips

In Praise of Etsy

Last week, I had a sale in my Etsy shop to celebrate their thirteenth anniversary.  Etsy is much bigger than it was when I first joined, but it’s still a great option for selling original watercolor paintings and printmaking online, as long as you’re active at marketing and sharing your work through other venues (blogging, social media, SEO etc.) The sale went well, and Etsy sent me a notification with confetti and lots of exclamation points to say You Reached 400 Sales! SO, if you have ever purchased something from my Etsy shop, I thank you, from a confetti strewn floor, for your support and encouragement. You are the sunshine on my creative garden, and I so appreciate the Rah-Rah-Rah’s to keep my art supplies moving. XO

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you in the next post!


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P.P.S. Sign up to be notified when my Grid Method for Watercolor class goes live here.

how to title your art

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Art Quote

If a man knows not to which port he sails, no wind is favorable.
~ Seneca  (ca. 4 BC – 65 AD)

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Using the Grid Method to transfer photos to watercolor paper
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Using the Grid Method to transfer photos to watercolor paper
A watercolor painting of a boy reading on a couch, and some work in progress shots of the grid method used to transfer the image to watercolor paper.
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Belinda Del Pesco
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