Watercolor Painting Sketchbook – Study of African Violets

african violets painted in watercolor

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Watercolor Painting Sketchbook Studies

Watercolor painting sketchbook studies of African violets became my meditation last week. I snapped a photo of a pink African violet in my kitchen – half in sunlight and half in shadow. I thought the image would be a good test of my new etchr labs watercolor sketchbook. (It’s good.)

Playing with a watercolor pencil version of the violets at first….

Minimalist Watercolor Painting Set Up

I folded the violets image (printed on plain paper), and tucked it into the sketchbook to be ready for after-dinner sketch time on the couch. Painting small makes it easier to sit anywhere in the house or yard to make art. I worked on this study in mini sessions through the week, by painting on the couch, at the kitchen counter, and in a chair outside in the sun. You do that too, right?

Make a watercolor of an African violet. You can use this photo if you’d like.

Talk Yourself Into Making Art

Try not to invent obstacles to your art making time. If you think about making art, but the idea gets squished with thoughts like: My house is messy. I have no room to make art. I need better supplies to sketch and paint. My watercolors aren’t the right quality/color/brand. Pay attention to what you’re telling yourself. Try a bit of thought-rearranging, to gift yourself just two hours of painting time. All your other To-Do’s will wait for you. I promise. 🙂

Have you ever painted African Violets in Watercolor? You can use this photo if you’d like.

Watercolor Painting Instructions

Snap a photo of a flower. Print it on an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. Grab a watercolor sketchbook, a pencil, a ruler (if you use the grid method), a brush, a watercolor palette, a cup of water, a paper towel and a chair. Eight items that fit in your hand, and a chair.

That’s all you need to make something. Art is a salve. It’s the compass at our helms, the air in our sails and the keel on our boats. Give yourself permission to dive into the comfort of creativity on a regular basis. Especially in crazy times.

a watercolor sketchbook open with a watercolor painting in process of african violets

Though still very far from being perfect girls, each was slowly learning, in her own way, one of the three lessons all are the better for knowing – that cheerfulness can change misfortune into love and friends; that in ordering one’s self aright one helps others to do the same; and that the power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely.

Louisa May Alcott
gathering flowers in the yard to paint pictures of with watercolors
Gathering painting subjects in the yard.

No African Violets? No Problem…

If you’re in a blooming season outside, grab your phone or a camera and go for a walk. You can read this post about ideas for watercolor paintings, with tips on lighting and angles. Take photos of single flowers, in the sun, with no flash, and close up. If the flowers are yours, snip a bouquet – including some fun leaves – and bring them in for life studies in watercolor.

A sketchbook pad, a watercolor palette, a brush, some water and a pencil. It’s not as complicated as you might be imagining it.

Paint a Watercolor Soon

I hope you paint something soon, my friend. Get yourself sketching, listing ideas, and scribbling compositions in a sketchpad today. Pick up the phone to chat with art friends, and keep yourself connected to the people who encourage the artist in you. We’re going through this together. Remember all those moments when we wished for more time? Try hard not to squander this gift. This craziness also includes pockets of free time. Scoop it up.

african violets painted in watercolor
Watercolor Sketchpad study of pink African violets

Artist Resources

Queen An's Lace with a Green Rose Chafer

Painting Inspiration

Artists all over the internet are doing a fantastic job of using social media during this Great Pause.

Social Media is percolating with musicians, actors, painters and authors, all using their computers and phones to broadcast free content to the world.

It’s quite remarkable – and poignant – to feel the generosity of the creative community out there. These folks are part of our tribe, you know? Be sure to visit and support them! And then make something of your own, and share it too!

Thanks for stopping in. I’ll see you in the next ost –


a tuxedo cat named Scout wishes you would make art more often
Visit BelindaTips.com to get free access to a short video course aimed at getting you and your art supplies back together.

Art Quote

We must do our work for its own sake, not for fortune or attention or applause.

Steven Pressfield
pink linen stone washed artist's studio apron
Stone washed linen artist’s apron. This soft shade of pink is my favorite, and it’s hanging on my studio door right now to cheer me up! (They come in all sorts of colors) Stone washed linen seems like a nice alternative from the usual stiff canvas or denim artist’s studio aprons, don’t you think?
Petite ceramic watercolor rinse cup to beautify an art table

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6 thoughts on “Watercolor Painting Sketchbook – Study of African Violets”

  1. This is one of the best artists’ blog on the internet! I really hate to go, but I have so many emails to tend to, that some days I have no time to paint. So thanks for all you do. I’ll miss you.


  2. I loved this post, Belinda! I can’t remember how I found you, but I’m so glad I did. You are awesome.

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