Watercolors

How Unremarkable White Tiles in a Kitchen Spawned a Watercolor Painting Series A couple of decades ago, I walked into the kitchen of a house we had just purchased. I turned to my husband and said: “These white tiles will have to go.” I imagined toothbrush-scrubbing strawberry juice and red wine from the white grout. …

Watercolor Still Life Paintings from the Kitchen Read More »

Watercolor Painting of Cacti I went scouting for painting references at the Los Angeles Arboretum awhile ago. Local outdoor gardens are a good place to bring a cup of your favorite coffee to-go, and your camera. Wander the grounds that someone else has planted and manicured to snap reference photos of plants you don’t have in …

Painting a Cactus in Watercolor Read More »

What is a Still Life? A still life (plural still lifes) is a work of art depicting mostly inanimate subject matter, typically commonplace objects which may be either natural (food, flowers, dead animals, plants, rocks, or shells) or man-made (drinking glasses, books, vases, jewelry, coins, pipes, and so on).  With origins in the Middle Ages …

Watercolor Painting Over Pen and Ink Drawing – with a Tutorial Video Read More »

Watercolor Landscape Studies in a Sketchbook I’m testing another watercolor sketchbook with a series of small watercolor landscape studies featuring coastal scenes. I used a ruler to grid 12 squares across a double page of a Hahnemühle Watercolor Sketchpad. (There may or may not have been accompanying crackers, olive tapenade and wine involved in this …

Watercolor Landscape Studies in a Sketchbook Read More »

Coursing the Heliconi My friend Sarah recommended trying an Etchr Watercolor Sketchbook, so I bought this one to test the paper. Using the grid method, I combined elements from two reference photos for this Etchr Watercolor Sketchbook Figure study. My reference was a snapshot of my favorite model, MKH (who modeled for this watercolor portrait, …

Etchr Watercolor Sketchbook Figure Study Read More »

Watercolor Sketchbook Practice Watercolor artists I’ve admired over the years write often about the importance of a sketchbook practice. Even so, I could never seem to reach for mine, let alone fill one. The slap-dash quality of the art in the last half of my college sketchbooks relays that I was rushing to “fill pages”, …

Watercolor Painting in a Sketchbook Read More »

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.) Minimalist …

Watercolor Painting Sketchbook – Study of African Violets Read More »

Where to Find Ideas for Watercolors Artists are in a hard crush to render our world in pigments, graphite, charcoal, etc. These days, we’re limited to finding inspiration inside our own homes during this pandemic. Whether you live in a studio apartment, a three story house, or a garage, there are always beautiful scenes to paint in watercolors. …

Find Ideas for Watercolors with Your Phone’s Camera Read More »

Creating Watercolor Paintings of Your Own Kitchen Have you observed your kitchen as inspiration to paint a watercolor? Whether the room is dark or well-lit, cluttered or austere, frugal or grand, neat or piled with dishes, there’s inspiration for the taking. Artists have painted and sketched scenes from kitchens for hundreds of years. The intimacy …

Watercolor Paintings of your Kitchen Read More »

Summertime Art Studio Planning Over the past 67 days (yikes!) of quarantine, the macadamia nut tree outside my studio window has erupted in fronds of shiny, new leaves. I’ll take this as a reminder that there are plenty of good things happening if we simply look for them. A fluffy squirrel (Mrs. Jetson) skitters up …

Art Studio Planning – and a Watercolor Portrait Read More »

Exploring Watercolor and Charcoal Together I was sorting scanned image files in my archives, and I forgot about this watercolor and charcoal painting of an imagined scene. Eve is riding with her friend, a juvenile crow, exploring the garden, when a serpent in an apple tree beckons her to come closer. At the time, I …

Using Watercolor and Charcoal Together Read More »

5 Instagram Artists Painting Still Life in Watercolor While we’re hunkering down and staying home, it’s nice to peruse some beautiful still life in watercolor. Seeing the fruits of another artist’s labor adds loft to a flat day, and encourages us to grab art supplies, and practice. (You weren’t thinking about comparing your work to …

Still Life in Watercolor- 5 Painters on Instagram Read More »

Painting Flowers in Watercolor as a Meditation I’m painting flowers in watercolor as a meditation this week. With my cell phone, I snapped a photo of dwarf Daisies in a hammered brass cup outside in the sun. Printing the image on plain printer paper in black and white helped to keep my focus on values. …

Painting Flowers in Watercolor – and a free download Read More »

Painting with Watercolors in a Sketchbook You can paint with watercolor and get good results when your Moleskine notebook is made with watercolor paper. If your Moleskine notebook is a standard sketchpad, the paper is made for sketching and dry media. But read on for an example of an artist using Moleskine sketchpads for remarkable …

Can You Use Watercolors on Moleskine Notebooks? Read More »

Colored Pencil Curious Thanks for your emails on the last post (read that post about watercolor and colored pencils here). I’m glad the links to colored pencil reviews was helpful, and I hope you find a set to try them soon. Colored pencils expand options for adjusting color, values and overall finish on both my …

Watercolor and Colored Pencils – Mixing Your Media Read More »

Small Watercolor Portrait Here’s a little watercolor portrait with colored pencil from a photo my cousin was kind enough to let me sketch from (Paeonia 5×5 Watercolor Portrait with Colored Pencil (available here). Getting inspired by people’s faces is so easy with all the beautiful imagery on social media. It’s even better when the inspiration …

Watercolor Portrait with Colored Pencil – Paeonia Read More »

Group Art Activities for Your Next Gathering When you host a gathering of friends and family, group art activities create fine memories and a lot of giggles. You don’t have to corral every attendee into the fun, but being prepared with props and a few inexpensive supplies might help lure the timid to the dinner/art …

3 Group Art Activities for a Gathering of Friends and Family Read More »

Watercolor Techniques for Beginners, or Returning Artists After a Long Hiatus Welcome Back Here are 5 watercolor techniques to try if you’re a beginner painter. Are you rounding the bend to return to your art? As a previously absent watercolor painter myself, I’m welcoming you with pompoms and cheerleading. You’ve got this! Each watercolor technique …

5 Watercolor Techniques to Try as a Beginner Read More »

What Gifts do Watercolor Artists Wish For? How do you know what to gift to a watercolor artist? Do beginner painters prefer different art supplies and art-themed gifts compared to more seasoned watercolor artists? (I don’t think so.) We artists love a slow inspection of every single aisle in an art supply store. Just the …

Gift Ideas for Watercolor Artists Read More »

First, an Introduction to Jack Before we dive into painting watercolor portraits of pets, let me introduce you to our model, Jack. He chews flowers. Even if you’ve given him little pots of grass, and put your flowers up high, out of reach, he will find a way to get to them. I’ve witnessed Jack …

Watercolor Portraits of Pets Read More »

The Trifecta: Grid Method, Sight Size Drawing and Watercolor Glazing Artists have developed many tips and tricks to improve accuracy in drawing. When drawing a light scaffolding of shapes and angles under watercolors, I find the grid method and sight-size drawing both beneficial. In painting – I love the gossamer affect and shape-control you get …

How to Use Sight Size Drawing for Accuracy Read More »

Upcoming Video Courses My studio is a tangle of audio cables, lights, tripods and video equipment. I’m filming new courses for my online school Belinda Tips. If you haven’t registered for your free account over there, go ahead and do that so you’ll get notified when the new courses are live. I’m working on an …

Painting Urban Scenes in Watercolor – Queensboro Read More »

Over the years of posting photos here of work in process at Art Festivals, you’ve asked about the set up I use to paint watercolors away from home. I try to keep my traveling watercolor kit small, and nimble. Here are some of my best lightweight art supplies. At festivals, I usually use an easel …

Traveling with Watercolors – Best Lightweight Art Supplies Read More »

Painting Your Neighborhood There is a chain of small islands off the coast of southern California protected as a National Park. Several of the islands are just off the coast of the town I live in, and two are visible, like curvy women, reclining on the horizon. This watercolor was inspired during an approach to …

Watercolor – Secret Island Anchorage Read More »