February Musings

Here is a quote I like:

Emily Bronte's words seem to fit with my watercolor painting of the Caribbean, so I put them together.  A dreamy place and a dreamy thought.  What does this quote make you think of?

If You Have Children or Grandchildren

I am looking for subjects for portraits because I'd like to do more of them, but need samples. If you have a favorite photo and would like it to be considered, contact me.  If I choose yours, you will see the painting on my blog as it progresses.

If yours is selected and you wish to purchase the portrait once it is completed, you may do so, but that is not a requirement. I hope you will send a photo!

If You Like to Paint

Are you thinking of trying watercolor painting? Or have you just started?

I recently spoke on the phone with someone who is looking for lessons. She told me she would love to paint with watercolor, but is afraid of it.

I have heard this many times. And I've seen beginning watercolor students struggle with the medium. But it doesn't have to be that way. Watercolors are fun!

If you want to try them or if you find yourself having difficulty, here is a tip I give to all my students. It makes a world of difference:

Get the best watercolor paper and the best brushes you can afford. Here are my recommendations:
  1. Paper: Arches, Winsor and Newton and Kilimanjaro (sold by Cheap Joe's Art Stuff) are my favorites. The paper should be at least 140lb. weight. Cold press is easiest to begin with. I get large sheets, then fold and tear them to the size I want and staple or tape them to my board. My students like to use watercolor blocks in class so they don't need to bring a board. Either way works fine.
  2. Brushes: there are many good watercolor brushes, but natural sable brushes are the best. They hold lots of water and paint, make a nice fine line or a luscious wash. They are expensive, so I get them when they are on sale. I like Kolinsky sable. Often, when I demonstrate a technique, a student will say, "How did you do that with the brush? I can't do that!" My reply is that my brushes are better!
If you have to choose, high quality paper is the most important. I have seen too many students become frustrated when painting on inferior paper - the worst thing to do when just beginning. Maybe an advanced artist can get away with it, but most will not waste their time, so why should you?

Those are my tips for February - hope you found them helpful!


I'm happy to take custom orders. Please contact me for a custom painting of your pet, home, garden, grandkids, favorite vacation spot or whatever your heart desires.
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