Saturday, October 03, 2015

Whooping Crane in Watercolor

I'm on vacation in Panama City Beach with my friend Sandee and we have been spending the week relaxing and painting.  I've been wanting to paint a Whooping Crane for quite a while and I decided that this would be the perfect time.

Whooping Cranes are endangered and many people 
are working tirelessly to bring these beautiful birds back from the brink of extinction.

If you would like to learn more about Whooping Cranes, check out Operation Migration, which is just one of the organizations working to save these wonderful birds.
You can also learn how you can help save these beautiful birds that are 5 feet tall once fully grown.

I volunteer and act as a moderator in the Operation Migration chat room and also to drive the camera at White River Marsh during training and it is one of my favorite things to do.

The colts are being trained to migrate south, by following ultralights and you can follow along with them and watch them live on the Crane Cam.

I didn't think to take step-out pictures of my sketch, masking or laying down the washes for the sky, distant trees and the marsh.  I used Holbein and Daniel Smith watercolors for the initial washes and Bruynzeel colored pencils and watercolor pencils for the grasses in the marsh.

Clouds were added and initial shading on the crane's wings and tail were next.

Then I started laying in the coloring on it's head and legs, building details a little at a time.

...more shading on the wings and laying in the color of the primaries.

...finishing of the details and adding the eye, and I'm calling it finished!
It was so nice to have uninterrupted time to work and it took me about a day and a half with drying time, etc. to complete this 9 x 12 watercolor on Canson Montval 140 lb. cold press watercolor paper.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Saturday, August 15, 2015

EDiIA #9 Insect

Every Day in August -Insect

This little bug is an Air Potato Beetle and was introduced into Florida to eat the invasive Air Potato plant. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

ICAD #13

Blueberry and Plum

I am so far behind on my ICAD prompts but I keep plugging along.  
I had to think about this one a bit to decide if I wanted to to go with realistic blueberries, or just use the color reference.
Since I had just recently picked blueberries and have three nice big containers in my freezer, I decided to go with realistic style blueberries with a hint of a plum.
LOVE blueberries! YUM!

I am new to watercolor and I'm just finding my way as I go.
This was my first time using my Holbein Watercolors.
I have the tube paints and I put a bit of each of them in a travel palette and let them dry...and worked from there.

They are SO rich in color.  It only took a tiny bit of color and it went a long way!
They definitely have a bit of a learning curve.

Blueberries and Plum

Here are a few step-out photos of the process...

I drew my sketch lightly and then masked off the stems
I used Compose Blue, Colbalt Blue, Prussian Blue and Mineral Violet for the  blueberries.

The leaves were painted with a Yellow Green and Yellow Ochre and Terre Verte.

Close-up of Blueberries and Leaves

I used a piece of a credit card to scrape the veins into the leaves and let the watercolor pool in the scratches.

Once I removed the masking fluid I painted in the stems and gave the background some additional color and a  bit more detail to the blueberries....

and the finished card!
Blueberries and Plum

Saturday, July 18, 2015

ICAD #12

Parsnip and Kiwi

Neocolor II, Watercolor pencils and Rapidograph Pen

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

ICAD #11

Mango and Lime

Some more watercolor fun!  I used a combination of Kuretake Gansai Tambi pan watercolors and Neocolor IIs for this little mango card.  
I really like how this one came out.

Here's the little sketch and first layer of colors using the pan watercolors.

Added a bit more color with Neocolors and started shading the mango and its little leaf.

Then a bit more layering and subtle shading and added the spattering of color to the mango and countertop. Then I titled it and signed it and called it done, before I could go back and overwork it.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

ICAD #10

Eggplant and Ginger 

I got my order of the full set of Neocolor IIs in this past week and thought I'd take some time to play with them and see how far I could push them .
No step-out shots this time.
My carpel tunnel is acting up, so I ended up working on this one over several day as my hand would allow.

I lightly drew the swirls directly on the watercolor paper in eggplant and ginger looking colors and then wet and smoothed them with a #8 round brush, and then from there I started to play.

I used many methods of layering the colors besides the direct to paper method like I mentioned above. I used both a water brush and a #3 round brush for most of the work, alternating to use the one I felt would create the effect I was trying to achieve.

One method was to take the crayon and color on my craft mat and use a wet brush to mix in a bit of water to create a wet wash.  The more water you add the thinner and lighter the wash.

I also used a wet brush to take color directly from the crayon, sometimes to add a mere hit of color and sometimes I picked up a lot of color to lay down a more intense layer of color.

I did a lot of spattering using washes that I created on my craft mat and the #3 round brush.  The small brush created wonderful subtle and tiny splatters.  Just what I was going for to add in subtle layers of color.  I would suggest that you don't use the water brush to create spatters as it generally likes to just fling plain water out of the brush rather than the color you've picked up on your brush.

All outlining was completed with some vintage Rapidograph pens filled with black India Ink that I scored from a friend.  I used the 2.0, 3.0 and .3 tips.  They have been so fun to work with and I am still learning the best way to hold them and not set the carpel tunnel off in my hand.  I think I am really going to like them.  I have several more pens and tips and I've picked up some white ink and found some brown ink in my stash and am looking forward to playing some more.

Now I'm off to figure out what to do for #11 Lime and Mango.  I'm quite a bit behind but I keep marching on.
...hmmm...what to do, what to do.

Thanks for visiting and if your still here after all my rambling, feel free to leave me a comment below.  I would love to hear from you!

Saturday, July 04, 2015


Carrot and Lemon

"Split Pea Soup with Carrots and Iced Tea with Lemon"

Just a preliminary sketch and color using watercolor pencils.  Made while sitting and waiting with kids for doctor appointments.

Finished it off once I was home by adding my watercolor using Kuretake Gansai Tambi Watercolors.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Grapefruit and Cherry

"Grapefruit on a Cherry Red Counter"

I was demoing at Stampfest Summer in Lakeland, Florida this weekend and I had a little down time on Saturday night.  
I pulled out my watercolor pencils and sketched a little scene for the ICAD Challenge on Daisy Yellow.  
I'm on day #8 and the prompt was Grapefruit and Cherry.
I found this little excerpt from a book, that seemed to fit perfectly!

Monday, June 15, 2015


Periodic Table

No step-out photos tonight. 
I decided to just take the time and enjoy the process.

Sunday, June 14, 2015



Some more watercolor and sketching fun today.
Drew my sketch and started laying down color.

...a little more shading.

Then I used a Pitt Pen and started outlining the little details
now I have a Rickshaw "Taxi"

Saturday, June 13, 2015



I had a couple of busy weeks and have fallen a bit behind on my ICADs, but it's all good because I finally had a chance to play in my watercolors today.

For ICAD #5 I pulled out my Winsor and Newton Watercolor Palette and some Twinkling H2Os and my little watercolor block.  
I'm enjoying practicing and building my sketching and watercolor skills.
I masked my little owl and tree branches and started layering watercolor washes in shades of blue for the night sky and shades of yellow for the moon.

After that layer dried, I started layering in darker blues and blue black for the night sky.

Then I let that dry and started with the dark greens and blue greens and giving the illusion of leaves in the moonlit night.

A bit more layering of colors and it's starting to take shape.

Now to let it dry so I can rub off the masking and add color to the branches and the owl.

Next I peeled off the masking fluid so I can add color to the limbs of the tree and finish up the moon.
I left the little owl masked for now.  He will be the last thing I paint.

Don't these colors look pretty!!!  

I might have gone a bit too far.
But I was having too much fun!!

I painted in the owl...added a bit of doodling and edging and I think I LIKE it!!

I hope you've enjoyed my step out pictures!!
Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know you stopped by!

Saturday, June 06, 2015



Had this one halfway completed for a couple of days, but got crazy busy with I finally finished it up today.
Now on to #5.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015



"My Town"

ICAD #3 
Pens, Doodle, Map 
A map of just some of the things that can be found downtown on the waterfront of "My Town"

Tuesday, June 02, 2015




I did today's card about a local hometown festival.
This year marks the 113th consecutive annual celebration of GeorgeFest. 
It is the longest running festival in Florida. 
The theme this year was “From Sea to Shining Sea”.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015

Watercolor Play

I was inspired by CeeCee's latest post to play with watercolor crayons.  I don't have any caran d'ache  watercolor crayons, so I used my Staedtler watercolor crayons. I was enjoying the process so much that I got a little carried away with the watercolor, but Hey I like it!!
I really should learn to leave more white space though.  

I do have to say that my carpal tunnel gave me a fit drawing all those little lines, but I pushed on through it and I have big fat flowers.  
I did use  a golden Twinkling H2O's to add the metallic highlights.  You can't see it very well in the picture, but I can see it on my page and it gives just the right amount of glimmer.
I'm not too keen on my lettering.  I should have just left like it was when I first wrote it and not tried to darken it.  Oh well, next time.
I think I'm going to try this technique out with a few of my other mediums, like my Gelatos and Portfolios and my Twinkling H2O's to see how each of them turn out.

Saturday, January 31, 2015