Polar Lizard & Sunset #Watercolor #KDAllegri #Shizen

In last week’s watercolor class we were practicing African sunsets, but we started off by finishing the paintings from the week before.  I had finished mine at home, so I decided to do a quick study warm up, and just to be contrary, decided to use cooler colors.  My little lizard was done using Cobalt Teal, Opera, Phtahlo Blue, and Lunar Blue.  The branch is a mix of the color and the background is all Lunar Blue.

Even though I used bright colors, he looks decidely chilly next to the sunsets I did later in class, so I decided he’s a Polar Lizard.  Very rare.  Mine may be the only one in existence, lol!


Actually, I mistakenly picked up Alizarin Crimson instead of Naphthol Red, so even my sunsets are a little cooler than intended.  I guess I was just feeling chilly that day!

Kudu #Watercolor #KDAllegri #Shizen

I’m taking another watercolor class from Kathy Delumpa Allegri this month and the theme this time around is Africa.  I decided to try a Kudu.

I was trying a different kind of  watercolor paper, St-Armand, a handmade paper.  The sizing on the paper is supposed to resist water, so I was surprised at how much it did absorb.  Possibly, I was using the wrong side.  I have more so I’ll see how it goes.

The Kudu needs a redo, so I’ll probably try it again on a different paper.

Journal52: Week 32and 33-Gratidude Pizza #Journal52 #ArtJournal #ArtJournaling

I decided to combine Journal52 prompts 32 and 33.  One was gratitude and one was Favorite Food, and I’m truly grateful that food is plentiful in my house, when so many struggle for their daily nourishment.  The two ideas just seemed to go together.

I ended up with a Gratitude Pizza.  As usual, for those interested, my process is written up below!

1.  I used a flat spline, a flexible rubber strip that you can bend into shapes and use as a guide for your pen or pencil (aka as a flexible curve or flexible drawing guide), to pencil in the circle for my pizza.

2.  Then I penciled in all the wording.

3.  I used a Shock Yellow Montana Acrylic paint marker to color the area around the pizza.  The color in these markers is transparent so the penciled letters still showed through.  I’ve discussed Montana Markers before–how the 15mm tip allows you to cover large areas quickly, but I don’t think I’ve mentioned that the colors are bright, but matte.  That means there is no shine or glimmer to them.  Acrylic paint is essentially gel medium with color pigment added, which means that usually they are sticky, and often pages will stick together even after the paint dries.  But this varies considerably depending on what is added and how the paint is formulated.  The acrylic paint that comes with a Montana Marker is very fluid, flows easily, dries almost immediately, and is NOT sticky at all.


4. I used a Shock Orange Montana Markers for the words outside the pizza, and then colored food items on the pizza using the same two color as well as Shock Lt Green and Shock Kent Blood Red.

5. I used Kuretake Brushables, in Apricot, Pure Orange and Butter, to color the rest of the pizza.  Brushables are waterproof markers with two tips.  Both tips are the same color, but one is a 50% tint of the color in the other tip.

6. I finished up Classic Gelly Roll pens, outlining the large letters with Royal Blue, writing the words within the pizza with Black, and shadowing the food items with Burgundy.  The whole thing took about 45 minutes, with the bulk of that time in the penciling in, and the outling with the Gelly Rolls.


White Elephant Bathing in a Bowl #Watercolor #Elephant #KhadiPaper

Yep.  This is more or less a waterdoodle of the negative kind.

I got these cool heart-shapes made of Khadi paper–which is a handmade paper from India, with an interesting texture.  In the past, I’ve used Shizen, which has a very rough texture.  The Khadi texture is also rough, but has a more even surface.  Normally, I wouldn’t buy heart-shaped paper, but the price was right and I thought I might make some interesting Christmas cards with them.

Wondering how the paper would do with watercolor, I decided to use up some left over paint and find out.  The paper’s excellent for a dry-brush, scumbling effect.  The darker streaks in the background are from me scratching into the wet paint with my fingernails and then painting over once dry.  The paint lifts well too.

The paper is a little more absorbant than I like, so you either have to keep applying layers or use a whole lot of pigment for darker values.  But that also gives you a chance to get very subtle layers of color, and build up.

All in all, I think I’ll be getting some of this paper in a non-heart shape–it’s cool (did I already mention that?).


Waterdoodle of the Zombie Kind #Waterdoodle #Watercolor #MGraham

Really.  I wasn’t in a gruesome mood or anything like that.  I was just playing around with a new color (new to me that is), Maroon Perylene,  getting a feel for the range of tints and tones and suddenly, there was this eyeball staring at me.

Do you think that’s how Zombies are created?


More Waterdoodles #Watercolor #Waterdoodles #LifeImitatesDoodles

I’ve found I’m happier if I start a new painting with a clean palette, so I’ve been using up left-over paint in between by playing with Waterdoodles.   Last night, I was in a people and plant mood.

WATERDOODLES #Watercolor #LifeImitatesDoodles

There is an ongoing struggle that all watercolorists must face when they begin using watercolors.  To clean or not to clean their palette.

Watercolor paints, especially good ones, are not cheap.  If you get a good mix of colors, you want to use every last drop.

On the other hand, it’s easy to lose track of what colors are what.  What colors, exactly, did you put into that mix?  Where can you put down fresh color without it getting messed up?  How do you keep your pure colors from getting contaminated?

Many seasoned painters don’t worry.   They wipe off the contaminated areas or live with the contamination.  They develop a system so they know what paint is where and they never clean off their palette.  Other masters are exactly the opposite.  They clean off their palette after every painting, so they approach each one fresh and they have complete control over the purity of their paints.

I suspect neither system is better than the other.  It’s just part of the personal style each artist develops and each artist must learn for themselves how best to manage their palette.

Surprisingly, I, the messiest person I know in this world, am falling on the side of the clean palette. I want to start each painting with fresh color and a clean (if unavoidably stained) palette.  On the other hand, it kills me to wash away perfectly good paint.  So what to do?

I’ve been using the left over paint to practice washes and make charts between paintings, but when I don’t want to actually work at it, I’ve been doing WATERDOODLES!  Easy, and it’s fun.  Plus you learn brush control.  That’s my story, anyway, and I’m sticking with it!

I think the photo is self-explanatory.

I use cheap watercolor paper, and paint on both sides.  I may stop that though, because it might be fun to cut these out and use them in my art journal.