Demo Samples

Above and below are two paintings done as demonstrations for my online watercolor flower painting class #286 at Yale Peabody Museum’s Natural Science Illustration Program. Each was done in the span of a few hours. If you would like to take one or more of the wonderful art classes offered by gifted instructors for adults,Continue reading “Demo Samples”

Dominating Elements

We artists use any number of painting elements to portray a motif, such as color, shape, line, value, texture, and so on. A painting is strengthened by dominating one or more of them, like color and shape, or line direction and value, over the others, and of course which ones are used often vary fromContinue reading “Dominating Elements”

Balancing Busy Patterns

Many creatures are well camouflaged in their habitats. Here, this white-throated sparrow has highly patterned, yet somewhat drab, plumage, which helps it almost disappear in springtime shrubbery. To make it appear to blend into its environment yet stand out in the painting, I begin by contrasting its neutral coloring with bright yellow (distant) blooming forsythia.Continue reading “Balancing Busy Patterns”

Online Painting Classes

As colder weather descends and indoor painting venues remain shut due to the virus, I am offering watercolor painting classes online. One four-week course is through the Yale Peabody Museum’s Natural Science Illustration Program, Thursday mornings, 9 a.m. – noon, October 22 & 29, and November 5 & 12: Course #286XCreating a Complete Flower PaintingContinue reading “Online Painting Classes”

An Autumn Landscape

Bright, colorful subjects, like this view painted outdoors of a weeping willow reflected in a tranquil pond in West Hartford, CT, are to me cheery despite the tree’s descriptive moniker in this motif. I begin with a wash of clear water applied to the lower sky, which also covers the distant tree line. Blue isContinue reading “An Autumn Landscape”

White on White

There was something about the shape of this resting sheep that compelled me to paint her: she seems hardly willing (or able!) to get up from her bed of hay. I start with a rough sketch of her outline and paint just the palest wash of her woolly form, leaving her face mostly white forContinue reading “White on White”

Black Fur and Fabric

Though possibly difficult to see here, this contour drawing also has, for a bit of whimsy, little X’s applied with frisket in the background. The sketch roughly delineates highlighted areas within this black subject, such as the side of the nose and under the chin. Whiskers will eventually be barely suggested. I usually use blueContinue reading “Black Fur and Fabric”

Peony Series

As promised, here’s another in my series of 22×30″ peony paintings; I started this about a week ago. Peonies are among my favorite flowers to paint. Their spectacular colors, curved petals and showy anthers in the garden also truly enhance any painting that features them. As usual, I begin with bright washes of color onContinue reading “Peony Series”

Working with White

In watercolor, only the shadows and dark shapes of white objects are painted. A lit shape is simply left as unpainted paper. So light and shadow are key in developing a shape’s form. I usually begin with the palest blush of shadow and bleed it out into, and integrate it with, the palest background wash,Continue reading “Working with White”


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