Watercolor on Scraperboard

Scraperboard, or “scratchboard,” is probably an unexpected substrate for watercolor, but I find it a fun combination. I’ve been creating pieces in this medium since my elementary school days. Whereas in watercolor one works from light to dark, in scraperboard it is the opposite: the black layer is scraped away with various tools, from sharp-edgedContinue reading “Watercolor on Scraperboard”

Summery Imagery

Here is the first stage of a painting of a monarch butterfly on seaside goldenrod. While the contour drawing of the insect is carefully drawn, the goldenrod stalks (hardly visible here) and the first wash of colors are loosely laid in. You’ll note at this stage that value is relatively light, especially where planned darksContinue reading “Summery Imagery”

A Painting A Day

These two vastly different paintings were each done in a day, the smaller one this morning and the larger one last Thursday. The size of each affected brush handling and paint applications. Both were done actually quite quickly, but the smaller had more challenges for me, perhaps because my hand is not as steady orContinue reading “A Painting A Day”

Working with Color

Bright color paired with value can make a striking painting. The first stage of this pink flamingo was loosely and abstractly painted across sketched shapes. (Photos of the images in this post were taken outdoors, so lighting is inconsistent.) Feathers are suggested with form shadows using color, still quickly and loosely painted. Perhaps difficult toContinue reading “Working with Color”

Rough and Soft Textures

Combining the contrasting textures of rough rock and soft fur was yesterday’s challenge in my painting class. I began by demonstrating laying in harmonizing color in subject and background and then set about lifting paint away, as seen by the circular blobs in this image. Next, mid-value cast shadows were roughly painted. The side ofContinue reading “Rough and Soft Textures”


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