Saturday, July 25, 2009


Thank you to those of you who have been following my painting blog and sending the nice comments. If anyone has any good book-on-tape recommendations I would love to hear them. I listen to books on CD while I paint, and it makes the time fly by. For anyone who hasn't tried it, it allows you  to be much more productive than when you have the TV on. 
Here's some of my recommendations:
Janet Evanovich  (Stephanie Plum stories)
David Baldacci (Camel Club series, & anything else)
Jonathan Stroud (Bartimaeus Trilogy)
Orson Scott Card (Ender series)
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat Pray Love)

Here's a picture of my messy little studio. 

Heliconia Painting Finished!

Here's the finished painting. The new reds I used (mentioned in previous post) are fantastic. I  will be adding them to my palette, and replacing some of the reds I've been using.

I started another heliconia painting yesterday. It's cold and drizzly here in Pacifica, CA, so I will be painting all day in my nice cozy studio. When the weather is like this I don't have to feel guilty for  staying indoors all day! Maybe you can see why I'm so attracted to these tropical scenes-- I can pretend it's 80 degrees outside and I'm on vacation, having a mai tai.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Heliconia Painting In Progress

I was awarded the entire set of Daniel Smith watercolor paints at the Northwest Watercolor Society exhibition this past spring. I have just been enjoying looking at all the tubes of paint since then, but decided to try some of the reds for this painting. WOW! These reds are fantastic. I'm using Perylene Violet for the darkest reds, Pyrrol Crimson for the middle value red, and Permanent Red (Holbein-- oops) for the lightest value red. The Permanent Red is great too. My reference photo is down in the "Inspiration" posting on this blog. You can see that I left out some of the stalks which ran right through the middle of the flowers. I love this stage of a painting-- everything seems to be coming together and you can see the end in sight. Only problem is you have to start with a big white sheet of paper again as soon as you're done!

Heliconia Painting In Progress

Well, I've started putting in dioxazine (Winsor) voilet as an underpainting in the flowers.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Heliconia Painting In Progress

I've added leaves, using turquoise, phalo blue and indigo as underpainting. Over that, I've used perm. sap green, green gold, and a new color for me, Van Gogh's "Perm. Yellowish Green".  You can start to see the shapes of the heliconia flowers in the negative space between stalks & leaves. I'm waiting to paint in the flowers until the greens are all in place because I've found the red paint likes to "wake-up" and bleed into other areas if you come near it with a wet brush. It's really an excercise in delayed gratification-- it's hard to wait for the reds!

More Heliconia Painting

I'm using an underpainting of Cotman's turquoise and phalo blue for the shadow sides of the stalks, as well as shadow areas of the leaves. I'm using indigo for some of the really dark shadows.

Heliconia Painting In Progress

Here I'm using drafting tape as guides for my stalks. For those of you unfamiliar with drafting tape, it's by 3M, and it's less tacky than masking tape, so it doesn't pull up the surface of the watercolor paper (you hope).

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Here's a photo of Kokee (Ko Kay A)-- It has got to be one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Just back from Kauai with lots of new photos to paint. Here are some I'm getting to work on:

I've come back from Kauai so inspired, but there are so many obstacles!