One of my favorite things about watercolor is how luminous the paint appears. When paint is applied by pouring, without the aid of a brush, it seems to have even more luminosity, too. That's how this painting started.

The first picture here shows the painting right after I'd removed the miskit. All the edges are crisp as a result of using the miskit, but the painting has a very graphic and, unfortunately, almost monotone look. (I think I let the colors blend together too much during the early pours.) I was not ready to call the painting finished so I had to get out my brush and make lots of adjustments.

This old nurse log 'lives' in Washington State, where Dawn Bailey took an excellent photograph of it with all the moss and ferns growing around it. Be sure to check out her nature blog - Vulture Cafe - on the side bar.

We painted together a week ago, and this was one of our projects. In fact, it's actually her fault that I'm teaching 'online' now to several artists - she instigated the idea and nagged me until I said we'd give it a try. She's a great photographer and knows her way around handling a paintbrush pretty well, too. We had a good time last week painting in real life instead of via cyberspace on the Internet.

The next painting shows lots of the adjustments, but the last photo shows what I think is the finished painting. In this last photo, only minor adjustments were made to various edges along with subtle value and color changes to some small areas. Because I painted over almost the entire picture with a brush, much of the original luminosity of pouring the paint has been compromised.

See if you can find the mountain chickadee that was added in the last photo - which sang to us as we painted that day in our woodland studio. It really looks more like a sparrow, so you'll have to use your imagination.

"HAVEN" Transparent Watercolor on 140#CP Arches 11 x 15" COLLECTED



Some animals are so beautiful that it's hard to imagine painting them as magnificent as they are. Mollie is like this.

Although she's a sleek black dog, there's no black paint on her. What you see here is lots of Quinacridone Magenta, Ultramarine Turquoise, Phthalo Blue, Quin Burnt Orange, Indanthrone, Cerulean, and Lunar Earth, all from Daniel Smith Company out of Seattle.

I've started painting a full length view of her on a larger sheet of paper, but for now, she looks like this. My hope is to capture how exquisitely gorgeous she is.

"FIRST MOLLIE" Transparent Watercolor on 140CP Arches - 11 x 15"



Got home tonight from a great vacation with our 8 yr. old grandson - spent wandering down the coast of Oregon then back up the Cascade
Mountain Range, finishing along the beautiful Columbia River - beautiful, luscious country - so hard to leave behind to come back to the humid, muggy midwest.

Crater Lake was beyond any words! Thanks, Lynn, for telling us about it.

We used to come home from trips to be greeted by this gorgeous old cat named Sam. He's gone now, but I still thought of him when we got back in town.

He was a Maine Coon, and I think, 'part dog.' Our younger son taught him to sit and stand on command! I miss him. This painting was done several years ago, and animals are just about the only commissions I ever accept to paint now.

Looking forward to class tomorrow, but it won't have quite the atmosphere that Dawn and I had as we spent the day at a picnic table in the woods last week painting amidst the Oregon ferns and conifers. Great memories.

"SAM KITTY" Transparent Watercolor on 140#CP Fabriano Artistico 11 x 15"