Watercolor can be fresh and free or tight and controlled - and anything in between. I love the many, many ways it can be handled to allow for varied results and especially like to play with the loose, painterly possibilities when doing a portrait.

A few weeks ago one of the classes painted along with me to learn to do portraits, and we made an effort to paint loosely, as you can see in this finished painting. Our goal was to see the values of each shape and recreate what we observed with appropriate edges.

If anything, painting a good portrait involves well honed observation skills. Really looking carefully at a shape, how it changes in value, its edge ...that's what it's all about.

"FOCUSED" Transparent Watercolor on 140#CP Arches 11 x 15"



One afternoon in Italy, we took a ferry over to Bellagio. There was a wonderful outdoor cafe where I sat down to paint while my friends enjoyed another gelato.

This is a pen and ink with watercolor, but I did the watercolor part first and added the ink later. There aren't many value changes here to make the scene dynamic, but it conveys the place.

"GELATO" Transparent Watercolor and Pen & Ink on 140#CP Fabriano Artistico 7 x 5"



Thank you so much, everyone, for critiquing this painting. After making some adjustments, I think this is as good as it's going to get. The original is posted here also for comparison.

Some teal has been dabbled on the tablecloth to the left of the jeans, but the post here doesn't pick it up very well. There's an excitement in the older painting that may be missing in the newer version, but it's done. This will be a good subject to try again and again. And to think I hate to do laundry!
Thank you, all of you --- Myrna, Nava, Suzanne, Rhonda, Joan, Dawn, Milind, Stephen, Lynne, Nick, Vicki, and Ann --- for your help and encouragement with this painting. Critiques are probably the most important part of the process for me right now, and I so appreciate your artistic eye and helpful suggestions. Now I'm headed to the studio to see what's going to happen next - no laundry to do today thanks to my sweet 'Honey.'

"LINE DANCING" Fluid Acrylics with Gesso on 140#HP Arches 30 x 22" Title - compliments of Rhonda Carpenter:-D



Great News!

Nicholas Simmons
will be HERE to hold another one of his awesome workshops. The dates are a ways away, but I'm already fired up. Set aside August 6 - 9, 2010, for Nick's workshop.

Only a year ago, Nick was here in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, to lead a workshop in my teaching studio with 23 excited artists, inspiring us, encouraging us, instructing us, entertaining us, challenging us... I could go on and on. His workshop was over the TOP!

We painted for five solid days last November, with one morning devoted to learning about Photoshop. Nick is a master with the brush and has the added ability to clearly convey his processes to a whole class.
More details about the workshop will be posted on my sidebar next month, and sign up for the workshop will be available as of Jan. 1, 2009. Check out Nick's blog at http://nicholassimmons.blogspot.com/ where there's a link to his website on his blog. Can't wait!