swatch showing mixtures of phthalo green, quin gold deep, azo yellow and ultramarine blue

Phthalo Green—How To Tame It

In the last post, I offered some tips for mixing natural-looking landscape greens, the first of which was “avoid tube greens involving phthalo green”. So, what do you do with the phthalo green (and mixtures using it) you already have? The secret is to tame it a bit so it works for you instead of […]
Tube greens (left) vs. mixed greens (right).

Better Landscape Greens

The weather is beautiful here. It’s the time of year when a lot of us are feeling that pull to take our paints and sketchbooks outside. It’s also the time of year that a lot of people struggle with GREEN! Do the greens in your landscapes look flat and unnatural? The likely culprit is a […]
Tiny fourth layer—the darkest shadows at the base of the pears and the stem on the pear in front.

Paint Shapes, Not “Things”

Want your paintings to look unified? It helps to combine “things” into larger shapes, and then use smaller shapes to (partially) separate them. Here’s an exercise to help you practice. First, set up a still life with a couple of simple objects. Avoid anything that has a lot of pattern, texture, reflections or complicated edges—you […]
Art Graf's watersoluble graphite in a tin. Fun!

Gifts for Your Favorite Watercolorist

Well, aside from moi, of course. 🙂 Like many of you, I am a complete sucker for cool new art supplies. As we head into the holiday gift season, I thought I’d share some of my favorite “finds”, in case you’re looking for a gift idea for your favorite artist-who-has-everything-already. Stocking Stuffer–Art Graf Watersoluble Graphite […]
Mandala mini-retreat. Everyone's so absorbed in their work!

New Watercolor Workshops for February

First, the bad news . . . Due to a scheduling conflict, I will not be offering classes at Artistry (formerly Bloomington Art Center) in February and March of 2016 as originally planned. Apparently, the city of Bloomington felt a winter festival would be a better use of the space (we know better, but—alas!—we don’t […]
One example of using the mandala template in this article.

New Watercolor Mandala Template

I know some of you enjoy using the templates I create for my Watercolor Prayer/Meditation Mandala Mini-Retreats. I created a new one that was very popular at the last mini-retreat, so I decided to share it with you here. This one has some larger open areas for you to add shapes, lettering or images of […]