Jul 2019:  Finding Focus Working on Location

Jul 2019:  Finding Focus Working on Location

Have you ever gone to some beautiful location to paint or sketch, and then found yourself so overwhelmed with so many fabulous—and complicated—things to paint that you wind up spend the whole time running around looking for a subject? Or you just take a zillion...
May 2019: Tips and Tricks for Florals

May 2019: Tips and Tricks for Florals

No more teeny timid lonely blossoms floating in a mishmash of streaky, muddy color. In honor of Mother’s Day, let’s take a look at some tips for creating bold, lively florals in watercolor. We’ll talk about design tricks that help you handle...
Apr 2019: Fifty Shades of Grey—The G-Rated Version

Apr 2019: Fifty Shades of Grey—The G-Rated Version

Demo Notes Handout for Apr 2019 Demo Do your shadows look like cardboard cutouts or dull, lifeless holes? Do you struggle with creating believable neutrals for things like tree trunks, rocks or weathered buildings? Do your clouds look like aerial dust bunnies? Mixing...
Mar 2019: Get Ready for Spring Plein Air Painting

Mar 2019: Get Ready for Spring Plein Air Painting

Gather your materials and test your setup indoors now to be ready for plein air sketching when nice weather arrives. In this demo, I’ll show you several different options for light, packable watercolor sketching kits, and give you a few tips for selecting a manageable...
Phthalo Green—How To Tame It

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...
Better Landscape Greens

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...
Paint Shapes, Not “Things”

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...
New Watercolor Mandala Template

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...
What Makes a Good Painting?

What Makes a Good Painting?

That pesky inner critic! I don’t know about you, but simply telling her to sit down and shut up doesn’t work for me. Oh, I can get her to leave me alone. It just doesn’t lead to paintings I’m happy with. I need my inner critic. We all need time...