August 29, 2019

Watercolor Portrait...daughter

In this age of social media and ALL the pictures being posted on various platforms.
When you follow your daughter and you see a picture you really like…and you want
a new challenge….Well, I’m sure you'd do exactly as I did.   Snatch it and draw it.

It always starts like this….get a light underdrawing in…then start with the watercolor washes.
Washes are so nice because they cover lots of area and they leave a type of variance to the
painting, making it more realistic and interesting.

Her eyes, I just love her Big, Blue eyes.

I kind of liked her as a blonde and was tempted to keep her this way!  Haha

That sweater…decided that I was not going to even attempt a realistic looking sweater.
I have patience, but not to that level.

I’m pretty happy with how this is coming here in this shot.

Had to back up and take all things into account.  Such as….HAIR…I do not like do hair in
watercolor…because you have to think in reverse.  

Mask the lighter areas, which would be the
blonde highlights and they flow over the darker hair.

Stalled on this part for a few months!  Waiting for the guts....Hair and  if I could do a background.

 So…as I kept looking at the picture..I tweaked it here and there…the eyes, the mouth, lots of things
of things.  Then I pulled it up in photoshop and overlayed the original over the painting.
I messed up early…just an eighth of an inch.  Too long from the right eye to the mouth. Ugh!
Now…I know…do the important dimensions much earlier in the process, before I start putting in
that darker pigment.

Decided on a background…a very unassuming one.

My beautiful daughter!  Hopefully next time I snatch a picture of her and decide to draw it.
I will have learned some important things from this first attempt at LARGE PORTRAIT paintings.
Ya gotta start somewhere!

February 8, 2018



I left off around here from my last post in June. 


I procrastinated a lot because I really get scared when I know I have to paint hair.    Once I regained my focus, sat down and settled into " just keep it simple" .  Paint a strand at a time.  I was able to
get something down that resembled hair.


After the hurdle-of-the-hair…I could then get started on details!  Oh, how I love the details!  Because of that fact, I will probably never be able to paint a more flowy-moving watercolor abstract figure….but I can see myself trying.

Processed with VSCO with kk2 preset

It’s good to step back and take the whole picture in.  I wanted to get each piece (horse body, jockey, head, saddle) to the same level of completion as I went along.  Which is a little different for me, because I’ve been known to compartmentalize those sections.


I do like shadows, and I like folds!  As you can see, because the folds kept getting deeper.


After this picture was taken, I realized how little color the jockey has in his face.  I added more blush tones to his cheeks and lips.


If I were really good, I would do backgrounds with these beautiful animals….but I have zero confidence in my ability to paint decent backgrounds.  Hopefully I’ll level-up and do a background soon.


This is about as good as he’s gonna get…So  he’s off to the frame shop and the printer.  I’m going to see what this will look like printed out on watercolor poster paper.

June 14, 2017



I left off around here from my last post.  I need to step back and take the drawing/watercolor in as I proceed.  Helps to see what needs to be done next.


The horse’s head, first I need to make sure the straps and buckles make sense before I apply the watercolor.


Then I put a light yellow wash down on all those straps.


Since I was in the vicinity…..I adjusted some of the snout pigment using all my browns and purple.  I’m always surprised at how versatile purple is!  It’s probably   my favorite underlying color. 


This ring was bugging me, so I got out my circle stencil and adjusted the lines a bit.  But the problem coming up next…. is it’s a perspective circle….meaning it’s not straight on.  

Hopefully, I can just trick the eye here!  Haha.

June 6, 2017



I’ve enhanced my jockey a little from where I left off in the last post.  I’ll need to go back in and push the shadows and folds darker soon.


I seem to be all over the place with this horse, not working in sections like I had in my previous horse.


The horse’s eye was creeping me out, it looked like a ghost’s eye…so I skipped ahead to give it some life.


The straps and harnesses on this horse are all dark…but I liked the lighter strap lines from the previous horse.  I will pull in my creative license and try to change the dark brown straps to tan.  Bummer…that I changed my mind here, cuz I already laid down some rust color for that strap on the upper left side.


These two are starting to take shape now.  I’m trying to lay down color overall, before I get too carried away with the details!

May 26, 2017



Mr. Jockey started off this way from the wash stage.


Went in for some mindless coloring….which shouldn’t be a problem, but all my reds seem to be too pink or too coral.  I have no plain-red!


I must’ve been feeling fearless, because I started in on the goggles.  So much color and reflection going on there…possibly I wasn’t so much fearless as the goggles are forgiving.


Started layering color in by brush for the face.  Then evened out the color in the helmet.


I’m surprised that with each piece I must re-learn how good these watercolor pencils are for bringing in contour and depth to sensitive areas, like the face.  I seem to forget.


He still has a lot of work ahead of him….or rather me!!  But I’m liking his look so far.

May 22, 2017


This is where I left off from the last post.  Just getting started on the folds in the five saddle 
sash….(whatever it’s called!  Haha)


And working the cylinder of the boots and the folds of the pants.


If I remember correctly from my last horse….I’ll be bringing in India Ink to get those blacks darker.  Watercolor is very translucent.  It gets pretty redundant to keep adding black watercolor on top of black watercolor and it still won’t get as dark as you think it should be.


I’ve gotta be careful here, because I have about 7 tubes of various blue watercolors, and some of them are on the more turquoise side.


The horse and jockey are coming together well, so far.  I tend to save the really hard parts for last, like the body of the horse.

May 17, 2017



All I can say is…. “it was time”.   Time to draw another beautiful race horseWhen my family came in town for some Kentucky Derby activities, I asked my son for my framed horse back for the occasion.  Since the framed horse is such a monster, It took up too much room in my previous home.  It measures 49 inches wide by 36 inches tall (framed).  I consider it my best piece to date.


It was 4 years ago that I completed that horse, and I’m curious if I can repeat the challenge of making another.  I’ve been doing much smaller, “en plein air” drawings and haven’t felt the push to do something this big in awhile.
NOTE: Crescent #114 watercolor illustration board 30 x 40

First things first!  Get that wash down.


Then I started drawing with WATERCOLOR pencils.  There is a lot of play and adaptation with watercolor pencils versus straight brush work.    Good for us more realistic drawers/ painters.  I will bring out the Faber-castell regular colored pencils later, when it’s time for the finer detail work.


That stippling you see, will be smoothed out by applying water with a paintbrush. Gotta be careful here, cuz too much water will play havoc.

March 23, 2017

Plein Air….Plants




I really enjoy this view from my study in my new house.


So, one day I tried to capture it.


I first, just got some basic shapes down, and lots of green for those trees.


When I was done, I went back in and outlined with my micro pen.  The above portion is not outlined and the lower portion was.  I prefer to outline but I don’t dislike the look when it’s not.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Here’s my cactus for my daily Watercolor month last July. 


My front door with a potted plant that stayed strong the entire summer!


My Christmas tree sans ornaments.


Here’s a truck from a flower farmer (@floretflower) that I follow on instagram.  Drawn from my ipad feed.


And most recently, my precious plant that was given to me a few years ago.  Grown from a cut off of my grandmothers stock.  A most interesting house plant that can handle my neglect.

Now, I’m off to enjoy this nice weather!
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By day...I work in the Healthcare field, where every .. i.. has to be dotted and every ..t.. has to be crossed. This blog is the place where I can let myself go and have some fun. I am on a journey. A journey I started a long time ago, but it has been a bit sidetracked with Navy Wife relocations and raising kids. I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and I have got some time for me. No, I will not be one of those moms walking around the house with Empty Nest Syndrome, I have got way too much to do, to learn, to create. Sure, once the kids are gone I will miss them....but hey, there is always the phone, the email, the texting and the Plane tickets! I love my life and my family and It is fun moving into this new stage. I am into Digital Scrapbooking, photography, journaling, Art Journaling and Drawing. I am a do-it-yourselfer and I am trying to teach myself to draw. I am finding that it takes a lot of patience, lots of practice and a good eraser! And if you're really curious there's a 3 part Interview by Eileen: HERE All the best, Eden