Lake Garda Boats

Lake Garda Boats

A marathon session today.    This is the April challenge from

 and they’re always, well, challenging.    See
this one

from February which took me 3 goes before I got something non embarrassing.   Now this isn’t perfect and it is also at a much bigger size than I usually do (16×22 – might not sound much bigger but it really makes a difference) but considering my past form on these things I’m not too unhappy.

Part way through.   Initial washes are on and boats blocked in.  The drawing is pretty on the mark which always helps enormously.

The original photo.   Look at all those boats!!!  My colors are rather drab in comparison but not too bad for a first go.

Edit:  This has *really* grown on me over the last two weeks it’s been up in my studio.   Always the sign of a good painting.      I think he deserves promotion to the inventory pages.


Croston Bridge – Day 7 of 30 in 30


Boy this was a struggle.  Mostly with color choices and I’m not really happy with what came out.   I don’t usually have a problem with muddy color but with these kinds of scenes I default to a sludgy grey.  Never mind.

Next in with some under washes.  In this case this may have been a mistake as it set the trend for dull color.

Almost there.  I was at the stage of – try anything, it can’t get any worse.



Borrowdale in the lake district in the UK.  A wetcanvas challenge.  The photo was actually larger and had some rocks and people in the foreground but I ran out of time and enthusiasm.  I was more interested in capturing the fields and trees in the valley and am pretty pleased overall.

One thing I did try here was the ‘Mr Bead’ approach that Joseph Zbukvic uses where you keep the paint wet and the paper at an angle so it pools in a line at the bottom of the painted area.    If this is there then you can always go back in with a fresh brush and keep the wash soft and blended.  Somehow it’s easier to get good color too compared to wetting first and then painting.

Art Class – Scraping and Salt


Heidi was showing us how to create texture effects using salt and scraping pigment with the wrong end of a brush or stick.  I didn’t have anything suitable to hand so here we have some cardinals and a lighthouse.  Both are ‘challenge’ pictures – the cardinals are for the facebook page ‘Paint Colorful Birds for Fun’  and the lighthouse is for the monthly challenge.


This came out rather blander than I expected although I was pretty happy with the rocks.

WetCanvas March 2013 Challenge – Tulips



March WetCanvas challenge

 was tulips.  Now I find flowers really hard (see 



 and oh my word 


) so I’ve left it to the last minute.  I went back to the

Charles Reid

 method of careful contour drawing followed by (almost) once and done painting.  I’m actually not too disappointed with this – the leaves have good movement and the tulips aren’t a complete disaster.

Steps below :

Watercolor Tulips Wetcanvas Challenge

The first pass through where everything got covered.  The final step was to add more color to the flowers and enhance the darks in the leaves as well as add in a unifying background.

WetCanvas February 2013 Challenge – Hibiscus

WetCanvas February challenge

today.   Flowers aren’t my favorite things to paint – they look as though they should be easy but never are.   Will reserve judgement on this for a few days.

The initial washes.

Building up the form and putting in the center darks.

Finished the petals and the darks.  Debated whether to add in more shadows here

Finished and under a mat.  Not sure about the background – may revisit.

A closer crop with a smaller mat.  Better?  Can’t really tell.