Saturday, July 15, 2017

Water Coloring

I've been concentrating on watercolor again this summer and I figured I'd best do an update. The good, the bad and the ugly. (Yes, I did show some of these before but I wanted to make a so-far, so-good collection here, so just blow by the ones that are familiar!)

Most of these are on regular watercolor paper (Arches) (as opposed to the two Strathmore 140# card stock) using (mostly) Windsor-Newton/Cotman watercolors, along with Prima Tropicals and a bit of Grumbacher.

I've found that when I put a mat around a painting it gives it better definition and looks more finished. Here is before...

...and after.

This is Jack, my friend Judy's dog. I know the mouth looks wonky but that's exactly how his mouth was in the photo.

See? Well, close. I think I see how I can touch that up a little and lighten up the upper "lip."

The buoys are from a photo from Martha's  Vineyard. I think it is a little busy. But I love the color.

And this is a Martha's Vineyard cottage from Oak Bluffs. Now, this is the beginning of it. And it's also the spot where it could have gone all wrong with the upper story and the gingerbread on the roof.

But I think I got it, all those tiny shingles -- at least more or less. I still have trouble converting the shadows in photos to the paint.

I thought I'd get started on some Christmas card designs. Here's one, a holiday wreath. (The snowman? Not so good!)

And here is Lizzie. The first photo, below, is before she was completed.

See what adding the catch-light in the eyes and whiskers can do? And a bit more depth of color.

A birthday card...

...and the toughest one.

I think I nailed him pretty well, although in real life, the skin tones are a little light, but I'm a bit dicey on trying to lay on another layer of color.  And his chin is a little bit too long. But getting there!

I leave you with a note of thanks...

...for checking out the progress!


  1. I love looking at your water colors - so full of energy and love. I am so impressed by your talent and ability to capture beauty in so many things.

  2. Wow, your water colours are fabulous! I especially love the dog, your wet kitty and Rick, all wonderfully made, well done, big pat on the back! Spending a lazy day reading on the balcony here. Hugs, Valerie

  3. Great job on the watercolors. I have yet to try watercolors yet. Acrylics and oils are my normal med of choice.

  4. Jeanie, I love your watercolors. I think you captured the Oak Bluff cottage perfectly, I so enjoyed Martha's Vineyard! Lizzie and Rick are excellent! You are so talented...Happy Saturday!

  5. Oh, these water colors are delightful, Jeanie. The one of Rick is really good. I think you did a great job on that. I love the beginning picture of the cottage, so charming. And that picture of your doggy by the flowers is very sweet.

    I hope you are enjoying these summer days. The sunsets below are gorgeous. I wish I saw them more often, but for me, I'm up bright and early, so get to appreciate the sunrises. : )


  6. I'm still just doing flowers and seeing some improvement there. Your dog and cat are wonderful and I would so love to try that (someday). The cottage is so sweet and I would frame that in a heartbeat. I'm so glad to see you painting again. I know I tell you each time, but you really do inspire me to keep going! Hugs!

  7. Well done Jeanie. You are so good at showing your progress and painting developments. I like what you did with Rick's painting and agree that the chin is a bit too long but the overall impression is wonderful.

  8. Well done! I think the one of your hubby is the best!

  9. You've done some wonderful watercolors. Not sure which is the ugly. And WOW you did a wonderful job with Rick. That one is amazing. :) happy weekend. Hope you are enjoying the lake. Hugs-Erika

  10. Great job on your water colors. You are really doing well with them.

    Love the picture of the border collie, look a lot like my Waldo.

    Enjoy your time at the Lake - sounds heavenly.


  11. You are definitely getting better. Who knows - perhaps someday your work will be worth lots of money, and not just to those of us who love you.


  12. Good evening dear Jeanie,
    Your watercolors are so lovely, and I was completely blown away with your portrait of Rick! You certainly did nail that one.. It is excellent!!
    I hope this note finds you well, and I loved viewing all your artwork.. Would love to see more..

  13. I really enjoy seeing an artist's progression of activity! That is something I have zero skill in, so seeing the steps of getting there - wherever there is - is always an eye opener for me. Great one of Rick, and I love the wide color of the buoys!

  14. I love seeing your watercolors Jeanie. You are such a talented painter and I love watching your paintings in progress, It's fun to see and hear how you add more color and just the right touch to add the light and sparkle to Lizzie's eyes.You are working with such pretty colors. The Christmas cards are lovely. I love how you painted Rick, love your work..........

  15. Oh my Jeanie . . .
    You are sooooo good . . .
    The detail . . . amazing . . .
    I liked the buoys . . .
    The Martha's Vinyard Cottage is exceptional . . .
    How did you ever do the ginbread like top?
    Pen and ink, or brush?
    In making my cards of late,
    I mask with my tape and when I remove the tape,
    the card looks like it is matted.
    Adds dimension or something.
    Rick looks "spot on" . . . wow!
    Very Wonderful . . .
    Loved the first one of the paint tray . . .
    You have it girl . . . keep on . . . so we can enjoy too!

  16. Having the time and space to work really makes a difference, doesn't it? And it takes more time to practice than most of us realize in the beginning. Yesterday, I spent four hours trying to figure out how to use Lightroom to remove green and magenta "edges" from an object in a photo. After I did it successfully the first time, I thought, "Now, how in the &$&%*$ did I do that?!?" I had no idea, and had to start from scratch.

    I suspect you have that experience from time to time -- looking at a painting and thinking, "That's perfect! but how did I do it?" Figuring out how to do the "good" over and over is what practice is all about.


    Wonderful Jeanie..and I know which house that the palette too!

    Well done on all..I hope to get some done today..Kitty is marv too..etc etc..
    You should be bursting w/ pride.:)

  18. Hello, JEANIE!

    You captured the dog AND Lizzie to a TEE! Excellent interpretation, and your water colors are the perfect medium for summer observations. They are fluid and free and not constrained to any borders; water flows where it wants and it works with light and pigment in its own way. You are just holding the brush.

    You've blessed me today. Have a blast. I AM!!!!!!

  19. They are fabulous, Jeanie. You have been busy. The one of Rick is wonderful. You have a definite talent going here. Thank you so much for sharing and keep up the work, or should I say fun?

  20. It's so cool when you show us the progression. I think you nailed Rick, too... um... You know what I mean.

  21. Exquisite! And very cheery. I'm sure that must have reflected your state of mind. And why wouldn't they be? :))

  22. Lovely water colours. You are improving all the time. Interesting to see before and after. Keep up the good work. You are so lucky to be able to paint like this.

  23. Hello Jeanie, these are all lovely! Funnily enough the very first painting (of the paints) is the one I keep going back to. I just love the colours.
    I can’t get over how much difference there is in the two pictures of Lizzie; it’s amazing what a few extra touches can do. You’ve also captured ‘him’ really well, does ‘he’ like it?
    Hugs Barbara

  24. Oooo I love this... and right from the start, how sweet your watercolor sketch of your palette! I think you've really been growing so much as a watercolor artist, Jeanie--really making a lot of good progress. My fave is your sketch of Rick--your reall got the eyes and expression! :) I like your idea of using a mat to check the "done-ness" of a piece. Windsor & Newton watercolors are lovely. I also use Derwent Inktense pencils (the Inktense sticks are on my wish list! ;) Thank you for the macrons...mmmm... It's good to catch up with you, Jeanie! We've had a lovely staycation the past two weeks, and we we've been having such good weather too we were outdoors most of the time. Gotta grab summer while we can, right! ;) May your days at the lake abound with HAPPY! ((HUGS))

  25. Beautiful work. I agree the one of Rick, the dog & Lizzie are fantastic.. also the Merci... that should be one of our buttons nextt year..

  26. I love your art! I've always heard that people are the hardest to paint! You are amazing! Hugs!

  27. Beautiful! I am also so impressed by your talent. I just love the look of watercolors! You did such a good job with the portraits of Rick and the pets! That would be so hard!

    Good idea to get ahead and get some holiday cards done because time flies so fast that before we know it, it will be holiday season (as sad as that is to say! I wish I could press pause on summer!).

  28. I think you're doing really well! I especially like the ones of Jack and Lizzie, and the Christmas wreath. I think you're right that the mat does make the painting look more finished.

  29. Jeanie,
    You know how much I appreciate and respect your talent.
    I have never got past drawing stick people! I can manage a sunset, oceans, and a mountain. However way.
    You are a true artist and always inspiring.

  30. These are lovely. I like them a lot. I purchased some watercolors and brushes and paper to practice some more.

  31. You are doing a great job with your painting. You are a good example and an inspiration. Thank you! :-)

  32. Your paintings are very sweet...I love the palette and the house, and you captured such a likeness of your Rick! I can see your enjoyment with this medium...Yes, it's interesting about what a matte adds to a painting!


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