The Girl With Green Hair, 5/25/19

I was asked to paint (draw? sketch?) a Girl With Green Hair. I had planned to make her very cartoonish, with exaggerated features, and maybe make her skin or lips/eyes green, too, maybe clothes as well, but I found a reference photo that inspired me (I did not see a name though, I’m sorry!) and decided to just do her like a girl. But with green hair. Not so unusual these days anyway.



Baohong cotton watercolor paper

Uniball Air pen… I’ve gotten several new uniball pens I love. I’ll link them in future posts, but feel free to ask in the comments if you can’t wait and I’ll link there.

Schmincke watercolors: Helio turquoise, caput mortum, naples yellow reddish, perylene violet, olive green yellowish. and a touch of phthalo green, but I think that mostly washed away when I switched to the helio..


Quick Watercolor Studies

Using Schmincke and Daniel Smith watercolors, I did these very quick studies following a little book called 10-Minute Watercolours   (these particular sketches only took 1-3 minutes each) This is a tiny book (3 1/4″ x 4 1/2″) which claims to offer “inspirational advice to help you paint quick and spontaneous watercolors of people, landscapes, seascapes, buildings, animals, flowers, and still life.” Also says “Think you have no time to paint? See what you can achieve in just 10 minutes!” An admirable challenge. If I were completely new to the medium I may find it more helpful, (or once I actually READ THROUGH IT), but right now it is a great resource for ideas for me to copy and practice while learning and developing techniques, and I really do appreciate the idea that I shouldn’t use a time constraint as an excuse not to paint.



Heliotrope, pelargonium, a strawberry (duh), and lavender sprigs.


This one is my favorite, although it doesn’t look the one in the book. Schmincke’s Perylene Violet is amazing in purple or even green mixes. I used it in both the petals and the leaves here.


If you purchase the book through the above link on Amazon, I receive a few cents compensation and it doesn’t cost you any more…if you are an experienced painter, this may not be the book for you. I bought it thinking I’d include it in a little watercolor kit I’m giving someone for Christmas, and I may still, but actually it may be a little too MUCH information for that. I don’t want to overwhelm her. Plus… I’m suddenly enjoying it myself… maybe after I finish with it!

Do you have any favorite watercolor books? Let us know in the comments!!

playing with phthalo green

Just doodling tonight, trying to see how many shades of green I can get mixing phthalo green with the other colors in my Schmincke palette. PG7 has been one of my least favorite shades of green, but everyone seems to love it so much. And… look how well it plays with others! (To be honest, I’m starting to kind of like this Schmincke one, even on its own.) I can see why it is a staple on so many palettes.  And probably will become a favorite of mine as well. Definitely in a limited palette, anyway, without the lovely convenience greens I enjoy so much. You can make pretty much any green out of this… bright, muted, deep… Although nothing granulates like Daniel Smith’s green apatite genuine, today phthalo green may have won me over.





Watercolor Leaves (with Jay Lee)

During the Jay Lee Watercolor livestream on youtube this morning, first we painted a page full of random pretty leaves, without much detail. These are quite relaxing.


(A cute little keychain I bought from Jerrys Artarama this summer. KIND of a mini posable drawing figure. Not really very posable. But that’s not his fault, and he likes to watch me paint)


Then, I think to prove to us that he can, Jay Lee helped us paint a detailed, more realistic fall leaf.





There has always been something soothing about drawing or painting leaves.

A nice, rusty bike.

Two from Peter Sheeler’s tutorials, and one of my own, by special order. 🙂


(Mine isn’t positioned well on the page, but I like my flowers here better than his!)



I’m pleased with the bike… I’m going to try another, though, to clean it up a bit.


(Schmincke watercolor, on Fabriano Artistico cotton cold press watercolor paper, 140 lb, 5″x7″)

Birthday Girl

Only six years old, and already she’s a comic book character.


A few errors, but she’s pretty cute. Maybe I’ll thicken up the lines a bit.

I’m using a new ‘faux squirrel’ paintbrush. PLEASANTLY CHEAP. Through an online sale at… an art supply store in Minnesota. I don’t know if the sale is still going on, but they are worth keeping an eye on. I’ve gotten both of my ‘limited edition’ Schmincke watercolor sets there, and my QoR mini pan set, some good brushes on sale and a miniature paint set which is super adorable. Good sales, good products, and great customer service) I like it. I still get most of my supplies other places but some of my favorites from there. I’m a fan. (If you happen to live near them, it sounds like they offer a bunch of cool classes as well!)


I thought maybe in this journal I’d add a little swatch area for the palette choices on each page. It will show me what I’m usually using, in the future it will show me what colors I used (because I definitely won’t remember) and also I can learn a bit about choosing a palette for a piece, maybe.


I guess tomorrow I’d better add the pigment numbers as well.


Following a Rose Tutorial by Jay Lee

Here is the rose I painted during the livestream session today (and what could be nicer than painting on a rainy summer day?) :


It isn’t bad, but if I showed you Jay Lee’s rose that I was copying, you’d see why I wasn’t happy with this. I see what he did. I just didn’t do it. I was trying to paint what he painted as he painted it, and I couldn’t keep up… So afterwards, I pulled up my own reference photo, and came up with this:


Still not perfect, but I do think it is better than it would have been in early 2017. So I will keep moving!!


Quick watercolor doodles

Leaves and balloons… what could be simpler?? Trying out some new Schmincke colors here.

And with that… ta-daaaa! This watercolor journal is complete!! Woo-hoo!! On to the next. But first:

I’d love to hear your thoughts on fugitive* colors… (particularly Opera Pink… PR122, which came in my newest Schmincke set.) I keep pulling out any fugitive colors I have in my sets. And I’ve been really picky about choosing paints with good reputations in lightfast ratings. Lately I’ve seen artists saying they don’t worry about fugitive colors because they are only painting in journals, it wouldn’t be hanging on walls, etc. I think my work will mostly remain hidden as well… it just seems to me there are so many lightfast colors available, why should I include those known to fade in my selections? But maybe I’m worrying about nothing?

Maybe I’ll accidentally create something amazing in a journal one day and want to display it? Shouldn’t I plan for any eventuality? What are your thoughts on fugitive pigments, and how do you handle them when they come in your sets?

(*Fugitive colors= pigments known to fade over time when directly or indirectly exposed to sunlight)