A Study of Cats Eyes in WATERCOLOR

•January 12, 2016 • 6 Comments

Happy New Year!

My resolution is to not only create more art but to share it with you more frequently, starting today.

I have been studying animal eyes and recently I have been working on cat eyes. I start with a good photo so I can see the eye shape clearly. This is Mickey, one of the stray cats I have been taking care of for years. He’s not a friendly guy but he sure is handsome.

Cat Eyes3

I always start my painting with the eyes. I have said this before, if I can capture life like eyes the rest is easier because I feel the eyes are what create the animal’s soul.

Cat Eyes2

This is my first attempt at these eyes. although the shapes need adjusting I like the fur like quality I have achieved. Recently in a Jean Haines workshop she said, when doing the fur first touch the photo and imagine stroking the fur and feeling the directional patterns it makes. Very helpful advice.

Cat Eyes5

In these studies I can see the eye shape is better and I have added the suggestion of a nose.

Cat Eyes4


I am pleased with these and will continue practicing until I get the results I’m looking for. Get out some scrap paper and get to work doing studies of your own. Find a subject that interests you and pick a small starting point. I choose the eyes because they intrigue me and they are challenging. Be fearless. Remember no one has to see them so take risks with color & shapes. Most of all breath & have fun!


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Watercolor Facial Shapes

•November 9, 2015 • 4 Comments

As an artist I am forever learning or maybe I should say yearning to push myself and not get caught in a comfort zone of doing the same thing over & over again. I am continuing to explore new images and finding new ways to examine how I could paint them using my watercolors.

This is a picture of my husband Bruce that I took several years ago. In photoshop I changed it into a B&W and using a filter I could break the image down further into simple shapes. Next I sketched the image onto my watercolor paper.

Bruce Facial Shapes1

I decided to only use 1 color, a Daniel Smith watercolor called Moonglow which gives me a beautiful granulation of pigment.

Following the image I examined the darks & lights and start by painting the shapes not the portrait of Bruce. I delve into this project with pure pleasure because I have no fear of failure. How can I fail by painting light & dark shapes?

Bruce Facial Shapes2


Amazingly the image turns into a likeness of Bruce. Buy allowing myself to relax and not worry about achieving a perfect portrait I watch as the dark shapes turned into a resemblance of the photo.

This was serious fun and I am going through my reference photos looking for another picture to practice this again.

This was such a safe way to introduce my brain to portraits.  Soon I might even try this using more than 1 color.

Go ahead and give it a try!

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Another Rooster in Watercolor

•September 28, 2015 • 2 Comments

I’m continuing my practice of painting eyes and today I worked on a painting of a Rooster.


A light sketch and then I start painting the eye. I feel if I can create an amazing eye then the rest is just color, shape & fun!


I flooded the eye with color and waited for the pigment to settle into the paper, then with a damp brush I lifted a small amount of the excess water. I love the way the eye looks like it’s wet.


ROOSTER SEPT 28-15b_______________________________________________________

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Painting Ducklings is Fun, Easy & Colorful

•September 1, 2015 • 5 Comments

I have been enjoying painting animals and I recently painted these adorable ducklings. They are sweet and I really like the way this small painting came out.


A Ducklings


I thought I’d do this painting again as a birthday gift for my 5-year-old Grand Niece Brianna. I wanted it to be a personal gift that she would know I painted just for her so I decided to paint the ducklings in her favorite color, aquamarine. After sketching the scene I negative painted around the subjects creating the dark blue background. While working around the heads I defined the short downy feathers so they would look textured. Easy to do using the point of my round brush placing it toward the head & pulling away created the spiked edges.


Aqua Ducklings 1


Painting the bodies was fun because I could choose beautiful aqua blues.

Correct color doesn’t matter as long as the value is right.



Aqua Ducklings 2


Adding eyes, feet & the beaks, still using blues, complete the birds.

Next I grounded them by painting a surface for them to stand on.



Aqua Ducklings 3


The cool colors led me to thinking this looked like a winter scene therefore I added falling snow.


Aqua Ducklings 4


She was so excited to rip off the wrapping paper and see her gift.

She couldn’t wait to get home and hang her new painting in her room.

Aqua Ducklings Bri


Happy Birthday Brianna


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Water View in Watercolor with Negative Painting

•August 26, 2015 • 6 Comments

Learning the many ways to use negative painting will help you as you create your paintings. In this water view painting I know that the posts will be painted darker than the sky & water, therefore I do not have to carefully work around them as I paint in the sea & sky. I do not mask out the post shapes. As I add the ground and plants I negative paint around the posts. It is simple to do and allows me to save the light area where I will add the colors of the posts later when the rest of the painting is completely dry.


Mastic Beach 8-23-15

 I was not looking for realistic colors for this painting. I wanted it to be full of bright colors that would stand out but not necessarily be accurate. Each post is painted using  purple & gold paints. This is a design decision I made, you may use any colors you like. The beach grasses and foreground are painted in last and my color choices were pink, purple & blue.


Mastic Beach 8-23-15a

This colorful water view was painted plein air, not in my studio. The beauty of sitting outside on a sunny day with a warm salty breeze blowing beats the confines of the studio any day. Sometimes I need to get away from my work in the studio and plant myself out in nature and let the paints work their magic. A little change of scenery does the creative soul good.


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Negative Painting is Child’s Play

•May 26, 2015 • Leave a Comment

I have a passion for negative painting and I spent the day sharing my excitement of painting with my 4-year-old niece, Brianna. She works feverishly on any project I give her and listens to each step as I led her through the process. I drew the outline of a flower and she did the rest.

Using 2 colors she added a wash by working wet in wet. She has no problem dripping or splattering the paint on the watercolor paper.


Bri Painting 4-2015A_________________________________________________________________

She allows the pigment to run as she turns the paper around and up & down.


Bri Painting 4-2015B________________________________________________________________________

She carefully paints outside the lines. That’s how simple negative painting can be.


Bri Painting 4-2015C________________________________________________________________

I challenged her by showing her that as she changes colors between the petals she must carry a little of the previous color into the next color. She understood this concept and was very proud of herself as she applied this technique to the entire painting.


Bri Painting 4-2015D________________________________________________________________

Bri Painting 4-2015E______________________________________________________________________

She was a happy little girl as she painted. I am very careful not to say ‘No’ or ‘YOU CAN’T DO THAT.’ I want her to have complete freedom to express herself and have no boundaries placed upon her as she creates her art.


Bri Painting 4-2015F_________________________________________________________________

This is her finished painting. I love the many choices she made like her use of colors. She even understood the concept of layering the leaf shape so it is placed behind the petals. Her signature show that she truly is a 4-year-old child. Her painting is framed and hanging in my home, not just because she painted it, but because I adore her sweet little watercolor painting.


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Through Negative Painting Flowers Appear

•March 24, 2015 • 8 Comments

All runners loosen up by stretching their muscles before starting to run. As an artist I use colorful washes to get my creative juices flowing, that’s how I warm up in the studio before I get down to the business of painting. Doing a few quick washes, keeping them very wet and allowing the colors to run & flow I do these daily. When dry I can decide to use them as backgrounds for paintings or as practice paper to work out new ideas or subjects for future paintings.

This painting was done on one of these washes.



I love negative painting. I have started to pull out flower shapes by darkening the area around the individual petals.




What makes it most interesting is to constantly change the colors, edges & shapes.

As the flowers take shape I begin to detail the singular flowers.




This painting has an element of mystery that I find exciting. Lost & found edges are dispersed through out the image which add interest. The viewer has to fill in the blanks by using their imagination, that makes them participate in my art.


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