Sunday, July 16, 2017

cozy courtyard

$60 - 5x7"original watercolour painting with 8x10"mat

The Toronto Watercolour Society spent a day plein-air painting at the University of Toronto. Every old historic college has a beautiful hidden courtyard in the centre of it. We happily found this one with a lovely bunch of striking, and proud, red flowers.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Portrait in Progress

11x14" original watercolour
Well, I got half of it painted during my portrait session at Don Valley Art Club. I'm hoping to finish it in studio on Sunday. It's just not the same working on it at home, despite having photos of the unfinished half. 
I really wanted to put the model in context this time, with a few cool props that say 'studio'. I love the statue juxtaposing the model, who was wonderfully still for us. I made his dark jacket white, for some contrast, and for that disco look!! ; )
Here's a photo from the studio-

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

afternoon shadows

$60 - 5x7"original watercolour painting with 8x10"mat

Friends and I, from the Toronto Plein-Air Group, headed out to paint at Riverdale Farm yesterday. It's fun there however, after lunch we decided to wander across the street to Toronto's historic Necropolis Cemetery. It opened in 1850 and is full of old interesting gravestones as well as huge gorgeous trees. Such a beautiful and peaceful place. 
Below is a pic of my work in progress. I drew it with charcoal pencil then used lots of variations of green!

Sunday, July 09, 2017

pearl necklace

$150 - 11x14" original watercolour painting
This awesome model showed up for my portrait session wearing this great big pearl necklace and turquoise tiara. She was such a pleasure, and challenge, to paint. Below are a few step by step pictures.
The pencil block in really has to be 'right' before proceeding. When I am drawing I just keep measuring and measuring and comparing and comparing. Using horizontal and vertical lines to sort of 'scaffold' my way around the drawing. Almost like using an invisible grid.
I paint from top to bottom. I used cadmium red, cerulean blue and brown umber. I added some rose madder for the purples.
Here's the almost finished painting. I felt happy with her portrait after the three hour session, but I did have to finish the pearl necklace at home. Looking at the finished product now, it may have to be darkened in between the pearls so that the highlights pop. Hmm. Might do that today. : )

Friday, July 07, 2017

a flying start

$150 - 11x14"original watercolour painting

I'm still plugging away at trying to work bigger. : ) This one was a blast to paint. Lots of shapes and colours.

Monday, July 03, 2017


$100 - 8x10"original watercolour painting
I love drawing and painting people in cafes. I thought the lights hanging from the ceiling encouraged the perspective. These two friends were talking about learning a language however, the title also refers to people's body language, like the way his head is tilted and the posture of the guy writing in the background. : )
closeups - 

Sunday, July 02, 2017

not sad really

$100 - 8x10" original watercolour painting

The title of this painting is in reference to a conversation fellow artists and I were having during our portrait session. The model always looks so sad, but they aren't really. They're just lost in thought as they sit there, for 20 minutes at a time, having to be perfectly still. 
Meanwhile, I'm practising painting smiles and teeth from photographs since it's the only way to get someone to 'hold a smile'! ; )

Sunday, June 25, 2017

keep watch

$60 - 5x7"original watercolour painting with 8x10"mat

Painting black is so tricky in watercolour. I used lots of burnt umber and prussian blue with splashes of rose madder. The goal was to contrast those lovely yellow eyes. Black cats aren't bad luck, they're beautiful!! ; )

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

portrait with braids

11x14" original watercolour painting
Last nights portrait session at the awesome Don Valley Art Club was with this lovely model, wearing braids and dressed in orange. Such an expressive wonderful model. It was nice to have a full session to work on it and really see it through, as opposed to short poses and sketching. ; )
Here's the work while in progress -

Sunday, June 18, 2017

the last short pose

$60 - 5x7" original watercolour painting with 8x10"mat
It's tricky not to get carried away with a portrait when doing a figure study. I concentrate on the shapes of the face, and not details. That way, the whole piece balances. I think I still caught a subtle expression on her face within the loose style. ; )

Thursday, June 15, 2017

group photo

$60 - 5x7"original watercolour painting with 8x10"mat

I was aiming for strong contrasts between the white daisy and warm brown vase when I did this daily painting. ​The pink flowers were a nice cool subtle contrast to the single white one. And the little red beads, well they just spice it up. ; )

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

shapes and splatters

$60 - 6x9" original watercolour painting in 9x12"mat
I drew this during a life drawing session, with a strong contour line and added my new favourite palette, pink and olive green. I've been working with these two colours now for awhile, and I'm really liking the way the cool pink plays off the warm green. I then added a few decisive shapes... and not so decisive splatters. ; )

Monday, June 12, 2017

I heart opera pink

$60 - 6x8"original watercolour painting with 8x10"mat. 
'Splish splash paint fast' was my philosophy when painting this one. : )

Saturday, June 10, 2017

rocky stream

$60 - 5x7"original watercolour painting and 8x10"mat

Fellow painters and I spent the day at the wonderful Toronto Botanical Gardens called Edwards Gardens. While under a shady tree, I painted this rocky stream, which was moving quite fast from all the rain we've had. There were about 10 of us from the Don Valley Art Club there and we all had a great sunny day. Below are a few pics of my trusty paintbox. ; )
1/2 way there...

Thursday, June 08, 2017

turquoise splatter

$100 - 8x10"original watercolour painting

It's just so fun adding a few final splatters to encourage that playful look!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

shazam t-shirt

 I finally remembered to take photos of my watercolour process. I drew him with a 6B pencil, which allows for a dark and light contrasty line. I drew him as quickly as I could while still watching for accuracy.
 I always start the drawing and the painting with the face. It seems I need to get that down first before the rest can follow.
 I like emphasizing shadows on the floor to really ground the figure. Without them, the person can look like they're 'floating'.
12x16" - original watercolour painting
Here's the finished product. I did his portrait first (last post) then, realizing how cute his t-shirt was and how interesting his seated body language was, I decided to do this much looser full figure.
And finally, here is a close up of it.

Monday, May 29, 2017

walking man

11x14" original watercolour painting.
I painted this portrait yesterday at a Sunday Painting Workshop. The model went for walks during his break, (every 20 minutes) because it was such a lovely day. So, he returned for each sitting with his cheeks slightly pink. : ) He wore a pink/red shirt so, it all went together nicely.
Here are two more photos, of the drawing and one of the model in the background.

Thursday, May 25, 2017


$150 - 9x12" original watercolour painting
This fellow was such a treat to paint! I added hints of blue cerulean to contrast with his warm brown and dark coat. Lots and lots of colours mixed in this one. 
Here's a close up of him:

Saturday, May 20, 2017

a few more

$80 - 8x10"original watercolour painting
"mixed colours" above and "resting warrior" below are both from longer poses during two different life drawing classes. I'm trying to achieve an interesting line with lots of colour, and I think this same palette choice works with the two very different poses. 
$30 - 8x10"original watercolour painting on 90lb paper.