Wednesday, July 18, 2018

rail operator

8x8"original watercolour painting

I think my hard work, as I plug away at portraiture, is getting me closer to what I'm trying to achieve. Daily practise (or close to it) really is the answer.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Sunday Afternoon

I recently did some portrait drawings, pictured below, that have been waiting for a splash of watercolour! Today I finished one and got started on another. It's interesting how much the pencil drawing changes once watercolour is added. The first one below is this painting above! The next two are charcoal drawings. 

Friday, July 06, 2018

Seahorse Charlie aka Magic Man

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

Seahorse Charlie aka 'Magic Man': 
Charlie, with eyes wide open, floats through the seagrass beds looking for that special someone. Last week he told you about himself. Well, he's ready to tell you more. Charlie is a professional magician. He can move his chameleon like eyes independently of each other! Also, his camouflage ability enables him to change colours abracadabra. And, he can hold his breath underwater for... a really long time. He could magically be yours, just link up through PayPal. ; )

Thursday, July 05, 2018

The Challenge of Portrait

 9x12" original watercolour painting

Well, this portrait was a tough one. 
The spot light on the model put his face half in shadow, so the darkness fell right down the middle of him. I didn't want to wash out the right side completely, (although that can be very dramatic.) I almost left the piece as a pencil drawing but, I still had 2 hours left of the 3 hour portrait session and leaving it felt a bit safe. So, although the pencil drawing was a really good likeness, I got out my watercolours and tried to find some balance in it. 
I learned A LOT with this one and I think I'm a bit closer to where I want to be with portraits... The struggle continues, happily. ; )

Monday, July 02, 2018

Seahorse Sally

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

Seahorse Sally: A passionate swimmer, Sally enjoys exploring tropical coastlines, chocolate mousse with real whipped cream and blowing bubbles. She is always seen wearing her favourite, but modest, coronet. Sally will happily reside in any room of your home, perhaps a blue bathroom for a lovely contrast with her warm orange tones. And really, who's bathroom isn't blue. ; ) 

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Seahorse Charlie

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

Seahorse Charlie: Shy but intelligent, Charlie likes long swims in the sea, root beer floats and shimmering blue coral. He is hand painted and original, a real one-of-a-kind, who hopes to brighten up your days for a lifetime. Charlie is looking for a long term relationship with a serious art lover... like yourself. ; )

Friday, June 22, 2018


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

I really enjoyed painting this patient little companion, with all his warm browns and oranges contrasting some cool blues. What a little honey bun!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

tortoise shell glasses and a grey cat

$100 - 8x10"original watercolour painting

I love the way this portrait, or should I say portraits, asks the viewer to move their eyes back and forth from the woman to the cat, to the woman, to the cat, to the woman... well you get the idea. ; )

Sunday, June 17, 2018

afternoon outing

$60 - original 8x10"watercolour painting with 8x10"mat
Well, here's my second piece from the day at the beach. I looooove painting boats (even little ones!) and plan to paint more of them this summer. They are colourful wonderful shapes. Here's a pic of my paintbox. You can see people standing by the boats but I added the little knapsack. : )

Friday, June 15, 2018

big blue umbrella

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

A day at the beach! I went plein-air painting with the Don Valley Art Club over the weekend. They've got lots of outdoor painting excursions planned so, I hope to attend many of them since painting with pals is such a treat. I added a little pen line to this piece to make sense of all the wonderful blues. : )

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Payne's Gray

Drawing with a charcoal pencil then adding Payne's Gray was a new approach for me yesterday. I was at my weekly life drawing session and thought I would give this combination a try. I love Payne's Gray however artists stay away from it because it doesn't blend well. But it's such a lovely gray! So, I decided, the heck with it, and I purchased Winsor Newton Artist quality Payne's Gray. 
Well... it doesn't blend nicely. It's sticky and doesn't want to cooperate. I'm happy with my results but it was a real struggle. 
Also, after spending money on the artist quality stuff, it turns out I much prefer the Cotman student brand of Payne's Gray. It's a lot less of a "pains gray". 
; )

Saturday, June 09, 2018

living amongst the trees

$60 - 5x7"original watercolour with 8x10"painting
I spent the day at the wonderful High Park here in Toronto, plein-air painting with a friend. We had a great day amongst all the green (!). Can you spot the little duck swimming by. There were lots of them keeping up company. : )
Making progress and trying to keep the greens interesting and true. The house is there... it's just 'amongst the trees', hence my title. : ) 
My little paintbox has served me well over the years. Placed on my lap as I work, it includes my palette, brushes, pencils, water container, a compact mirror (to look at the painting in reverse) and a rag clipped to the right side. It's just great!

Friday, June 01, 2018

all these years

$80 - 8x10"original watercolour painting
Well, here's my first contribution to the #30x30DirectWatercolor2018 Challenge set my Marc Taro Holmes. 30 paintings for the month of June. I thought this sweet couple that I drew at an outdoor cafe would be a nice place to start. 
We'll see how I do with this very challenging challenge.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

favourite hat

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

Well, it seems the 'hat wearers' just keep on coming. Today's cafe moment features 2 people in hats, which are such a treat to paint. I don't think this woman knew I was drawing her, she seemed more excited that we were all enjoying the Passion Iced Tea. Her friend included. His just peeks out from behind his arm. 
: )

Thursday, May 24, 2018

sun hat

5x7" original watercolour painting
As I said in my last post, it was Hat Day at Portrait Drawing on Sunday so here's another painting of a fellow artist wearing a... well you know. ; )
I won't be approaching dots on the face (to represent the light coming through a hat) in this manner again. It's not working for me. And that is exactly what short poses are all about, figuring out what works and what doesn't. Paint Small and Learn Big.

Monday, May 21, 2018

chap with his cap

$60 - 5x7"original watercolour painting with 8x10"mat
Check out my online Gallery -

Well, it was hat day at our weekly Don Valley Art Club Portrait Session today. By a fluke really, many of us artists who sit for each other for 25 minute poses, ended up with a hat on. : )

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

pigtail buns

$100 - 8x10" original watercolour painting

I love this hairstyle. Pigtail Buns! So cute.
I posted a sketch study of this same model a few posts ago. 

Saturday, May 12, 2018

take a long lunch

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

I'm thrilled to be back at it with my cafe moments. I drew this on site during my lunch break. It's almost like 'train of thought' writing, where you just write without editing yourself. I draw as quick as I can, (before the customers get up and leave!), without overthinking it. Just let the line go go go! 
The works become like diary entries.
Here's another pic - 
I drew with the Jumbo 9000 Faber-Castell 6B pencil, my new fave. 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

pensive in pink

11x14" original watercolour

Today's model has a very intense pink sweater on. So, I used good 'ole "opera pink", which is a wonderfully hot pink. I added the same colour in the background, her hair and in her cheeks to balance everything. She was so still and pensive! Wonderful model. 

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Pencil Portraits

I looooove to draw so, even when there isn't time to paint, I always find time to draw. These are 6B pencil studies from my sketchbooks. I use the Faber-Castell 9000 Jumbo pencils because they are so nice to hold, and kinda 'chunky' with some weight to them. ; )
Here's a pic -

Monday, April 30, 2018

Art Show and Artists at Work!

This Wednesday May 2 is the opening for the Don Valley Art Club Art Sale at Todmorden Mills - 67 Pottery Road, Toronto! I'll be there from 7-9pm. 
Also (!) on Sunday May 6 from 2-5pm, a bunch of us will be at the gallery painting portraits. We plan to sit for each other for 25 minutes. So you can come out and see the art AND the artists at work. Everyone Welcome! Free!

Saturday, April 28, 2018


I painted this little 5x7" watercolour commission for a new client. What a honey their dog is!! I love that her little front paw is off the ground as she runs towards her owner. : )

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

subtle beauty

$80 - 8x10"original watercolour painting
Tuesday night's model at life drawing was so lovely. I hope I captured her subtle beauty. 
Also... I will be at the Don Valley Art Club Show opening night at Todmorden (Toronto) this Wednesday May 2 from 7-9pm. Come by and say Hi. 
Here's the info...

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

in thought

$100 - 8x10"original watercolour painting.

One of my favourite models, I love her classic thoughtful look.
I made a quick slide show of the painting process for this portrait, which you can see on my Instagram page!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

little field friend

$60 - 5x7"original watercolour painting with 8x10"mat. 
Despite the freezing rain here in Toronto, this little field friend is enjoying his warm backyard.  
This is the first time I've drawn and painted a mouse. I couldn't resist painting his super cute little pink nose. I welcome any excuse to use hot pink since, besides flowers, I don't get to dip into it much. : )