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Showing posts from September, 2017

Layered Pines Watercolor

Another painting that I see quite frequently on Instagram is layered pine trees that fade into the background. I wanted to give it a try and I knew my handmade Succulent Garden watercolor pallet that I just got from Designs By Rachel Beth on Etsy would be perfect.

I started with a wet background and lightly painted in some pine trees. I let that dry and then layered some more pine trees over the first ones, but just a touch darker. After those dried, I added one more layer of pine trees, but much more saturated in color. I painted hints of trunks on the last layer, too. Then, because it was snowing in the mountains here in Utah, I put some white gouache on a brush and tapped it over the top for a hint of snow. Fun! Can't wait to do this again!

Watercolor Cactus

One thing I've been seeing on Instagram a lot lately that I think is super cute is cacti. I love them because they are simple green shapes with pops of color. I decided to try my own using a little trick I learned at the watercolor and calligraphy retreat I went to a couple weekends ago. With the class, we received two packs of watercolor pencils (from Close to My Heart). My first though was "oh great, watercolor pencils" (with eye roll). I've never been into colored pencils and I've never really had a desire to try watercolor pencils until the instructor pointed something out-- you can use watercolor pencils to sketch your drawing and it will just blend in when you paint your picture. What?! That's one of the best tricks I've ever heard! So, I sketched out what I wanted to paint and just started filling it in:

I added a simple ground color and shadows so they weren't just floating in space:

And then I did something bad... I thought I had a very fine …

Modern Calligraphy

As I mentioned a couple posts back, I attended a watercolor and calligraphy retreat. I was expecting brush calligraphy, but I got modern calligraphy (taught by Melissa Esplin @melissapher on Instagram) with an actual calligraphy nib-- SCARY! But it wasn't really. It's going to take a lot of work and practice... and nibs! I'm so excited to work with it though!

I've only done a very little bit of practice so far. I got almost all the way through the alphabet in lower case before I decided I just wanted to write some words. It happened to be the first day of autumn when I was practicing, so what better words to practice than "welcome autumn" in all lower case letters (because I don't know any upper case letters yet).

I will say... it's intimidating to start but so mesmerizing once you get into it.

I feel like there is a little improvement between the first and second "welcome autumn", but I do need to work on my hairlines (that l... yuck!)

Purple Tree Watercolor

My fiancé asked me to paint him a purple tree, so how could I not. I think it was a pretty good idea...

Watercolor and Calligraphy Retreat

For my birthday, my mom bought me a ticket to a watercolor and calligraphy retreat last weekend. I was so excited and I was not let down. Not only was the instruction amazing, but we received so many calligraphy and watercolor supplies. I'm in love with all of them.

We started with calligraphy and I was expecting brush calligraphy, but we used calligraphy nibs! It was scary, but so fun and exciting. I've already practiced some of the things I learned and I can't wait to really dive in. More on that later.

The watercolor class was in the afternoon and we painted pink flowers referencing a painting that the instructor had already painted. As usual, I focused way too much on the details. I really want to focus on painting more loosely. I learned a lot about gouache (including how to pronounce it) and we got an amazing pallet of colors.

The instructors were Natalie Malan and Melissa Esplin. I'll definitely be watching for more of their classes. I can't wait to do this…

Geometric Pastel Minimal Watercolor

I sat down and painted a few backgrounds to layer some pastels on. I really want to explore colors, textures and layers and I feel like pastel is a really good way to add those things to watercolor. This is my first try. I expected to do a lot more with the pastels, but I was happy with this and I think I need to try it on a larger piece of paper because of the thickness of the pastels. I'd also like to work on keeping more of the negative white space to utilize that layer, too.

Splitting Rims

I've been trying something new with my pottery lately that I'm pretty excited about. I've been splitting the rim on pretty every piece that I can. The idea came to me when my boss asked me to make a candy dish for her. I wanted to make something a little more special than just a plain bowl.

A few years ago, I split the rim on a few pots and I didn't have the best results-- mostly because the rims were too thin, I think. This time I've left the rims as thick as I can and I'm hoping for better results. Here are some photos of some bowls that I haven't finished yet, but I'm hoping to glaze soon!

Minimal Abstract Watercolor

I cannot overstate how much I love watching watercolors run together and what they look like when they dry-- satisfies every time. This is one that I originally did to experiment with some pastels over the top. These are probably my favorite colors to paint together and I just couldn't bring myself to do anything over the top of it when it was done.


Recently, I was cleaning out all of my art supplies at my parent's house and I came across a bunch of oil pastels. I thought it would be a lot of fun to play with layering colors and composition with watercolors. So, here's my first one! I can't wait to keep playing around with these!

The background was done with my Let's Go Camping handmade watercolor pallet from a few posts back. I just love those colors!

I will need to find a good fixative to keep the pastel in place...