Thursday, April 5, 2018

I Can Do This

“Last Call for Winter” watercolor on 7x10” Stonehenge Aqua Hotpress
I found many things to appreciate about the way Amery Bohling taught her watercolor sketching class in March at the Scottsdale Artists’ School. I liked her affable nature, the way the arranged for us to paint at several locations, and her sharing of several valuable techniques for making the most out of the watercolor medium. Maybe most important for me were her demos, when she modeled her use of techniques along with how she chooses subjects for composition.

I’ve struggled with how to use watercolor and certainly with how to choose subject matter, but after watching her paint, I saw potential compositions everywhere. Her “I can do this” spirit rubbed off on me, and I’m happy to say that feeling has lingered.

The image above is my third draft of our house after a snow, for which I used a photo I had taken. The first draft I did in gouache (not shown); the second draft, watercolor, is below. I used my new “dagger” brush (yes, shaped like a dagger with a very fine tip) for shadows. I was sort of happy with the results but felt like I could do better if, like the golf course painting I did in March, I used a larger piece of paper.

I could and maybe should do a fourth draft of this, to work on defining our iconic oak tree more carefully. However, this week we had another four inches of snow, and I don’t want to tempt the gods into thinking we want more. It’s April, after all.

Earlier draft of “Last Call for Winter” watercolor on 5.5”x8.5” Canson Watercolor Cold Press paper 


  1. I saw artists in Japan painting with huge brushes that tapered to a tiny point...painting white glaze on Noritake china. It’s truly intricate and lustrous. I love your shadows.

    1. That must have been something to see. It’s amazing the difference the shape or quality of a brush can make.


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I met Sally forty years ago when I was twenty and she was the one in her sixties. I was a waitress at a Howard Johnson’s restaurant on...