Monday, January 30, 2023



Victorian Vignette #2 ala Shari Blaukopf
watercolor and pencil
8" x *8 cold press watercolor paper

I love that I feel on a roll with w/c painting. Who knows how long it'll last, but it's a great artist's high in the meanwhile. 

This painting I produced with the help of Canadian watercolor artist Shari Blaukopf's course called "Victorian Vignettes." It doesn't feel a "real" painting of my own since it's a copy I made from watching Shari's demos. Still, I learned so much with this one--primarily the importance of making the initial washes very light and watery. As we all know, I have a tendency to overwork my paintings and (whoops!) lose the transparency. 

I also grasped the importance of saving the darker, more saturated colors for just the final touches/details. See below for my painting before those dark layers. What a difference, eh? As Shari herself said, her own paintings look flat before she adds those final touches. This one did to me, too.

Really, who knew this learning process could be so dang much fun? 

Now. The trick, of course, is being able to apply this kind of learning to one's own compositions. As you can see below, the learning didn't quite translate with this painting of my sister's gazebo in the snow. But hopefully something's getting through to my muscle memory. One of these days, surely I'll feel like I can fly as a watercolorist.


Wednesday, January 25, 2023

The Scales Fell Away...

8" x 12" watercolor on cold press paper

Yes, the scales fell away from my I worked through Shari Blaukopf's online course called "Sketching Winter."

I painted her demos, and then I painted from one of her "extra" reference photos of a woodland near Montreal. I felt good about coming up with this without following a demo. The scene looks very much like a Midwestern woodland. And it happens that I'm spending a few weeks in Iowa, where we recently received a beautiful layer of snow. 

I've gone on to other snow paintings while here, and nothing has worked as well, but at least the scales fell away temporarily with this painting. 

That's the life of a painter-in-development. 


More About the Sally Project

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...