Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Holidays are upon us! Every year I need to re-asses what they mean to me THIS year.

I love the many traditions about this time of year; they are all about light--spiritual or physical--coming in a time of darkness. I cannot do justice to any of them here, but here is a smattering with links if you want to explore further. Be sure and add any I may have missed!
  • The day Buddha realized the way out of earthly misery and experienced Nirvana is celebrated by many Buddhists on   Bodhi Day, Dec 8th
Golden Phoenix raising the sun, a Chinese Solstice Story

  • St Lucia's Day, Dec 13  is a Swedish holiday I love celebrating with children. Lucia--or Lucy, meaning light--is said to have brought food to Christians hiding in the catacombs in Rome in about 300 AD. When I ran an earlychildhood program, we made crowns with paper "candles" and cinamon rolls to bring to the elders.
  • Solstice, Dec 21st --I love calling Winter Solstice the day of the Birth of the Sun (Son)!
  • Many Sufi celebrate the Urs of Rumi on Dec 17th. In this tradition, the day a saint dies is the day he or she is reunited with the Divine. It is called the Wedding Day and is celebrated as a day of joy!
  • Christmas--Some of my friends consider Christmas to be unChristian because the date and some of the customs we still use are based on Roman holidays of Saturnalia and Dies Natalis of Sol Invictus (Birthday of the unconquerable sun).
  • Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday celebrating the one days worth of oil that kept the temple light and kept burning for  8 days. Like many other winter holidays, candles are an important part of the celebration.    
  • Yule--remember hearing about the yule log?
How do you celebrate the winter holidays?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Its a Wrap: Vashon Island Studio Tour--Profit?

Cloud Study, Tramp Harbor (6"x9") -- Sold!
How does one figure profit? I plan to give all my profit to the International Rescue Committee, but 
how much is profit?

It's not as simple as looking at how much I spent getting ready for the show. I spent a lot of money on things that didn't sell this time but will over time, and on equipment I will use later. In fact, I believe I invested more than I brought in. Not to mention the hours spent making materials, getting things ready, setting up the space. If I counted my return only in dollars, I would be seriously in the hole!

And yet...there is something very nourishing about telling people the stories behind my paintings. I believe my core mission, to bring people closer to nature and to the Divine Within through my art, is served when I tell the stories of the paintings, and when people buy the art.

I am nourished when people buy my art! It gives me courage to keep on painting, and to keep on showing and telling my stories.

It also serves my core mission when I give money earned from my art to meet some need in this world. So I look for models on how to figure profit.

I remember long ago when Greyhound Bus boasted a %15 profit margin. That was a lot in those days; now corporations are expecting a larger and larger profit margin, but is Greyhound even still around?

Now that the Vashon Island Holiday Studio Tour is over, I need to crunch the numbers and see how much is left over after cost of goods sold and the expenses of renting the space, among other things. I need to look at what I need to spend on materials and on professional development in the near future (long term planning is not really my forte'). Even if all this exceeds the money I brought in, I want to give at least %15 of my gross to the International Rescue Committee.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Just to let you know....

small (6" x 9") watercolor of Orcas we saw--sold!
I plan to resume my series on watercolor techniques on Monday or Tuesday.

Coming up is the second (and last) weekend of the Vashon Island Winter Art Studio Tour. I sold some paintings last weekend! Also sold some of my Peacock Princess story coloring books and my calendars with my photos of Vashon Island. Not a way to pay the bills, but I think I've made expenses so far, and a little profit to give to the International Rescue Committee.

I feel so blessed to be living a wonderful life! I have time and inspiration to pursue my art, money for materials, a sweet loving man for a partner, healthy compassionate children and grandchildren. I wish this happiness for you as well!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

#35 on the Studio Tour

Oh, man! I've so much to do and so little time. I need to put the watercolor painting tips on hold until next week. So sorry!

Today, the 4 of us artists and 2 friends sat down to plan how we would get the old Grange Hall ready for our show opening on December 5.

You've heard the term "herding cats"? Well, that's us! Of course it was very interesting learning about Will's experience in New York, and what George will charge to replace the roof, and why we are #35 instead of our usual #1.

Not very time efficient, though.

And those last minute changes about how we will use the brain ached!

Still, the camaraderie that develops as we work together is priceless!

Thank you to Will for getting us motivated and for doing so much of the grunt work!

Thank you to Rifaat and Paul for pitching in to do those "guy things"--pounding nails, hefting heavy boards,  using noisy equipment.

Thank you to Marcia for quickly cleaning very grody spots.

Thank you to Valerie for mapping where we would put the signs.

Artists showing at #35 on the Vashon Island Studio Tour:

Will Forester: watercolors, oils
Marcia McKinsky: watercolor batiques
Suzanna Leigh: hand painted silks
Valerie Roberts: abstracts

Also appearing
All Things Rich: artisan spices and blends
Jasper Forester: products from Green Man Farm

Saturday, November 28, 2015

After the Pencil or Pen Sketch, Adding Color

The hardest thing for me is to remember to paint the lightest brightest colors first. I am so used to
defining what I see by the shadows and lines! However, in watercolor you can't paint light over dark because the pigments are various degrees of transparent.

If you try, you get mud.

Usually the lightest area is the sky, but I don't always paint it first.  Here in the Pacific Northwest, it is often gray, or white. When young children are asked what color is the sky, they often answer, "white".

If your sky is blue and you have oranges and yellows in your sketch, your oranges will turn brown and your yellows will turn green if you paint them over the blue sky.

At this point you are painting loosely, not trying to stay carefully within your pencil lines, or you will get a paint by number look.

You will get nice color blends if you work "wet on wet". For example, the red and orange were added while the yellow was still wet.  Now let it dry.

Once it is dry you can add your middle values. The darker green now gives definition to the bright orange foliage of the tree at left. Anything you want white or nearly white, leave alone until later.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Preparing the Sketch for Color-Pencil or Pen?

Pencil sketch; ink lines determine the composition
Sometimes I use pencil, sometimes I use a black drawing pen. They give a different effect, but honestly, I don't make this decision consciously. Currently I like to start with a pencil drawing.

Do think about composition. You are in charge; you can move things around, leave them out, put in something that pleases you. Think about how your eye will travel over the page. What draws your eye first? Where will the lines in the composition lead your eye?

 Sometimes if I start with a drawing pen and try to add color before the ink has properly dried--and the ink runs! Not what I wanted, but, well, I rather like this effect! (Remember, it's all an experiment!)

Here are some different effects:
Oops! The ink ran! Oh well....
Second try, done first in pencil, then watercolor, then pen.
Lightly sketched in ink, then watercolor pencil

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Take a Day Off to Enjoy

Yesterday morning before light, I woke feeling an influx of Joy and Peace. Wow! I couldn't figure out where it came from.

Later, I got an email from my spiritual healing teacher, Majid. She said she was in Mexico, watching the moon set on the Pacific Ocean about that time, sending all her students that Love and Peace.

Yes, we are all connected.

Today I can choose to mourn the lies we've been told about the origin of Thanksgiving and the horrifying violence that the Pilgrims did to the native people.....

Or I can choose to make a special effort to send Peace to all those I love and also to those who are now struggling with violent unpeaceful situations.

Or maybe both.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Preparing Your Mind for Sketching: No Fear

My teacher, Rollin Thomas
I've been painting in watercolors as long as I can remember, and still I experience fear before I even reach for my sketch book! Over the years, I've developed some tools to overcome that fear and enter into kind of sacred space when I paint. Here are some of them:
  • Most important--let go of judgement and expectations. Remember it is all an experiment.  Anything worth doing is worth doing badly, and the only cure for bad paintings is to paint lots more!
  • Allow time to change gears before and after, especially when working at home. A cup of tea is one of my favorite gear changers. 
  • Tell your left brain to let go for a little while. It can have the steering wheel of your life back later. 
  • Making a to do list to attack after I paint reassures me that I won't loose control of my day to day life (for some reason, my left brain has this fear).
  • Set a time limit. I need about an hour for a sketching session, three hours for a good session in the studio.
  • If working at home, choose background music carefully. 
  • If at home, put up your "DO NOT DISTURB" sign. Make sure the kids are settled in bed, phone off the hook, significant other knows not to ask you when the repairman is coming.
 When I am frustrated by the result, I remind myself that every artist does a number of "ugly" paintings among the ones that sing, and the ones I hate are often the ones someone else really likes! Besides, it is all an experiment, and look what I learned!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Preparing for Sketching in Watercolor: Materials

Pen or Pencil? They leave different looks to your finished sketch.
Whether you plan to sketch at your favorite park or local coffee shop, or prefer to curl up at home and paint your favorite plant, you want to make it easy to grab your materials. I recommend a small back pack, all packed and ready to go.

I also recommend working small, on a size that can be easily carried and easily matted. You will need:
  • A sketch book of watercolor paper or hand made paper, no bigger than 6"x9" ( I currently prefer 6"x8" to fit a mat with a 5.5"x7.5" window). It is easier to remove sketches for matting and framing from a spiral bound sketchbook.  A hard cover sketchbook with perfect binding, on the other hand, is great for those travel moments you want to keep together.
  • One or two brushes. I use a #8 flat and a #8 round. Sometimes I do a whole painting with just one brush.
  • Four colors of paint: the primaries and Burnt Umber. I like Alizeran Crimson, New Gambouge, and Ultramarine Blue. Eventually you will want to add a warm red, a cool yellow, and Cerulian Blue. I'll talk more about warm and cool colors later. 
  • A water tight container with water
  • Paper towel
  • Two or Three yogurt lids for palates (or any lid at least 3" in diameter) and a plastic bag to keep them in (so they won't get paint all over the inside of your back pack when you are finished painting)
  • Pen or Pencil and eraser
  • masking tape (optional)
Keep these packed and you are ready to go at a moment's notice!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Still in a Daze from HollyDaze

I'm still a little dazed. I had a booth at the local holiday bazaar, HollyDaze, on Saturday. Some of the watercolor sketches I did this fall were good enough to put on cards. I had some scarves and of course my books.

At the last minute, I decided to donate all my profits to Doctors without Boarders, and put up a little sign at my booth.

I loved telling my stories, particularly my version of Medea and the Dragon. One of my cards shows Media "dancing the dragon". She put it to sleep by dancing and singing, and putting magic potion in his eyes. I'll tell you the story some time.

The best sellers were the dragon cards (not shown) and the Peacock Princess coloring book.

After figuring my costs, I am able to donate $100 to Doctors without Borders!

Next time: materials you will need--and some you may want--to play with watercolor sketching.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Sketching: Why Sketch?

Boating Through the Swinnomish Channel
So...why sketch? And what IS sketching?

A sketch is a quick study. It may record a memory or a visual idea, or something you see in front of you. I particularly enjoy sketching something in front of me in watercolor. Why?
  • While sketching, I enter into the beauty of what I am seeing.
  • I sharpen my observation skills as I note shape, color, value.
  • I let go of preconceived ideas of what things look like. For example, a tree is not just green.
  • The colors and lines I use express my feelings about the object as well as my general state of mind.
  • I let go of daily worries and fears and enter into a state of peaceful rapport with my subject.
  • I capture treasured memories, like this one of gliding through the Swinnomish Channel in my sailboat.
I want this experience for you. That is why I am putting together a little sketch book with tips and techniques for watercolor sketching, and three kinds of paper for you to play with.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Sketching for Peace

The setting sun splashed gold on the rocky shore.
The Buddhists say peace starts within. If you want peace in the world, start with yourself.

And it's true! Have you ever had someone smile at you, and suddenly your own mood lifted? Research has shown that our emotions effect other people. Our emotions are contagious and people across the room are affected by it. Some research has shown that when we are happy or sad, people we are closely connected to are affected even miles away.

We CAN create a more peaceful world by creating peace within ourselves.

Yeah, right! How do we do THAT?

For me, sketching is a way to peace.  Something about putting color on paper to record the colors of nature, brings that beauty into my soul.

It is a peace that goes deeper than the winds and currents of daily life.

I want that peace for you.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Sketching for Calm in the Face of Tragedy

When the tragedies of the world are overwhelming, I turn to my sketchbook. Looking at the sketches and landscapes I have done nourishes me.

When I sketch from life, I see things as they are, not as symbols and icons. My mind lets go of worries, and the beauty in front of me becomes my world, enters my soul. When I put my brush down, I can face the world of man with more strength, more calm.
My friends say I am easier to live with when I am painting regularly!

Here is another resource for getting to calm, from Sharon Roemmel. Thank you, Sharon for this post!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Can Art Heal Fear?

We sailed on Sunday. Such beauty heals my soul!
These mornings I wake up with fear in my belly. I am afraid for our world.

There is so much violence being done to the environment and to the people! Terrorists in Paris, the city of romance. Suicide bombers in Lebanon. A dam break in Brazil spewing toxic waste the whole length of a river, wiping out an entire ecosystem. It's overwhelming!

I cannot hold so much grief without self-destructing. I need beauty and color!

The memory of sailing on Sunday fills my mind with wonder. The fear is not forgotten, but the beauty and wonder of that day erases some of the pain.

What can I do to help the world heal? Is beauty the antidote?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tree by the Bank, Vashon Town--Finished!

Fall Colors in Vashon
I didn't let the winter dark stop me after all. I finished this by studio light. I wonder what the colors will look like in daylight tomorrow!

You know, I think I should have been more careful of the straight lines on the building's roof. It just doesn't read right.

 I like the shadows, though, and I'm glad I decided to include the bench. I love the tree colors!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Vashon Town watercolor

Fall Colors, Vashon Town
Finally getting back to the watercolor paintings I started on a few days ago. You may remember I only got this far on site:

Today It's dark and rainy, so I'm working in my studio. I'm using the photo I took as reference, but I'm not trying to duplicate the photo.

Masking over the areas where the darkest meets the light areas
I used painters masking tape to block out areas I want to remain light when I paint in the dark tree in the back ground and the darkest shadows. This works if you don't press too hard on the masking tape and if you wait until the paint is dry before putting the tape on.

Almost finished! Just need to add details

 The tree is painted in, the masking tape removed.

It is important to wait for the paint to dry after each step. The darkest shadows were added after the green of the fir dried. When all that is dry I can add a little color to the lamp post and tree trunk and finish the bank building.

Now the light is gone--darn these winter days! I'll finish this another day.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Music at Goodies

music influenced this design.
No time to do a watercolor sketch today; busy writing, lying out, and proofing my brochure. Worked on it right up until time to catch the ferry for Seattle. Rifaat needed to pick up some things at Goodies, a sort of Middle Eastern grocery store with a restaurant in Lake City.

This is my doodle while waiting for Rifaat to make his purchases. I think it was influenced by the music in the restaurant.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Watercolors: Two for One

tree by U.S. Bank
No one home at the flower shop. I guess she forgot we had made arrangements for me to do a watercolor sketch there this morning. But...

 Wow! It's almost mid November and there are still colors on the trees. The colors on the tree by the bank are amazing! I can sit in the car and paint!

Hmm, paint is taking awhile to dry enough for the next step.  What can I do while waiting? Well...the same tree is reflected in the Flower Shop window across the street, and I happen to have two sketch books with me, so.....

I worked on one painting while the other one dried. Working back and forth like this I was able to capture some of the most vibrant colors and paint in the lighter areas around them.

After an hour, I'm only this far along. So much for ten minute paintings in watercolor!

The photos will help me finish these at home.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Sketching People in Watercolor

The Bridge at KVI Beach
I love doing these little water color sketches!  Sometimes they turn out well, sometimes not so well. Maybe it has something to do with familiarity with the subject.

KVI Beach is one of my favorite places to walk. I've admired this view a hundred times or more. And I've painted a good many water color paintings, some of this very scene.

Mother and Child at the Coffee Roastery
The mother and child at the Vashon Island Coffee Roastery, however, is a new topic for me. I haven't done people in watercolor except in life drawing class--where the model stays still for 20 minutes at a time! Sometimes I can get a good ink sketch that captures a moment, but to do this in water color is new for me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Love and Sex After Sixty

I love Puuung's cartoons about love! They inspire me to do some I have been thinking of: Sex after Sixty. That sounds pretty risque, though. It wouldn't really be all about sex. Or rather there is so much more to romance than the bedroom!

And yet....old folks can have just as much fun in the bedroom as young folks--more even! Sometimes we enter a whole new dimension we had no clue about when we were younger.

Puuung's work is so wonderfully not x-rated. I kinda want to get down to nitty gritty, so my work would not be appropriate for everyone. And I don't know if I would have courage to actually do this!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A little Ink Sketch at the Tea Shop

Vashon Tea Shop draws me back again and again. I like the quiet, and the beauty of the place.

I want to do watercolor sketches of all
sketch with ball point pen
the places people hang out on Vashon, so I wandered into the coffee shop, Cafe Luna, thinking I would sketch there. Too crowded and noisy, so here I am back at the tea shop.

Today the few people here want quiet too. They are planning, writing, thinking. I take out ...Oh no! forgot my watercolor paints and palate again! Luckily I do have a ball point pen and sketch book.

Drawing more detail and contrast near the person writing focuses attention on her, and the darks on the big teapot--yes, it really is that big!--create a balanced composition.

About her, she didn't wiggle it. She turned her head as I was drawing it.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Daily Color

Pink Flower Scarf (instead of drawing)

Friday I painted a scarf and took notes instead of drawing.

Wendy and I went to an orientation for the International Rescue Committee. We sat in a crowded room of about 25-30 people to learn about how refugees come into the U.S. and what kind of programs the IRC has to help them get resettled. I took notes.

It was good information, whether or not I end up volunteering with that organization. I learned that people classified as refugees are carefully screened (both a security screening and a medical screening). Once here, they get limited financial support with an emphasis on getting them into jobs and financially independent as quickly as possible. There is a lot involved in getting people resettled! 

My sketch a day commitment is morphing into a commitment to create color daily, while exploring ways to help people affected by climate change and the resulting violence. I see huge changes coming as the world warms up and people flee to more livable places--like here--and I want to meet those changes with compassion rather than with fear.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Tea Shop Rose

Oh, man! I forgot my watercolors! Here I am at the tea shop, hoping to get a really nice little
Derwent watercolor pencils and ball point pen
watercolor sketch to replace the one I painted orca whales on the back of, and I left my palate and paints at home!

But wait! I'm prepared for that emergency! I have my brushes and, in my purse, I have a set of watercolor pencils. Boo, the tea shop owner, kindly gets me a cup of water, and here I go....

Boo likes the result. It really makes a difference when I balance colors, putting a little of the rose's red and yellow in other parts of the painting, adding blue reflections on the table.

Boo liked the result, and that gave me courage to ask the flower shop next door if I can do a painting there. Cara said yes! I'm on for next Wednesday, before the shop opens.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Little Prayer for a Friend

Prayer for a Friend
A friend of mine is separated from her daughter and grand daughter in a time of crisis. Please join me
in prayer for them, that they may be re-united in Peace and Love.

A little background: the daughter is in severe post traumatic stress due to serving in Iraq, as is her estranged husband. Or maybe they are divorced now. The divorce is bitter--even violent at times--and their child is torn between the two as custody battles rage. I see this family as another casualty of the wars.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Ugly Art Comes First

Sufi Practice at Unity Zickr, 10-31-15
I'll tell you a little secret: I do a lot of ugly art. OK, yes, some days my work comes out very well, but
that is not the norm. Most days the first sketches I do--and sometimes all of them--just don't please me. You don't see those. I hide them.

Not today. Today I will show you some of my ugly art.

You see, people who don't draw seem to think every  beautiful finished piece an artist shows came easily and quickly to the paper.

Not so.

Cat Gestures
Every nice little sketch, not to mention every finished painting or drawing, is the result of lots of practice and many ugly pieces, or pieces that don't quite work.Some whole sessions result in work I would not ordinarily show.

Yesterday at the Coffee Roastery on Vashon was like that.

The Roastery is a popular gathering place. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming. The walls are lined with a hundred varieties of tea and herbs for healing or cooking, all in glass jars. You can get drip coffee and drink it on the porch, or you can sip your latte inside. You can curl up alone with your Chai and newspaper,  you can chat with the person at the next table, or you can meet up with your buddies.

I want to capture this atmosphere in a little watercolor sketch, or maybe in a larger work. So I shouldered my sketching back pack and went off to the Roastery for tea and sketching.
Playing Cards

There is so much to look at! Not just the jars, but antique coffee making equipment, framed burlap coffee bean bags, baskets of fresh island produce, stained glass window, tables laid in mosaics....

It was visually overwhelming. And the result for me was ugly art.

Yes, people move before I can sketch them well. That's no excuse, though; often I can still catch a semblance of the person I am drawing, something that has grace and character. Not so much this time.

I tried drawing with ink, then adding just a little color--which became fully colored with washes that made the ink run.

I tried water color over a pencil sketch, adding just a little ink at the end. That didn't work either.

No happy ending yet, but I did learn some things:

  • Ink smears when you try to wash over it.
  • Blue clothing on the people make them stand out against the warm colors of the setting. 
  • Using a cooler red behind the people makes the people stand out better than the warmer red does.
  • Ink lines are freer and more interesting when I do them first
  • Leaving white space really draws the eye.
  • The pose of mother and child I captured on my camera--which I won't show, as I don't have the mother's permission--is much more interesting than the one I drew. 
  • I want to use these sketches and the photo to create a much better painting, hopefully one worth showing.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

But I Don't WANT to Draw!--Keeping the discipline

UG! Oh well, I learned something!
What do you do when you don't want to draw what you see? It's ugly, the people are moving too fast, you just aren't in the mood, or nothing comes out right?

 Maybe you are on the bus on your way home from work and don't have much time. The bus is moving too fast to draw the scenery and the people are...boring.

Or you are housebound and the house is yelling at you to clean it, and who wants to draw a cluttered house anyway? but you know that if you start cleaning, you'll NEVER pick up the sketchbook.You feel depressed.

This pleases me doodle. And lo! You have made something of beauty. Perhaps  a nicely balanced design appears on the paper, or an image from your subconscious leaps onto the page to tell you something. You feel like, Yes! I have created something that pleases me--or at the very least, I have given my hands and eyes practice working together.

The house will get dirty again, the bus ride will be over; but this, THIS, will still be here on this page. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Estuary at KVI Part Two

Last time I showed you how I prepare to do a small water color sketch in the studio, inspired by a photo. Now to splash on the color!

1. Apply the lightest colors first. Usually this means the sky, but....well....I forgot the sky until last this time!
Add lightest colors first

It helps to paint your lightest colors bigger than they will be in the finished painting. You will define their shapes when you add the darks. Remember: you can always paint a darker color over a lighter one, but with watercolor, you cannot paint light over dark. You get mud.

Here I have used Alizarin Crimson and New Gamboge for the fall colors. The green is New Gamboge and Permanent Green.

Use darker colors to give shape to the lighter areas
2. Now  add the darker colors. The dark green is New Gamboge and Permanent Green or Indigo Blue. In landscape, the colors are brighter and the contrasts in light and dark are more intense closer to you. I paint them before moving my brush to areas further away, as the strokes get lighter before the brush needs to be dipped in paint again.

3. Add the darkest shadows and the details. Here I mixed in some burnt Umber with the New Gamboge and Indigo Blue for a lovely green black. Black or brown pen on the branches and a little on the shoreline sharpens the detail and focuses the eye.

This came out rather nice, I think!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Painting in Watercolor: Estuary at KVI, Part One--preparing

Estuary at KVI
KVI beach is one of my favorite places on Vashon Island. I picnicked  there with my kids when they were growing up, watched the fireworks from the beach, took my class there on field trips when I had Suzanna's School. I walked there daily when recovering from surgery. 

Here's a little watercolor of the stream and bank behind the beach, with some tips on technique. I used a photo for inspiration--then lost the photo, so I'm sorry I can't show it to you.

Very light pencil sketch
 1. First, draw the composition very lightly in pencil. This is the basis for the painting. I drew the darkest and most interesting lines in ink. This is not something I've done before; usually I either draw the scene in pencil, paint over that, and ink last, or I draw the whole scene in ink and paint over that.

Value study; noticing where the lights and darks are

2. When working in the studio I have the luxury of doing a value study. This gives me a chance to look more closely at the scene and make some more decisions about what to include.

3. Something else I can take time for in the studio is to create a color palate. That way I can try out colors and color mixes ahead of time.

When painting on scene, I often have another piece of paper to try out colors before applying them to the painting.

Next time we'll splash--or brush--on the color! Oh, and add detail.  You won't miss it if you follow me by email (top left corner of the blog page). I hope you join me!