Abstract 022120

The bold application of purple overwhelmed the original slim, wavy red and blue brushstrokes. I like the enveloping light blue washes that provide balance to the central tangle.


I began this one with a relatively opaque watercolor called Terra Rosa. I like its tone, although it is a bit dull. At this point, I had no plan for how I wanted this work to look at the end. I put down some more wide strokes. Some of the blue marks were bold, some […]

Open Lines

I usually start compositions with closed curves. That is, if the curved lines were to be extended, they would make a shape, like a circle or an oval. In today’s experiment, I began with open curves. If we extend these lines, they would not converge to make a shape.  I tried to keep this in […]

Killer Snail

Wavy brush strokes with a fan brush organized themselves in concentric arcs. The elegant spiral of the nautilus is nowhere to be seen. This may have been the deciding evolutionary factor that made the snail pictured below, a killer. Its form does not indicate function; it has to fight for every morsel. It’s disposition is […]

Abstract with Brush Strokes

I used the atmospheric approach of yesterday with some bold outlines, in today’s watercolor. The amorphous areas are thus bounded by structure. The edges of the paper bound an awkward space. Three bright areas are mostly enveloped by the heavy greenish outline, but the other two yellow spots are only partially enclosed. I usually do not intentionally […]

Abstract 112316

I have the opposite of writer’s block. I’ve been doing one painting after another. I experiment with merging of different pigments and try to vary the strokes of my brush to effect different designs. I don’t remember the precise order of events for the painting below except for the beginning check-mark of a brush loaded with […]

Lesson 10 – Brush Strokes

Today’s warmup exercise: I noted yesterday that I had some questions about brushstrokes and how I could make them visible in my watercolor tone studies. They all seemed to fade into the background wash within seconds. I am working through an interesting watercolor manual called, the Tate Watercolour Manual, Lessons from the Great Masters by Tony Smibert and […]

Coffee Tree

Today’s watercolor experiment: My wife and I frequently stop for coffee while we are out and about. Today I noticed a tree outside the coffeeshop. I usually notice trees that are brightly colored, especially in the afternoon light. In the spirit of experimentation, I began painting not with a brush, but with a sponge. Since […]

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