Watercolor Painting Process – Clouds

I thought a good way to get back into watercolor painting would be to paint clouds. Clouds are amorphous within their bodies, sometimes with hard-edged boundaries and sometimes blending into the sky behind them. Two basic watercolor techniques can be used to create these elements: use of a loaded brush on dry paper to create […]

Practice: Clouds at Different Heights with Blue Sky

This was an attempt to combine clouds with blue skies.  First, I used liquid latex to mask areas for the clouds, then I painted the blue sky. I knew that the sharp edges around the mask would need to be soften, as clouds are soft.  On some of the edges, I added water, before the […]

Watercolor Sketches: Gray Clouds in Front of Cloud Line, with Evergreens

Here are a couple of more preliminary watercolor sketches of cloud formations. I photographed this cloud bank late last month. I was struck by the smattering of blue sky between the solid mass of white-edged clouds in the background, and smaller steel gray clouds hovering in the foreground. In the first sketch, I laid down […]


I have been taking photographs of the painted portions of parking lots for quite a while now (see Parking Lot Impasto; New Paint Job, Derelict Parking Lot, Parking Lot Square, Aging Parking Lot Segment) . Part of my fascination arises from the interesting textures, and patterns of the paint and its substrate, but also from the […]

Salted Colors

Today’s watercolor is another salt experiment. Instead of washing the entire paper with single colors, I mixed them in one pass. While the pigments were mixing in the wet mass on the paper, I sprinkled pretzel salt on them and waited for it to dry. Here is the result: I’m going to pin this up in […]

Lesson 10.5 – Creative Blotting

Today’s warmup exercise: The title of today’s exercise in the book I have been following, the Tate Watercolour Manual, Lessons from the Great Masters by Tony Smibert and Joyce Townsend, is Creative Blotting. The idea was to drop grainy pigments, such as raw umber and burnt umber onto pre-wetted watercolor paper. From there, the instructions said, to wipe […]


Today’s watercolor experiment: Today’s watercolor is based on my warmup exercise from yesterday (Lesson 7 – Paint Removal). I used the same techniques, but on a larger scale (9×12 instead of ~4×6) and using better quality paper (Arches vs generic paper – both 140# weight, however). Immediately below is the first wash, using neutral tint, […]

Lesson 7 – Paint Removal

Today’s warmup exercise: I had fun today and tried some new things.  The idea of the exercise was to discover different ways to manipulate paint once it has been applied to the paper. I started each of my four panels by painting them with neutral tint. this is a grayish brown pigment. I practiced the […]


Today’s watercolor experiment: My warmup exercise today is not directly related to today’s experiment. I love the unpredictability of watercolor washes with more than two colors, so couldn’t resist doing another one today. I began with cerulean blue and washed a small (2″) strip at the top of the paper; cerulean blue seems to require a LOT of […]

Lesson 5 – More Washing

Today’s warmup: I continued with variegated washes today. Below are 4 panels that look very similar to those in Lesson 4. In the top left panel I used ultramarine blue, lemon yellow and cadmium red light as washes on the upper portion and a line of my gray mixture (cobalt blue and cadmium red light) […]