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 […]

Lesson 6 – Painting without Paint Brushes

Today’s warmup exercise: The title of the exercise I tried from the Tate Watercolour Manual, Lessons from the Great Masters by Tony Smibert and Joyce Townsend was ‘Spatter and other marks’.  It prompts the students to use a toothbrush to shpritz watercolors onto the panels of the test chart.  After spattering different colors, the book suggested using […]


I haven’t played the violin in many years, but I remember playing scales. Scales and arpeggios are the basic building blocks of music, that is, music with which I am familiar, anyway.  I hope to play again some day, but I know that I will have to start from scratch, trying to play each note […]

Red Abstract

Today’s watercolor experiment: I’m still on my nonrepresentational kick. Today for the first time, I used red as the dominant color, reaching to the borders of the paper. As in all my abstracts in this series (Let Watercolors Be Watercolors, About Those Watercolors, Yet Another Factor), my process was the same: 1) create a pool […]

Mindless Abstract

I have been nostalgic and laden with heavy thoughts lately, attending my mother’s 90th birthday party on February 9th and being at her side when she died on February 20. I included many of the details in my posts during that period and will not revisit them here.  I want to engage in some mindless […]

Make Believe-ish Flower

Today’s watercolor experiment: I am working on another painting of a real flower, taking my time because it is for a special occasion.  However I took the opportunity today, to be carefree about my brushstrokes and my composition. Process: I wet the entire paper before I applied any pigment. I used to do this quite […]


Today’s watercolor experiment: I’m still working with granular watercolor pigments and their relationship with more mobile pigments. Beginning with Van Dyke brown: I wet the perimeter of the paper and a more-or-less circular ring inside it before I painted the corners with Van Dyke brown. In yesterday’s painting I discovered that Moonglow, a grainy, bi-colored […]

Painting Lesson

I brought all my watercolors with me on our trip to see the kids and the grandchildren. I was hoping to get a chance to paint with Sidra. She’s always doing something. If it isn’t chores, it’s making stop-motion videos of her dolls or some other activity. We did have a chance to paint together […]

Abstract Habits

These days, when I sit down to paint, I usually wet the entire paper, choose a color and then apply it with a wide brush.  I usually make an arc and, based on the color and variations of that arc, I choose another color (complementary or more closely-related) and paint another swath, either adjacent to […]


Yesterday’s watercolor experiment was about glazing and blending of colors. Liz and Chez liked it the way it was, and I like it for what it is as well. I will keep it as is for now. As a rule, it is good to ‘live with’ a painting for a while before deciding how to […]