Total Art Soul - for artists

" Not all who wander are lost. "
J. R. R. Tolkien
Tags >> watercolor

blacksmith watercolor painting

12×16?, watercolor with touches of gesso on Arches CP 140lb. I’m done and I’m glad I haven’t overworked it. But I keep thinking that the background on the right should be darker. What do you think?

For comparison, here is what it looked like before gesso touch-ups: That post also has a link to the reference photos that I uploaded to WetCanvas reference library. Please feel free to use them for your projects :)

In case anyone was wondering what happened to me, I am quite well and keeping up with the Portrait A Day project. I am also a mom of a 14-month old boy, who takes a little too much time per pound of weight :) I have about 6-7 posts worth of material (including some watercolor book reviews) that I will try to post soon. Stay tuned!




Originally posted on October 28, 2010 at

I am officially back! Had an okay visit in Sacramento, two highlights of which were a figure drawing session (thanks to Sandra!!)  and the Second Saturday Art Walk. It was my first live figure drawing (or painting, in my case) session ever. I am completely hooked now and intensely suffering at the lack of anything like that here in the high desert. Here are some of the results:

female nude figure sitting watercolor painting

about 2-3 minutes, 9x12"

nude female figure sitting watercolor painting

5 or 10 mins i think..9x12"

nude female figure lying watercolor painting

15-20 mins 9x12"

nude female figure lying watercolor painting

20 mins 12x16"

nude female figure lying watercolor painting

another 20 minute one, 12x16"

nude female figure sitting watercolor painting

40-45 mins, 12x16"

There were some seriously talented and skilled people there. I only hope that I’ll get to their level when I get to their age! :)

Second Saturday wasn’t that great but it was something. Saw some new works by Bernie Weston and they were nice. He is still very affordable, so all you collectors out there should hurry up and collect :) I was hoping that the gallery still had some of his smaller 8×8? paintings that I saw last time (something I could afford) but they weren’t there anymore.

As usual, I had grand plans for all my “free” time, and as usual, the free time didn’t show up. In Russian, there is an expression, “to divide the skin of an unkilled bear” – for which I don’t know a similar English expression. It means to make plans for resources that are not yet in your hands…Anyway, I’m back, and the portrait-a-day project is restarting tomorrow!


Originally blogged on October 19, 2010 at

I was watching some little Red Poles outside on one of our trees and I thought I’d try some new techniques; here is a step by step of the acrylic / water color painting. Here is the finished product:

New Techniques

Here is a method I stumbled onto that (for this painting anyway) has created a wonderful result.

With this painting I wanted a very loose background. Taking my sheet of watercolor paper I used a 1 1/2? wash brush and wet the entire paper. Now holding it elevated at one end I lightly applied blobs and streaks of color vertically. As gravity pulled the paint downward vague impressions of birch trunks emerged. Before the paper dried I lightly sprinkled it with salt to imply a light snow falling gently to the ground.

With the background done I switch over to acrylic paint. With thin, semi-transparent strokes I begin to block in the birch branches.

Now I mix titanium white and water to apply the snow. It is important to use semi-transparent paint when using this technique because you do not want your different elements to appear pasted onto the transparent background. By implementing these less opaque applications of paint we are helping the painting to become a cohesive unit.

With the addition of the Redpoll the painting is now finished. Watercolor and acrylic on watercolor paper. 11×15

These Common Redpolls frequent our bird feeder on the porch. They remind me of God’s provision. Though they seem so little and insignificant upon first glance, each little bird has his own personality and quirks. He doesn’t worry where or how his next meal will come to be, even in the long cold winter. It is provided.

To see more step-by-step tutorials visit my website here:

This Original, "Eying the Feeder" is Available through Artic Rose Gallery. (907) 279-3911. 420 L St # 201 Anchorage, AK




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