Monday, October 17, 2016

Orchids Study

My Mom has SO many orchids growing and usually several blooming at any time.  I tried my hand at them for one year but just this week I loaded up 75% of my orchids and gave them to Mommy!  She can babysit them and let me know when they are going to bloom..... UGH!

This first painting is of one (this is my version of her painting ) of Marelena Pistoia's paintings in the great big book I mentioned before that I got for dirt cheap on Amazon and is AWESOME!  Before I found all these wonderful artists willing to give lessons online.... I had no other way of learning other than painting by other artist's work.  I was hoping to learn somehow by just doing....... So, I hope it's okay that I post this.  Her painting is by FAR SUPPERIER. 

(I'll add color mixes here shortly)

This study is of an orchid I actually did have bloom at my house.  It's a really neat little bloomer with a long stem and many of these orange blooms all down the stem.  It bloomed for quite awhile as well. 

I enjoyed painting this study.  Sometime I hope to do a painting with the stem and many blooms! 
(I hope to take a better more well lit photo.  Then I'll also add the color mixes used)....

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Oriental Poppy

just LOVE poppies.... they are one of my favorite flowers! The delicate petals can be difficult to portray.   It was Mother's Day this past year when while I was heading to her house, Mom called and told me she had seen some of these orange poppies blooming on a little hill near a florist.  They were growing wildly and in our opinion, they needed a new home! :)          

I immediately grabbed my nice yellow digger from Lowe's that is so heavy it quickly digs up anything with a couple of swings!   I really should have one in my car at all times!  I took many photos and then proceeded to dig away.  The dirt had so many leaves and roots which made it difficult to dig the poppy's roots properly.  

I painted this one in my sketchbook and then months later I went back and darkened some areas.  I worked on the "crinkles" a little more.  The center isn't how I'd wish I could have painted it.  But in time, I'll get there....  It took quite a lot of time to choose orange mixes that make me happy!  

Color mixes: (there a lot of them.... from top to bottom, here we go...) Buff (D.S.) + Pyrrol Scarlet (D.S.) and then also added to the mix Hansa Yellow Medium (D.S.), Hansa Yellow Medium (D.S.) + Quin Rose (D.S.), Hansa Yellow Med. (D.S.) + Pyrrol Scarlet (D.S.), Translucent Orange (Schmincke) + Scarlet Lake, Translucent  Orange (Schmincke) + French Vermillion (Sennelier), Cadmium Orange + Perm Rose and then added the next mix together, the next mix is Garnet Lake (Maimeri Blue) + Perm. Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine + Perm. Alizarin Crimson, Translucent Orange (Schmincke)+ Anthraquinoid Red (D.S.), Pyroll Scarlet (D.S.) + Quin Rose, Red Orange (Sennelier) +French Vermillion (Sennelier), Hansa Yellow Medium (D.S.) + French Vermillion (Sennelier), Lemon Yellow (Sennelier) + Red Orange (Sennelier) - made for a nice "glaze" over top of the petals, Sap Green + Olive Green, Phtalo Green light (Sennelier) + Forest Green              That was a bunch and it took a while to figure out the mixes but now I have them in my sketchbook for later when I need to figure out a hue! 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


Echinacea or "Corn Flower" is a hardy, kind of cottagey looking flower which goes to seed like CRAZY!  If all goes well, they will bloom year after year and the seedlings will surprise you all over the garden (and the neighbors, and the next state over... lol)! 

I have deep purple, white, orangey and pinky ones.  This is the first year I didn't "dead head" the blooms as soon as the blossoms were spent.  I happened upon the white one which was fading into brown and had splotches missing from it.  It was love at first site!  Julia Trickey is an amazing artist who also has videos showing some of her techniques.  She has painted several large paintings of flowers being way long faded and they are STUNNING!  I love her style which inspired me to paint these studies....
Color mixes used:  on top flower: cobalt violet + quin magenta, opera rose, opera rose + permanent rose, opera rose + quin rose (D.S.) + tad of scarlet lake and then also added perm alizarin crimson to that mix, sap green (W.N.), sap green + French ultramarine blue and then also added perm alizarin crimson to that mix.
for bottom flower: cadmium orange + French ultramarine blue, quin magenta + cadmium pale yellow + French ultramarine blue, French ultramarine blue + perm alizarin crimson, winsor blue green shade + lemon yellow, perm. mauve + raw umbe (D.S.), sap green + olive green, lemon yellow, lemon yellow + quin gold (D.S.), then two mixes of (sap green + olive green) and (lemon yellow + quin gold (D.S.)) both added together, quin gold (D.S.) + cadmium orange, Botanical Gray mix (see notes), cadmium red deep + cobalt blue, + cadmium pale hue, perm rose + cobalt blue + cad pale hue, lemon yellow + cad red deep + winsor blue green shade, sap green + golden lake (Maimeri Blu), French ultramarine blue + quin gold (D.S,), raw umber (D.S.), Jane's Gray mix + burnt sienna (D.S.), sap green + quin gold

 Color mixes: for top flower: translucent orange (Schmincke) and then also added burnt sienna + perm rose (with a mix of stronger perm rose also), quin magenta + perm rose, sap green + hookers green and then also added to that mix hansa yellow deep (D.S.)

for bottom flower: perm mauve + quin magenta (both colors by themselves as well), French ultramarine blue + quin gold (D.S.), perm violet bluish + Jane's Gray mix, Jane's Gray mix + quin magenta (very light mix), cobalt violet + quin magenta, perm alizarin crimson + perm. mauve and then also added to the mix perm green deep (Maimeri Blue), pthalo green (D.S.) + quin rose (D.S.), Hansa yellow deep (D.S.) + cobalt blue and then also added sap green to the mix

Monday, October 3, 2016


This is the first year I bought Dahlia bulbs from Walmart and Sam's Club.  I've never seen the flowers bloom really before (at my Mom's once but didn't really pay much attention to them).  How could it have passed me by so long just how GORGOEUS they are!!!  I'm in love.  And they are so long blooming with this warm weather we're having.  I've taken a gazillion photos to paint from during the cold, long winter months.... 

This was painted in my journal on mixed media paper.  I've actually drawn the bottom Dahlia on hot press paper to paint when I get the nerve.  I really like the colors of these. 
(I never would have given the backs of flowers a second glance until I began botanical art.  The backs can be even more interesting than the fronts sometimes!)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Fuschias are one of my favorite flowers.  I have overwintered probably ~25 or more.  Now's the time of year I need to repot and trim them down.  The extra stems I'll put in water or an awesome fertilizer called Eleanoors.  I mean it is AWESOME!!!  Two tablespoons in a gallon of water -  you put the stems in a glass with the mixed Eleanoors and within a week sometimes (two days for coleous to root!) you'll have roots coming out.  I'll leave the starts in the glass for months, changing the water/fertilizer mix every so often. My garden friends and I HIGHLY recommend it.  Usually they even give a free pint (not sure of the size) with every gallon you buy. 

And back to painting stuff.... :)  I painted these a few months ago.  This fuschia is just beautiful, it's one of the bigger, more frilly bloomers.  I enjoyed painting it on the journal paper.  It'll be interesting how much better (hopefully) I'll be able to paint them here later on on hot press watercolor paper. 

Colors used: winsor violet + quin magenta and one mix with much more quin magenta, opera rose, hansa yellow deep (D.S.) + cerulean chromium (D.S.) and then also added to that I added hookers green (which I don't usually use) and then burnt sienna added to the purples already on pallet.

Friday, September 23, 2016


I love roses, as probably most gardeners do but I don't have much luck growing them.  So I'm really glad Lowe's likes to grow them for me....!  Lots and lots of photos have been taken in the garden center this year.  I spent probably two hours drawing the rose on the bottom half and was pretty excited to paint it.  A few days after drawing it, I looked for the reference photo and it is nowhere to be seen!!!  I have searched and searched on phone, computers and cloud.  :(  Maybe one day I'll stumble upon it...   this was painted on May 29th, 2106 in my journal. 
Colors used: Quin Gold + Cerulean chromium both by Daniel Smith and then added this mix along with Jane's Gray mix very diluted, Antrhraquinoid Red + Hansa Yellow medium both by Daniel Smith, Hansa yellow medium (D.S.) + Opera Rose (Winsor Newton), Alizarin Crimson Perm. (W.N.) + Perm. Mauve (W.N.) and then added this mix to the greens already on palette, Sap Green (W.N.) + Ultramarine  Blue (D.S.), Quin Gold (D.S.) + Sap Green (W.N.), Alizarin Crimson Perm. (W.N.) + Sap Green (W.N.), Quin red (D.S.) + Jane's Gray mix

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Pervuvian Lilly

 I love these flowers.  My Granny's would come back after a long cold winter.  I won't trust that with mine.  I have this pink one and real bright red one. 

She is a fun flower to paint.  I like the little dots on the left hand petal.  This was painted on journal paper as a study so there wasn't much "workability" with the paint as there would have been using watercolor paper. 

I guess I'll start mentioning what colors I use.  I really appreciate it when I see a  painting I love on a blog and the artist was kind enough to say what colors and mixes they used! 

(colors used:  Quin. magenta + opera rose (then added perm. rose along to that), cobalt violet + opera rose (then added a tad burnt sienna to that), * "Jane's Gray mix" + pinks on palette for the petals.

Sap green + French ultramarine blue (and then added "Jane's Gray mix + burnt sienna + sap green/French ultramarine blue mix from palette),lemon yellow + sap green for leaves and stem.

"Jane's Gray" mix + touch of cobalt violet/opera rose mix from palette in a very pale wash for stamens.)

*"Jane's Gray" mix: equal mix of French ultramarine blue and burnt sienna (leaning more towards blue)    Jane Blundell is an awesome artist whom has done probably a gazillon watercolor mixes.  She has shared them on her site.  She has created e-books with her mixes and recommended pallets.  I've learned a great deal about colors from her site.   Jane Blundell art

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A fading rose....

I loved the fading petals and wanted to try my hand at that.  It was good practice in shading and trying different pinks and light red hues.  I didn't finish the left over part of the flower when all the blooms fade.  I drew all of those little bits and it took a while so I'll go back one day and finish it up.  Lowe's is a great place to take photos of roses.   That's the one flower I just can't seem to do well with overwintering.  A friend has gorgeous peach and yellow roses I've taken a gazillion photos of!  I look forward to painting them!  I painted this several months ago.  There is SOOO much to still learn but I'm enjoying the process very much....

Friday, September 9, 2016

This sketch is of a beautiful dogwood that was in bloom at Lowe's.  I loved the reddish hues.  If I had a proper place to plant it I probably would have brought it home with me!  Instead, I made due with taking many, many photos on a couple of different occasions while buying flowers at Lowe's.  Finally, someone bought that lovely tree.... 
This is a terrible photo, I'll take a better one and replace it.  I look forward to repainting these blooms.  I painted this many, many months ago....  Hopefully, I'll be able to tell my improvement!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

This is the book I mentioned of Marilena Pistoia's work.  I didn't have any flowers blooming (this was probably early March) so I decided to paint one of her pictures again.  Trying to figure out shadows and color mixes.... It's a good way to learn if I can't take any classes in real life.  Now I have a myriad of colorful snapdragons blooming and photographed for later painting! 

Monday, August 22, 2016

This study is one of Anna Mason's tutorials.  I'm too "scared" to do them on "real" watercolor paper.  I painted this one in my journal on mixed media paper.  It does okay but you definitely don't get any of the perks you get with watercolor paper.... being able to "lift" or mix colors as easily before the paper quickly dries.     But I keep thinking how awesome it's going to be when I finally DO get the  nerve to paint on real watercolor paper!

Magnolia blossoms

One day in very early spring (maybe Easter Sunday if I remember correctly), I dropped my brother off at his house and saw the gorgeous magnolia in full bloom!  It was supposed to frost that night so I took photos like a wild woman!  The thought of the frost killing all those beautiful blooms stressed me out so badly!  The magnolias in this study is of my Uncle Mark's (whose house I went to that same day and took photos of his trees in bloom).  My brother's magnolia is solid white .... the purple ones here are of my Uncle's blossoms. 

The second study is out of one of Billy Showell's books.  She's an incredible artist and instructor.  I've learned a great deal from watching her videos.  She shares a new one every other Monday.  Her books (especially the newest one) are AWESOME!!! The latest book is probably the greatest book written about botanical watercolor. I have bought many, many, many books this year to help me on my journey into botanical art so I feel okay saying I truly believe this book is the best (I'm a HUGE fan of Anna Mason - her work is more my style and her book is wonderful, too.)  EVERYTHING is covered and every page is full of something new to learn.  I mean it is AWESOME!
Both artists have the best personalities and both are truly inspiring.  It would be a dream come true to actually get to attend one of their classes in person!  One day......

Sunday, August 21, 2016


I was lucky last January to have a geranium I overwintered to bloom.  It was snowing outside and was painting a beautiful flower! Happy, happy, happy!  If only my study could have depicted the beauty as well.  So, I look forward to painting the flower again....

Friday, August 19, 2016


MARILENA PISTOIA is (was) an amazing botanical artist.  (will go home and get name of the book) ,,I bought one of her books off Amazon for a ridiculous small amount of money.  It's a huge book with gorgeous paintings!  I figure a great way to learn is by learning how the masters do it!

So, again, this is a study I've painted of Marilena Pistoia's work.  It is NOT my original idea!  I don't want anyone thinking I'm claiming it as my own. I enjoy trying to figure out how to match colors of other work with my own color mixes.

This one was also done back in January..... 
Well, it's been a while since I've been on here.  My passion flowers have dwindled down in numbers which saddens me. 

It's been about 13 years or so since I've painted at all.  The last painting I did was of my Granny of her watering her flowers.  After completing that painting, I pretty much lost interest in watercolors and the frustration of trying to "figure out" what I wanted to paint next.  I don't know why I felt like I had to only create actual paintings.... the love of creating and experimenting just wasn't there.  Painting had become a chore. 

I still had my love for flowers. 

My Granny became very ill and passed away this last January.  It was during a blizzard so I was stuck at home for a couple of days.  For some reason, I decided to read the botanical art books sitting on my shelves gathering dust.  I had bought them because I originally wanted to do botanical art digitally but never got around to it.   Well, after an hour of reading, I was immediately on a new path.  Day two, I got out my watercolor paints and I haven't missed but maybe two days painting since that day.

It's crazy that the last painting I completed was on of my Granny.... and it took the week of her passing to bring that love of watercolors back to me.  Only I've never felt like this before.  I'm hooked!  Now, I enjoy my flowers even more so because I know I'm growing them for the end result of painting them.  I have over 6,000 photos of flowers on my phone alone!  

Mom said Granny would be happy to know that I'm back into painting.  Only, I realize just how bad I really was!  I've already seen  much improvement in the past eight months.  They say 15 minutes practice every day is what it takes to become good at something. 

So, these are all my sketches and studies.  I've yet to work on an actual painting but I just am loving the stress free feeling of learning new techniques and figuring out color mixes.   I want a place to save all of sites I find to read and learn from other botanical artists...
I'll try to take a better pic... this one is of HYACINTH.  I wanted to try my hand at painting a bulb.  Not so good.  This one is the first study and was painted back in January.  I can't believe the difference I see already with my work.  Thank goodness!


I was looking forward to painting this zinnia because of all the different pink hues and especially the brown faded splotches!  I figured...