Posted in painting

Structure in the Garden

This blog is about my first watercolor on-line tutorial from Shari Blaukopf. She is a Montreal-based artist who specializes in urban sketching. First let me say, I enjoyed it. The reference photo is of a barn wood clad schoolhouse relocated to an urban garden somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.

My first challenge was to draw and ink the essential lines of the image. I took my time over this step, since it is critical in setting up the rest of the painting.

By the way, I’m working on Arches cold-press watercolor paper for the first time. This premier paper is much beloved by watercolorists.

Next I completed the preliminary washes for the sky, building and flowers.

After letting these dry thoroughly, I went to work on the shrubbery and trees. Shari gave instructions on how to mix eight different greens using various blue and yellow paint. This part was really hard for me, partly because I didn’t have all of the paints that she used in her mixes. I had to substitute.

To me, the various green areas look like they don’t belong together.

I let the paper dry for almost a week before I got around to adding the final details. First the lawn went in, then dark green for underpainting the brighter greens. The barn wood got more shading before all final details were added using a small round brush. After drying, I dabbed some white opaque paint onto the flowers to give a little sparkle to the scene. Here is my finished painting.

This is the first time I successfully painted a mass of foliage. I also learned how to paint a lawn and the order to use in painting flowering plants. I’m betting that I will use these techniques in many future paintings.

Shari Blaukopf’s blog is found here:

Posted in knitting, painting, quilting

Catch-Up Friday

Since I didn’t finish any of my fiber objects this week, I have decided to write a progress report. You see above about ten inches of the Weaver’s Square pattern, which will become a colorful vest for my daughter. This is the back of the garment. The front I have planned will be much more subdued. While working with seven strands of yarn each row has been a challenge, the satisfaction of the work and the excitement of seeing the color emerge has more than compensated for any difficulty. I have chosen to switch out the vertical colors at a rate of two or three for every band of horizontal color. As a result, the pattern has a more vertical effect.

Log Cabin Mini Quilt

Another work in progress is picture above. The quilt sandwich is constructed and some stitch in the ditch took place. At that point, I decided to work some embroidery in the flower squares and add hand quilting to the strips.

Blue block nearly finished.

I also felt that a border was essential to provide balance between the light and the dark sections of the piece. Going further, I plan to hand-paint this border in multiple hues. It will be exciting to see how well that goes, and it will take me more time.

Last week-end I started a tutorial on painting with water color on paper. This class was offered on Despite a little trepidation, I am sharing my work today. Keep in mind I am a rank beginner and be kind.

Seascape at daybreak with birds.
Color Block using primary colors, salt, colored pencil and micron pens.
Realistic style chickadee

Such a fun week. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to remind me that this life is real.