Merlot In The Morning 

18″ x 24″ watercolor on Aquarelle Arches watercolor block

I have been working for quite some time on a vineyard series of large paintings which include acrylics, oil and watercolor. This particular painting was taken from reference photos taken at quite literally the crack of dawn! Although this painting maintains my typical control with the paint, it is more stylized then my usual realistic approach.

Beginning stages of the painting:

Among the Wildflowers

10″ x 14″ watercolor 

Some paintings go smoothly while others are a struggle. Originally, I began this subject using a different perspective, in oil and on a much larger canvas but from the start, it was just plain boring! I should have listened to my inner voice but I didn’t and after the 3/4 mark I decided to scrap it and begin again. I chose to work much smaller, using watercolors and in a looser style.

Process of this simple watercolor:

Portrait In Watercolor

18″ x 24″ watercolor on illustration board 

Whether or not a face is toward the viewer, I love to capture a single moment in time,  as in these paintings. It was a lovely Spring day at Descanso Gardens in the La Canada/Flintridge area of California. In the painting with the water fountain, the reference photo I was working with had these two children in front of a bathroom so I changed and simplified the background. In the painting below some of the detail on the kids have faded, so I’ll need to go back in to touch it up.24″ x 30″ watercolor 

“Along the path at Scuplterra”

9″ x 12″ Aquarelle Arches watercolor block

This is #17 of my daily painting and even though I didn’t get this one done in an hour or even a day, it needed to be completed. Friends of ours had brought us to Sculpterra Winery in Paso Robles and not only was the wine really good (“nummy” as one of our dear friends phrases it), the grounds that had meandering paths were filled with sculptures. 

Awhile ago I had begun a vineyard series and by the time I started on this, I was burned out on painting clusters of grapes so I put it away for quite a few months but pulled it from my “to do” stack a few days ago and completed it today. As I normally work, I began with a sketch to figure out my design then did a textured effect for the background with burnt sienna and finally went in with the detail work. Planning each project ahead of time with sketches and maintaining control of the paint and detail has typified my work but I have a goal to loosen up my style like so many amazing plein air, as well as studio, watercolorists that paint with broader strokes and washes.

Question to Artists… 

I have been debating whether or not to take an online art instruction class and would like to get other artists thoughts on the subject. Staying fresh and challenged in my art is important to me and it has been awhile since I’ve taken a class (which I always get so much out of) but I’ve never taken an online course and need to know if it is worth it. Someone on WordPress mentioned Roos Schuring and although her style is completely different from my own, her work intrigues me and I would love to learn from it. Since her class is a bit pricey, I thought I would ask around to other artists and see what you think.