From Sketch To The Final Piece

It is so nice to be finished with a couple of recent watercolor paintings but they weren’t without their obstacles. I generally make a working sketch when a project is complicated but I did not examine my sketch of the “Ocean Painters” carefully enough to work through the difficult shade areas or take a good look at the “bench” when beginning the painting. Artists who have worked with watercolor know, once the color is down, it is difficult to make changes afterward. I took my chances and made some changes anyway and for the most part, it worked out.

The palm tree painting was straight forward but my “Ocean Painters” will need a bit of tweaking here and there but is basically done.

I continue to learn something new every day and definitely with these two paintings.

Windmill in Napa

Section of a larger painting from my vineyard series.

3 canvas panels, 15″ x 60″ each
Organizing my paintings and sending some out for framing so that I can get them up at wineries.

“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.

A New Look

Time for a couple of changes. In a drawing or painting, the artist will draw a viewers eye to a specific area first, called the focal point, then with color, value and shapes the viewers eye then moves throughout the rest of the art. Each new blog I post will be that focal point.


Santa Rosa Valley after a recent rain, this is what I was able to capture!