Coronavirus Challenge Vol. 14: Yellow/Orange Floral + announcements

21 years ago I photographed this flower arrangement and eventually painted 3 paintings from the photo at the bottom of this post:–a watercolor, an acrylic on canvas and an oil painting. I still like the flower arrangement enough that I’m tempted to do another watercolor. And I’m offering it for you to use as a reference even though it lacks definition (digital cameras weren’t great back then). Just as well. I want you to squint when you look at it and paint an impression of it. Use whatever paints, pencils, pens, etc. you wish. Don’t forget to send me the results!

I am so excited to soon offer live painting classes on Zoom. I plan to teach weekly. At least some classes will be offered through the Watercolor Art Society-Houston.
I’ll soon send a link for you to register. Once I begin these affordable online classes I will discontinue my Coronavirus challenges. I’m hoping you will prefer to join me while I can actually demo techniques and take questions.

The nice thing about a live class is, we can enjoy the company of others. The interaction really helps me feel like I’m not just talking to a screen. These past 2 weeks I’ve taught online using the Zoom app and it was wonderful to see and talk to friends who tuned in.

In the meantime, next Wednesday April 29 at 11 a.m. Eastern, 10 Central, I will offer the last of 3 classes on Zoom: how to show and sell your artwork on Why not join us? If you’d like to register, please do so before Wednesday 4/22.

Happy Painting!

Mums, 11 x 14″ oil on canvas

Coronavirus Challenge Vol 13: Video! Intro to painting with plants

First attempt to teach online….More to come! Can’t wait! If this youtube video doesn’t play for you, copy/paste this URL into your browser:
PS. Turn up your volume…I’m still learning

This 8 minute video is a hint of classes I’ll be offering soon….stay tuned! Questions? Not many details here but my upcoming LIVE classes will spill all the secrets.

Not feeling it? Just don’t feel like painting these days? That’s ok! Just watch and enjoy.


Coronavirus Challenge Vol 12: The Moors

I learn something every time I watch someone paint a painting. Many videos on YouTube are well worth a view and yesterday I discovered one by master painter Charles Evans in the UK. This is a 35 minutes full of unique and interesting techniques. Pay no attention to the colors, brands, papers, etc. Just watch his techniques as he does a light drawing, washes in a sky, builds his painting. Notice how unimportant the colors are and how important the values are!

Here’s the link to Charles’ video. Remember, it is perfectly ok to copy someone and learn from their demo. Just don’t put your name on it and claim it as your own. Want to make it your own? I figure if the person who created the original painting doesn’t recognize mine as a copy of his because I changed mine so much, I can put my name on it and claim it as my own. Do you agree?

Coming up on Wednesdays in April: my online zoom classes:

  1. how to set up a store and sell artwork online.
  2. how to edit photos of your artwork with your mobile phone or ipad so they look like your paintings

    Even if you aren’t interested in doing a store right now, you’re welcome to watch as we stumble through our first live session (haha

and we’ll send you an email to click and join us.

Coronavirus Challenge Vol 11: Mini Paintings

Today I received this adorable image:

Which gave me a really fun idea! You could do any or all of these:

  1. Simply recreate some favorite paintings in miniature form (Hint: Pinterest is a great resource. So is Google Arts and Culture
  2. Print out some black and white photos of family or friends, cut out their faces and add them to some favorite paintings
  3. Print out images of your favorite pet(s) and add them to your favorite paintings

NOTE: Why are we doing these? True these challenges are not intended as painting masterpieces. However, it never hurts to have a little fun with our paintbrushes. Every time we paint we learn = win/win!

Coming up: LIVE Zoom classes! Woohoo!

Coronavirus Challenge Vol. 10: I dare you!

  1. Take a photo of yourself in dramatic lighting (light & shadows). Mine, above, isn’t very dramatic. Try side lighting for a better effect.
  2. Edit the photo. Make it black and white. Turn it upside down. (both easy to do with a cellphone in edit mode)
  3. Create a black and white portrait in 20-30 minutes. You may draw it in pencil first. However, if you do so I suggest doing it once again without drawing. Just paint it loosely. Use whatever medium you like–watercolor, acrylic, markers, pencil, but stick to black & grays. Concentrate on the forms, designs, lines created by the shadows. Don’t turn it right side up until you finish the piece. 20-30 minutes. You might be surprised you don’t even need that long.
  4. Extra credit: paint it again, entirely in black and white. No gray.
  5. Another extra credit: try doing someone else’s portrait this same way.

It is always interesting to me how much easier it is to draw a portrait if you have no emotional attachment to it whatsoever. That’s what happens when you turn it upside down. MUCH easier.

HERE’S our gallery, both March and April

Don’t forget to send me your paintings! Lots of people love to see our results!

Coronavirus Challenge Vol. 9: Abstracting Exercise

Today’s challenge is a really fun idea, courtesy my friend Cathy Nieman and I can’t wait to get started on this myself today. Remember, an abstraction takes a recognizable image and transforms it in an imaginary way to create something new. Here’s Cathy’s great idea:

Magazines or coloring book pages
Glue or glue stick
Plain paper
Pencil, markers or crayons

Find magazine image or coloring book page
Cut image in half or use part of an image or drawing
Glue a piece onto your drawing paper
Draw the other half. Unleash your imagination!
Paint if you wish or transfer the idea to a watercolor paper. Have fun! Add collage! Add lines, markers, get silly!
Hint: put the original source page away so you’re not tempted to just recreate the original design

Cathy’s idea to get us started. This is going to be fun!

Our March gallery has gotten so large, we’ve created a new gallery for April! Check both of them out HERE