Category Archives: Watercolor Animals

Atta Girl

“Atta Girl” – Portrait #8 of my 14×28 Furry Friends of February Challenge. Watercolor 7.5″x11″ on 140 lb Arches cold press.

This cute “little” gal was painted wet into wet, using some of my “sexy” colors. Sometimes I like to let myself diverge from the basic red, yellow and blue. Ha!

I used Indanthrone Blue, Transparent Pyrrol Orange, Raw Sienna Light, and Pyrrol Red for most of the painting. on the “dark side”

I added some Phthalo blue for the Light side of the face. When I added the cute little pink heart tag with Quinacridone Rose, I had to dot in some pinks around the face and background as well. All tubes of paint by Daniel Smith.

I’ll have to check the video clips, but I think she took about 45 minutes from start to finish. I started with a vertical format when drawing, but couldn’t fit the floppy ears, which was one of the cutest things about this gal. Then I was frustrated with the drawing part, so I almost had no drawing, just a basic outer contour. Scar-ee!

She looks a little younger than she does in the source photo, but that just makes her cuter. After looking at her from across the room overnight, I think I may pull out some white highlights in the eyes. Stay tuned!

Once fixed, the painting is for sale; $185 plus shipping and/or taxes, where applicable. Watercolor painting 7.5″x11″ with a custom white mat with a black core to fit in standard 11″x14″ frame opening.

Snackie?

“Snackie” – First Draft

“Snackie?” – Final

Painting 7 of 14 for my Furry Friends of February Challenge. “Snackie?” is a 7.5″x11″ watercolor on 140lb Arches Cold Press. Click on the image for a larger view in a new browser tab.

This is a little dog who belongs to the granddaughter of one of my watercolor students (I think). Thank you for the source photo, Vikki!

I videotaped the process, so this may be one of my demonstration paintings for my upcoming March workshop. Attendees of the workshop will receive four video tutorials complementarily with the workshop fee. What a deal?!

I am also selling the four video tutorials separately. If you think you might be interested, click here for the details.

I have a few adjustments to make to this painting; to the nose and the top of the head. Right now, the whole video clocks in at 64 minutes. I’m trying to keep each tutorial to 90 minutes or less. 

I painted “Snackie?” using my wet-to-dry method and just four watercolor pigments; Pyrrol Red, Manganese Blue Hue, New Gamboge, and Phthalo Blue (GS), all by Daniel Smith.

Stay tuned for the updates.

Update 2/17/20: I made a few changes. Can you tell? Is it better?

Painting is for sale $185 plus shipping and/or taxes, where applicable. Watercolor painting 7.5″x11″ with a custom white mat with a black core to fit in standard 11″x14″ frame opening.

Fluffy Butt & Finding Nino

Fluffy Butt

Finding Nino

Numbers 5 and 6 for my 14×28 Furry Friends of February Challenge. “Fluffy Butt” and “Finding Nino” are both transparent watercolor 11″x7.5″ on 140 lb Arches cold press. Click on the images for a larger view in new browser tabs.

I painted both by first saturating the paper completely.

For “Fluffy Butt” I sketched in a basic contour edge really lightly.

I mixed up three different strengths (tea, milk, and cream) of a gray mixture with Phthalo Blue (GS), Indanthrone Blue, and Transparent Pyrrol Orange; all by Daniel Smith.

For “Finding Nino” I mixed up the same gray tones but added some New Gamboge with a touch of Raw Sienna Light for the eyes and ground.

For both paintings, I painted with the tea strength pigment first while the paper still had a sheen of wetness. The edges diffuse most on wet paper with wet pigment. I added first the milky tones,  then the creamy pigment, still in the really wet surface, to build up value and keep the edges really soft and lost. Going in with a thick pigment even on the wet surface allowed me to hold a soft edge around the head. I sprayed the whole painting with a soft mist to create some water burst effects, then let it dry at an angle.

While “Fluffy Butt” was drying, I began painting “Finding Nino” using the same process, but this time I did not do a pre-drawing but painted directly on the paper. I lifted out pigment around the eyes and nose. After drying the paper, I painted the eyes with yellow over the top of the gray tone. I added some yellow to the supporting background, so the eye color would not be isolated in the painting.

I went back to “Fluffy…” after he was all dry, and painted in some darks on the back, head, and under the tail. I added a hint of background to give him some context.

I quite like my fluffy kitties.

Nino was (is?) a fluffy black kitty who left me long ago and broke my heart. I have always hoped he wandered off and someone adopted him. He was only a year old when he disappeared. I surely loved that boy. Sigh. Here is me “Finding Nino” again.

 

 

Sold! What Did You Say?

What Did You Say?

What Did You Say? – Final

Portrait #2 for my 14×28 Furry Friends of February Challenge. “What Did You Say?” watercolor 7.5″x11″ on 140lb Arches cold press. Click on the image for a larger view in a new browser tab.

 

I made friends with this little guy just before Christmas last year in Boise, Idaho. I wonder if he will remember me when I visit again?

I sketched in a quick outline drawing directly on the paper using my lead holder (pencil) with 2B graphite. I exaggerated the forward tilt of the left-side ear to make the dog look more inquisitive.

The painting went really quickly. I will have to check the timing on the video clip, but I think the drawing & painting process took about 30 to 40 minutes total? I was trying something a little different for me. I still saturated the paper, front and back, but this time I did not dry it back to damp; instead, I went in while the paper was still really glossy wet.

I worked the shapes from the inside out, using thick paint. Instead of working light pigment and building up the values, I wanted to do more of an “all prima” method, achieving the correct values from the start.

I used Transparent Pyrrol Orange (TPO), Raw Sienna Light (RSL), and Pyrrol Red by Daniel Smith, and Ultramarine Light by Holbein.

I began around the snout and eyes, using strong pigment. I put a base of blue for the eyes and nose, being careful to paint around the highlight on the tip of the nose. I added TPO and red, letting all three colors mix on the paper, then drew the orange, yellow and red out to the hair. It was fun to watch the paint bleed out and leave a lost edge.

I used the RSL for the light hair at the top of the head, the bottom of the chin, and tips of the ears. When calling out the background, I rewetted the paper and applied a thinner mix of all the colors, creating a diagonal flow. I just hinted at the dog’s body so the focus stays on the face. I darkened the nose, eyes, and mouth with more blue, red and TPO. After the painting had dried off a bit, I added some calligraphy strokes to imply hair. I saved some random whites around the edges to create sparkle in the painting. I may want to lift off some brighter highlights in the eyes. What do you think?

Sold! Thank you, Denise Maxwell.

Update 2/7/20! I made two changes. Can you tell where?

 

Light Catcher

Light Chaser – Final

Painting #1 for my 14/28 February Furry Friends challenge. “Light Catcher” watercolor 7.5″x11″ on 140lb Arches cold press. Click on the image for a larger view in a new browser tab.

I painted this “wet-to-dry,” meaning I first saturated the paper completely, then dried it back to damp and painted “alla prima” until the paper was completely dry.

I used three primary pigments; Phthalo Blue (GS), Pyrrol Red, and Hansa Yellow Light throughout.

I first drew an outline of the figure and shadow edges directly on the watercolor paper, using a 2B graphite pencil. While the paper was quite wet, I painted the background with all three colors, letting them mix on the paper and painting around the whites. I moved into the figure with the top right ear, then to the right side shadows, keeping the paint at milk strength. I like to put the paint down, then “S-caress” it out to leave soft edges. I then just painted the gray shadows by mixing the red with the blue to get a rich gray. I started the left ear with a tea-strength red, then added some of the gray mix for shadow areas.

I painted the eyes last. I started with the yellow and blue, then added some of the red to create a more neutral green for the far eye. I used the same colors for the near eye (in shadow), painting around a sidewise T-shaped highlight. While the eye was still wet, I dropped in some of the gray mix for the pupil and the darker ring around the middle. I let it dry, then carved around the edges with a thick almost black mix of red and blue. After drying off the eye again, I decided the near eye had to be more in shadow, so I glazed over everything except the highlight with a darker green. I let that dry, then glazed over that with an orange, mixed with the red and yellow. I let it dry again, then painted over the highlight with a tea-strength phthalo blue (except for a tiny spot of pure white).

I did not use any masking or white paint. I did, however, use Magic Eraser to lift out a critical highlight in the far eye, just at the bottom edge of the eye.

I painted the edge of the gray shadow shapes with a toned-down orange (mixed with the red and yellow and a bit of blue) to give the fur a glow. I called out a few hints of hair and fur with some calligraphy strokes. Done. I think it took about an hour and a half. I will have to check the video clips for sure.

I quite like it… Personality abounds.

Available for purchase. $185 (plus tax or shipping). Includes a custom mat without outside edge dimensions to fit a standard 11″X14″ frame. Please include the title of the painting in the comments during purchase.

Update 2/7/20! I made a change. Can you tell where?

 

She’s Mine

She’s Mine

Portrait challenge days 3 & 4. Two more critters. “She’s Mine” watercolor 7.5″x11″. (Click on the images for a larger view).

These are two of our kitties. Kelly is the calico, Portia is the black kitten. We had just adopted Portia, who was a feral kitten. She was so relieved when we let Kelly into her “adaptation” room. In the source photo, she was still quite leery of “those big animals with no hair who feed me.” We adopted Kelly from a no-kill shelter organization. We only know her background from after she was found on the street, already spayed, about a year old. She really took to nurturing little Portia. Maybe she had already had a batch of kittens herself?

As to the painting process, I sketched a quick outline drawing on Arches 140lb cold press paper and then saturated the paper front and back. While the paper soaked, I prepared pools of Pyrrol Red, Phthalo Blue (gs), New Gamboge, and a little Quinacridone Rose.

She’s Mine (Stage 1)

I painted in value layers by wetting the shadow/color areas and dropped the pigments together, letting them mix on the paper. I liked letting the paint bleed out beyond the edges of the shapes. After about an hour of painting, I was pretty happy with it and stopped (see image stage 1).

After staring at the painting overnight, I decided to work on it some more a second day. I lifted off the colored areas of Portia’s eyes using masking tape, a snap knife, and a magic eraser. I thought the top of the far eye was at the wrong angle. I also decided the kitty bed needed to be hinted at behind her, even though that was not in the photo. I also added a hint of shadows behind the bed and Portia.

Since this painting has two faces, I’m counting this a numbers 3 and 4 of my 30/30 portrait challenge <smile>.

Buy Now with PayPal

All these small portraits (7.5″x11) are for sale. $185 (plus sales tax and/or shipping, where applicable). The price also includes a white black core mat with outside dimensions of 11″x14″ (standard frame opening size), foam core backing and clear cellophane packaging.

Puppy Face

watercolor 11"x7.5"

Puppy Fetch Face

Portrait challenge day 2. This time a critter. “Puppy Fetch Face” watercolor 11″x7.5″. I really wanted the puppy to read as a white dog. Did I pull it off?

I sketched out the puppy first (I have video to prove it <smile>). I couldn’t find my masking fluid, so I was forced to plan the whites (which is probably better for my learning experience). I wet the paper front and back with a big clean brush, then removed the excess water and “squeegeed” off the front of the paper with a paper towel.

I used Hansa Yellow Medium, Pyrrol Red, and Phthalo Blue (GS), all by Daniel Smith. I brought in some New Gamboge later on.

I wet the shadow shapes and dropped in random color, going back and forth between the three pigments; except for the tongue. There I just used Pyrrol Red and a tiny bit of blue.

Buy Now with PayPal

All these small portraits (7.5″x11) are for sale. $185 (plus sales tax and/or shipping, where applicable). The price also includes a white black core mat with outside dimensions of 11″x14″ (standard frame opening size), foam core backing and clear cellophane packaging.

 

Artist’s Reception

Wall of Art

I had a wonderful time celebrating with friends and family during my featured artists show at the Artsy Fartsy Art Gallery in Carson City.

Five paintings went to new homes! More are ready to be adopted. The show will be up through August 3rd. I will be painting live at the gallery during the Carson City Wine Walk from 1-5pm on the final day. Come witness my denouement?

If you live far, far away and are not able to physically visit the gallery, Jeffery Pace, the gallery owner, takes call-in orders too! (775) 885-ARTS (2787). I would be happy to send you digital images and a price list of all the remaining paintings in the show.

Thank you to Dee, Joanie, Laura, Anette, and Betty for loving my paintings enough to take one home. I am most honored. All sold paintings are available for print-on-demand giclee print orders. Pricing depends on the requested print size. Taxes and shipping additional. To discuss send me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I appreciate all comments, suggestions, and questions. Thank you for stopping by.

“Solar Summer” 11″x11″ Watercolor – SOLD!

“Mrs. Cluck” Watercolor 5″x7″ – SOLD!

“High Desert Spring” 5×7 Watercolor – SOLD!

“White Roses” 7×5 Watercolor – SOLD!

“All in a Row” 11×7 Watercolor – SOLD!

 

15th Painting 30×30 Direct Watercolor – Jonesy Boy

Jonesy Boy

I couldn’t resist. This is my second painting for June 15th. I am now caught up! with the 30×30 Direct Watercolor Challenge! If I post this today, it will show the 15th painting on the 15th day of June.

I will not expound on it too much on the painting process. I will just say it is a 5.5″x7.5″ direct (no pre-drawing), wet-into-wet. The paper had dried back significantly before I finished, but it was done all in one go, no glazing.

I used Pyrrol Red, Phthalo Blue and Raw Sienna Light for the fur and background. I brought in just a bit of Hansa Yellow Medium for the eyes. All Daniel Smith Brand pigments. It is on Arches 140lb cold press paper.

After staring at this for a bit, I felt compelled to make a few adjustments. The nose was too long and he was a bit narrow between the eyes. I couldn’t “really” fix it, but the few changes helped, me thinks. You?

To purchase this painting for $150 with a black frame and a white black core mat (plus shipping), click the “Add to Cart” button below. Check and international payments incur additional shipping charges. Taxes additional, where applicable.

Jonesy Boy – After a few adjustments

Jonesy Boy $150 (w/ frame & mat)


I appreciate all comment, questions, and suggestions. Thank you for stopping by.

14th Painting 30×30 Direct Watercolor – Finch on a Fence

“Oh my goodness! How cute is that Finch?”

“Finch on a Fence” – Fixed a bit

This little guy flitted to a white fence just as my husband and I were walking past with our extra zoomer lens on the Canon Rebel SLR camera at the ready.

“Good Catch!” Now the debate. Is it a House Wren or a House Finch? I just cannot tell. I’m going with a House Finch, because I want the title to be, “Finch on a Fence” <smile>

Continuing with my Facebook group’s 30×30 Direct Watercolor Challenge, I painted this wet-into-wet without any pre-drawing. It is a small 5.5″x7.5″ little guy. It is actually probably very close to the size of the bird itself.

“How did you DO that wet-into-wet without a drawing?” you ask.

Well, I like to saturate the paper, then dry it back with a towel, so I can hold an edge, but still have soft watery blends of color. See previous blog posts on that process.

For this painting, I used my #14 Lowe-Cornell round brush on Arches 140lb cold press watercolor paper.

I mixed up a green tone using Hansa Yellow Medium and Phthalo Blue (GS) both by Daniel Smith.

Finch on a Fence – 1st Sta

I painted around the shape of the bird and fence, leaving them both white. I caressed in a bit of the blue and yellow to the pre-mixed green, just to avoid letting the green get lonesome. I had also pre-mixed my “black” using Pyrrol Red and Phthalo blue, so I caressed in a bit of that to the green too, to knock back the intensity a bit.

After creating the white silhouette, I painted the shadow shapes on the bird’s body, letting the dark bleed into the wet green background. I left a few random white sparkles, plus a very deliberate white highlight in the eye.

Finch on a Fench – Stage Two

I really enjoy how the dark gray bled into the background green, giving the sense of the wind ruffling his feathers. I then carefully put in the bright Pyrrol Red on the top of the head and on the breast. I added a bit of Perinone Orange to keep the red really bright and intense.

I painted in the legs and talons, taking care to make the forward leg darker compared to the back leg. I carefully measured the length of the talons against the bird’s body, so I didn’t make them too small. Birds have BIG feet, man!

I weakened the gray mix and hinted at the white

Finch on a Fence – Stage 3

fence on top and on the front. I liked the cast shadow from the Bird’s tail, which I painted with a weakened phthalo blue and a bit of muddy gray the same strength. I was quite happy with the painting at this stage. And it would have been a completely bona fide wet-into-wet one- go-at-it painting. But alas! One of the house critics came by and offered that the background was pretty boring.

“Yeah, I know. It is.” So, when the painting had reached the damp, almost dry stage, I added hints of foliage behind the white fence. I signed it with my calligraphy brush, because dang it, if I can’t find my rigger brush!

Voila! My cuter than a dang bug’s ear (though, is a bug’s ear really cute? I mean, how do we know that? Intellectually, my brain thinks a bug’s ear would not be cute?) “Finch on a Fence” watercolor painting for the day.

If interested in purchasing this painting, click the “Add to Cart” button below. For a short time, this painting will be available for $150 (with black frame and white black core mat). Shipping $15.00 to Continental U.S. customers, paying with PayPal or a credit/debit card only. Check payments and faraway folks will pay additional shipping charges. Taxes additional, where applicable.

After July 8th, this little fellow is “goin’ to the show!” at Artsy Fartsy Art Gallery in Carson City. Artist’s reception July 18th from 4-7pm.

Finch on a Fench – Final painting

Finch on a Fench, $150 (with frame & mat)

Don’t forget to subscribe to this artist’s blog.. so educational.. and a little bit entertaining to boot! If I do say so myself.I appreciate all comments, questions, and suggestions. Thank you for stopping by.