Friday, November 20, 2015


Every Line Tells a Story

I was anxious to finish this painting before our Thanksgiving trip which starts Sunday!   Now that I am looking at it as if from afar I see an area I want to change.  I guess that will have to wait until next weekend.  I put a glaze of very thinned down gesso over the reconstructed Tyvek surface and let it dry before starting this painting.  It is a subtle change but I really like how the paint reacts to this surface in a different way.  You can enlarge the image by clicking on it to see what I am talking about.  A more granulating effect is achieved.

I plan to take a small watercolor travel set with me and a sketch book.   I hope to have something to share with everyone when I return.  

This year I am giving thanks for a wonderful family, good health and the opportunity to create and share art.  I hope all of you have similar blessings in  your life.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


I just finished this painting today.  It is another watercolor on a reconstructed Tyvek surface.  I love how the paper impacted the final image.  This is a portrait of a lovely gentleman I met at the opening of the National Watercolor Society reception for the annual International show.  I asked to take his photo but failed to get his name.  If anyone recognizes him, please sent me more information.  

Sunday, November 15, 2015


I found another interesting profile to paint.  This one is on a torn and reconstructed Tyvek surface glued down with YES Glue so it would accept watercolor.  I love how the surface exaggerates the craggy features.   I am going to my studio today and prepare another sheet with the torn Tyvek.  I am inspired to start another portrait on this fascinating surface.  

If any of you have tried painting on torn and reconstructed Tyvek, please share your results with me!

Thursday, November 12, 2015


It takes a lot of courage to paint portraits in watercolor because it is difficult to make corrections.  That is why I show students how to paint on a gessoed surface.  Here is the demo I did for the portrait class I am teaching right now.  The lesson was on profiles so why not go for an extreme example!  By putting down a coat of gesso on the paper first, I was able to make lots of changes in my painting, with ease.  

I think gesso may be my favorites painting product.  You can make poor quality watercolor paper usable, cover over a disaster of a painting and start again, texture the paper surface, stamp with it, stamp into it, sand it smooth and so much more!  Be sure and purchase the extra heavy body type.   You can always thin it down but you can't make it thicker.  Be sure and save your expensive sable brushes for a different surface as gesso is too abrasive.   

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