Painting Pretty


painting #1 on Bockingford eggshell 140# quarter sheet

I truly adore this colored paper. It is called eggshell though it is light blue compared to normal watercolor paper. I reserve it for paintings that are either warm such as a sunset or in this case, I chose it because the rocks in this particular painting were in shadow and I wanted to see how it would work.

I struggled with keeping those rocks on the right side in obscurity. After applying several washes of cobalt blue and adjusting the values, I hope I nailed it. I had to resist the strong urge to work on the various values within the rocks. I based this upon one of my photos but I had to take artistic license and make the center rocks the focus.

colors used: Daniel Smith Quin. Gold, Cobalt Blue, Hansa Yellow Med., Prussian Blue, Green Gold


painting #2 on Arches 140# quarter sheet

I wanted to dash out a quick painting of a hike from an area that I love to explore and paint. Right now it is under about 6 foot of snow and they are currently trying to plow the road going up to that area. This is a post from that little plein air trip last year: Bear Lakes Loop- World Watercolor Month #2  I wanted to practice not getting bogged down in detail and working on contrasts.

colors used: Quin. Gold, Aureolin, Moonstone, Ultramarine Blue, Prussian Blue, Indanthrone Blue (Daniel Smith)


Painting #3 on Bockingford eggshell 140# quarter sheet -reference photo provided by Mary Lee Davey (Thank you!!)

Bockingford rocks! I think that those trees look like people hoping to catch a cosmic ride to somewhere, don’t you think? I wanted to explore shapes, value contrasts and a wild sunset sky. You just have to go wild sometimes, let out that crazy, dare to be different artist that awaits in each of us.

Colors used: Quin. Red, Quin. Gold, Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue, Indanthrone Blue (Daniel Smith)

I haven’t been doing a learning points list and I think that I will start doing that again.

Learning Points:

  • Keep going wild! what is there to lose? Nada!
  • Don’t treat watercolor like a delicate princess, get loose with that paint, paper and brush, you might be surprised with what you’ll discover.
  • Push the values, go dark and play with contrasts, again, nothing to lose.
  • Turn over and start another painting, there are two sides to a piece of paper.

*A word about photos. The photos on my blog are mine, taken by me and copying them would be stealing from me. If you find a photo that you would like to copy or use, I request that you ask me for permission and I expect you to give me full credit for my own photo. Thank you so very much.





35 thoughts on “Painting Pretty

  1. The way the center rocks stand out in #1 is really good and i love the sky in #3-They are beautiful paintings all of them-
    and Ihope you don’t mind; have copied your Learning points to print out and post on my studio wall. I especially like the last one, There are two sides to a piece of paper!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. All excellent work Margaret – inspirational to a beginner like me! I love the mountains in the first, the trees in the second and that’s a stunning sky in the third. I like your learning points list too – thats a great idea…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely work, as always, Margaret – I particularly like the first one and was interested to hear you used toned paper. I mostly paint in Acrylics, but, when I do dabble in watercolours I sometimes think I MIGHT like to have toned paper….do you think it would work to do a light wash in acrylic on watercolour paper and then do watercolour on top of that?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The toned paper is so light that you wouldn’t notice it unless you put it up to a piece of regular watercolor paper, then you’ll see the difference. But it does give interest if you use it in a warm painting such as a sunset. I am not so sure if toning a paper with acrylic would work with a watercolor painting….that is because the special way that watercolor reacts with the paper is unique. The white of the paper is part of the deal with the medium, it gives the painting sparkle and interest. Then again I have never tried that, who knows how it would react, it might be worth a try. I guess then it would be a mixed media painting. Bockingford has several toned papers from cool blue to warm. It all depends on your subject matter if it would enhance your work or not, I believe.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmm, thanks for the input Margaret! I recently heard that great painters such as Turner and Constable used toned paper in their watercolour sketches and a few others I saw in the art museum, recently, so, that got me wondering about how many water colourists use toned paper and what kinds and how!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. dawnmarie

    Love the dark colors in these ones. I’m such a fan of dark. And yes! I saw people in the third one on the top of the mountain waiting for something!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s