June WC #7

I painted some on my intuitive painting here and then decided to have another go at translating a pastel painting to watercolor.

P1070860.JPGThe pastel painting above is from this post Paint and a Hike

Using the other side of a failed painting on 300# Fabriano Artistico rough, I painted without drawing, sometimes you have to jump in and see what happens. The less I worry or anticipate success or failure, the better I feel about the painting process. I quit when I started to get picky, that is a sure sign to back away and leave it alone.


The yellows are more brilliant and not as blotchy and the background with the trees is a bit lighter than it appears in the photo.

My learning points:

  • I can create some blaring flower cutouts after all, it takes some softening and working with these cutouts to manipulate what I want (the yellow flowers).
  • I don’t need excessive detail to convey a painting to my audience.
  • The brain fills in the blanks, we all do this naturally, it keeps the viewer engaged when you leave some areas for their brains fill in, isn’t that just brainy?
  • Cadmiums are valuable but use with caution, they do bring some oomph when needed but don’t bring out a shotgun (cadmium) when a .22 (transparent yellow) works better. Cad. yellow was a shotgun that I needed!




Paint and a Hike

The overlook at the start of the trail

One of those days that I hastily grabbed the opportunity to paint and a last minute decision to switch the location I originally had planned to paint. Just up the road from me and newly opened this year I believe, Rice’s Crossing Yuba Rim Trail. Here is a website with info: https://hiketoit.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/rices-crossing-yuba-rim-trail-yuba-county/

I woke up to cloudy skies but I was determined to go paint. I walked off from the trail and found a meadow with all kinds of conifers and brush that are now in bloom. At this time of year, Ceanothus integerrimus (deer brush) and Scotch Broom are in ample supply in this part of the country.

My scene


I realized after I had pretty much started, I forgot to show different stages of painting. I’ll have to remember next time, always a next time.

I was feeling the groove this time around. I need to work on a few areas which is pretty standard, rarely do I come away with a finished painting or satisfied. The photo is pretty close to my painting although there are some grasses that have a touch of warm tan that doesn’t show up well in this photo. The blues are a bit “too blue” and more of a greyish blue and lavender.

I decided to go for a hike afterwards and here is a few of the photos from the trail. I have never been on this before and it was quite the adventure.

I love exploring new trails and a large portion was quite shady.


flowers everywhere



The overlook and a peek at the Yuba River in the canyon


I couldn’t resist to share my hike with all of you. I think that plein air painting is more than just taking your studio outdoors; it is experiencing nature and learning to truly see it and to be thankful for such beauty.

I will be trying something different for the month of May and that is to paint entirely in watercolor. This will be a challenge because I always reach for my pastels because they are familiar and safe to me. I love watercolor and I feel that I need to take the plunge and make headway in truly learning and feeling comfortable with the medium.

I challenge all of you to take on something new to you or out of your comfort zone this month or for as long as you see fit, even if it is for a week or a day. I dare you!