Category Archives: watercolor

Nasturtium watercolor

It’s been a year since the last time I did any painting, but considering how disused my skillz are this turned out pretty well. The subject matter is just a bunch of overlapping simple shapes, so I focused on playing with colors.

Nasturtiums in June

I departed from my customary palette with a couple new pigments I found in the bargain aisle at Hobby Lobby: Winsor & Newton Cobalt Green and Thioindigo Violet. I really liked these colors. The cobalt green has a lovely cool hue and flocculated very nicely. Or it might have been granulating. The thioindigo violet behaved wonderfully when I dropped it into the green wet-into-wet. Instead of muddying the green, it retreated and formed bright edges.

I used masking fluid to make the veins of the leaves. They turned out messier and thicker than I’d have liked, but the whole painting has a casual sloppiness, so I don’t mind too much. Watercolor is the wrong medium for perfectionism, anyway. Perhaps that’s why it appeals to me; it’s the opposite of programming, in which I spend 90% of my time finding and fixing my mistakes. In watercolor painting I just have to live with my mistakes.


Watercolor of Green County, Wisconsin, near Monroe.

Green County, WI. Near Monroe.

This is a quick sketchy painting I did as a small gift. It took about 2 hours; the original is 5×7.

The scene is a photo taken on a road trip to Little Switzerland in Green County, Wisconsin. I love the Wisconsin countryside, with the rolling glacial hills, cornfields, and red barns. It’s the landscape I grew up in; it just seems like the right way for the world to look.

Here’s my photos of Wisconsin farms: “wisconsin farm” tag on Flickr.

Watercolor of court in Gandria, second pass

Watercolor of court in Gandria

Secular generic happy winter wishes

cardinal in snowy bushes I’m broke this year, so instead of buying small presents for family & friends who would normally get small presents, I made secular generic “happy winter”-themed cards.

cutout peace doveSome of them turned out pretty well. I did a few versions of the “cardinal in snowy bushes” painting, and then experimented with cutting out silhouette shapes with an exacto blade. My master plan is to combine the cardinal and silhouette motifs into a ‘cardinal in bushes’ cutout card. Everyone likes cardinals for Christmas. I mean secular generic winter. Sol Invictus!