Tag Archives: watercolor on wood

More Two-Color Series and PPF





claw your way out of the valley : watercolor and alcohol on wood panel

This is the third piece in my two-color series (see the others here and here). It took me quite a while to get this piece just right. I was growing increasingly frustrated at how it was turning out and then with one final (miraculous) brush stroke, everything just fell into place. I think I’m starting to rely too much on anticipated outcome and that is not serving me well. The techniques that I am using in this series are meant to yield very organic designs/textures and trying to control them too much is counter-productive.


Also, I am submitting this piece to Paint Party Friday. I’ve never contributed anything there before because I’ve mostly been doing illustrative work. Now that I’m painting a bit more, I figured I’d give it a shot.


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Another New Painting





some kids weren’t meant to be cool : watercolor + alcohol on 8×8″ wood panel

This is the second piece in my two-color series. It isn’t a terribly unique color combination, but I did a lot of work creating variations in the shading and texture of this piece. I also used the natural grain of the wood to my advantage. I think it adds another layer of visual interest and is one of the advantages of using wood in the first place.

I am going to be adding this piece and kate is not a hipster to my Etsy shop today. I have mixed feelings about selling my original work on Etsy. I had intended to have my actual web site finished by now, but since I don’t (and I have no real desire to even work on it) and I really need to start selling some of my work, I guess I will put aside my ‘Etsy issues’ and just do it.

UPDATE : some kids weren’t meant to be cool and kate is not a hipster are now available on Etsy.


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It’s a Great Day to Spray (Fixative, That Is)

My absolute least favorite part of painting is applying fixative and varnish.  I have never been very good at it and it is part of the reason that I pretty much quit working with acrylic on wood years ago. I’m sure that part of the reason I tend to mess this step up is because I lack patience. I hate waiting for the varnish to dry completely before adding another coat or handling the piece. This usually results in smudges, smears, and other unpleasant blemishes that end up driving me nuts.

And then there’s the smell.

Spray fixative is stinky, which means having to find a suitable, well-ventilated area in which to apply it. My studio definitely does not fit the bill here. That leaves my basement (you know, the Kingdom of Canine Hair), the garage (I’m sure the spiders running across the wet fixative would add an interesting textural effect), or the front porch (which is the perfect place as long as it isn’t raining, humid, or sweltering outside). Today, I opted for the front porch since we are finally getting a break from the stifling heat and humidity. As long as no huffing teenagers catch a whiff of what I’m doing, I should be good.

This is the first time I have ever used fixative on watercolor. Typically, watercolor pieces are framed under glass, so there isn’t much need for fixative (although, I have heard of people using spray fixative and varnish and then framing watercolors the way oil paintings are framed – sounds interesting, but I have yet to try it). Because I’m working with watercolor on wood, a fixative and a layer of varnish are necessary to not only protect the piece, but also to help bring out the true colors, which tend to appear a bit faded once they dry. I chose Krylon UV-Resistant spray, which I will then cover with a clear matte varnish. So far, the fixative it going on well (just finished my third coat). It is definitely a slow process, but I am happy that there hasn’t been any change in the integrity or texture of the piece, which was my biggest fear. As long as I get enough fixative on, hopefully, I will be able to brush the varnish on without affecting the painting.

Fingers crossed.


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A New Painting? Yep!





kate is not a hipster : watercolor + alcohol on 8×10″ wood panel

This afternoon I finished the first painting in my new two-color series. I decided to go with wood panel rather than paper. It posed a completely new set of challenges, but also yielded new and interesting results. I am really interested in exploring what I can create with these limited color palettes. It is definitely a challenge, but I think that by incorporating some different watercolor techniques, I can create something meaningful and (hopefully) aesthetically pleasing (to someone other than myself – heh).

Also, I made a HUGE mess of my studio working on this and another piece in this series today. There is paint everywhere – on the floors, my desk, my laptop, my clothes. So, apparently, I am capable of making messes (out of things other than my life – heh).

So, thoughts?

UPDATE : some kids weren’t meant to be cool and kate is not a hipster are now available on Etsy.


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Illustration Friday : Asleep



…as the clouds approached, nearly everyone was fast asleep.

This is my second attempt at watercolor pencil on wood. I have to say, I am quite happy with it. I may even put it in the Etsy shop!

The most difficult part of the process is inking over the pencil sketch – too much pressure and the ink will bleed quite a bit. I am loving working with the watercolor pencils on wood though.

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