My First Skillshare Class

I have published my first Skillshare class: on painting landscapes in watercolor and ink. This is something I do daily, and it is a practice I think so many artists and creatives would benefit from. This class and the project we complete within it is easy and loose, meant to diminish our desire for perfection. (Do you know how many artists are perfectionists to the detriment of their creativity, productivity and overall joy?… I don’t. Probably too many though.) In addition to the final watercolor and ink landscape sketch, I also go over how to make thumbnail sketches, what are the main compositional rules that will help you better compose your sketches, and how to hatch and cross-hatch for your value studies. After a value study in monochromatic watercolor we dive into the full-color sketch. The entire class from start to finish is 46 minutes. You can always find a link to the class on the right side-bar of my website, you don’t need to find this blog post again. Here is a peek of the project:

This is our class project! Very simple, messy and quick.

Skillshare is an excellent platform for learning (I’ve been taking classes for a few months now) and costs about $15/month. If you sign up for a Premium Membership with my personal link (different from the one that links to my class): you can receive two free months. (You might have to sign up for a whole year to get those two free months – when I signed up I chose to pay month-to-month and only received one free month. Just FYI.) There are classes on graphic design, fine art, business, web design, marketing etc. Currently I’m learning how to better digitize my watercolor paintings to make prints and greeting cards in this class by Ana Victoria Calderón:

If you use my link to sign up I receive a small payout. Every little bit helping me to build my art business. More importantly, even if you yourself are not interested in taking the class, consider sharing this blog post or the links with someone you know who might be interested. I’m really trying to expand my reach online and every single person who begins to follow me on youtube or takes my class in Skillshare is a great help to me in the long run.

Finally, for those who would love to take my class but do not wish to sign up for Skillshare, I will be posting paint-alongs (of other landscapes etc.) on my youtube channel periodically. Some of these will have explanations along the way as guidance or just to keep you company while you paint.

Thanks for reading! I hope to paint with you soon.

I filmed my class out of my home studio.

Portraits of Portales series now on website

This ongoing body of work, “Portraits of Portales” created entirely in sketchbooks and en-plein-air (outdoors) since early 2014 is finally coming together online. Visit my website to see some of the sketches as this series builds. As I’ve mentioned before, the final goal is to publish them in a book. Or publish anything like them in a book. Hire me now.

screen shot of Portraits of Portales gallery on website
screen shot of Portraits of Portales gallery on website

screen shot of Portraits of Portales gallery
screen shot of Portraits of Portales gallery

Artistic Extravagance

This flower brightened up the drudgery of grocery shopping for me today. I saw it behind the glass in the flower section on my way to produce and it stopped me in my tracks. I paused, leaning on the handle of my shopping cart and just admired it for a while. I thought about how the center of my wedding bouquet was also a Gerbera daisy. After a few moments I snapped out of it and took two more steps towards the produce section but paused again and looked back. Then there was an audible sigh. Then I walked back, plucked the peach flower from the vase of Gerberas, laid it on top of my carton of organic eggs and carried on my merry way.

And for those of you who know me, it was also a unique day in that I felt extra zing and actually bought a bottle of grey/brown/purple nail polish (pictured here). That makes two non-essentials in one shopping trip! What extravagance!

What simple joy.

watercolor painting of gerbera daisy
Gerbera Daisy, watercolour on board, 4 x 4"

Somewhere to read

My librarian mother recently noted that I draw and paint many stacks of books in my scenes. And this is very true. Reading is one of my life’s biggest obsessions after art… and maybe food. I really love food. Art can be an escape for me, and so can books… so why not bring the two together as much as possible and enjoy a double dose of what I love most?

While today’s piece of art does not contain any heaps of paperbacks, I’d like you to imagine reading there. I’ve drawn the same bench in a tangly shaded space and a sun-soaked desert space. If you choose to read in the jungle space be sure to take bug repellant and if you chose to read in the sun, remember sunscreen and shades! Nothing worse than being blinded by trying to read the glaring white page.

watercolour and ink drawing of bench in vegetation
The Bench, watercolour and ink on paper, 5 x 10"

Summer dinner

To commemorate the very last day of summer I thought I’d post a summer-dinner painting.

Here is a table spread our friends laid for us one summer evening in their Toronto backyard… fond memories of the evening still linger.

Stay tuned for another summer meal post tomorrow!

watercolour painting of picnic table
Summer Dinner, watercolour on paper, 4 x 6"