Thursday, January 31, 2008

Michelle washing up


This nude was drawn at our weekly drawing sessions and I painted her at our Tega Cay Art League Open Studio. Its on gessoed paper and is painted with watercolor. $55.00

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Koi Games ll

Koi games ll

Watercolor on gessoed paper. 8" by 5.5", I painted these fish a bit animated. I love these colors together the phalo turkquois is a daniel smith color and yes I can make it myself but its a treat to have color ready to go right from the tube.

I woke up at 4 am to work on my larger painting, I'l try to put up a wip photo on my weekly painting blog . I only have 8 more days... I like it so far but it is going thru the uglies so be patient.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Snow Scene

snow drifts

This little snow scene was inspired because I needed something simple and uncomplicated as my painting brain has been in high gear these last few days. I have been visualizing all the fish I need to paint into my large Koi painting. Its sort of like looking at the clouds and seeing objects in them. In this case not only do I have to imagine them, I also have to figure out the color combinations and how to achieve the look without overly painting them. So this takes a lot of concentration and I needed a painting break. These snow painting are very relaxing and calming.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Dance

The Dance

5 and 3/4 by 7 inches..... watercolor on gessoed watercolor paper.

I think of these two koi as male and female. I thought it would be good to paint something along the lines of a mating ritual..... The last time I was at a Koi show, the judges explained to me that the male koi are usually long and thin while the females are rounder and many times can be bigger than the males. Unlike birds both are very beautiful and both have their fish personalities.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

sam down under

sam down under, originally uploaded by apaintingaday.

here is a hint

BIG Koi Painting

I was working on my BIG painting today... to see it go to

Its a work in progress and 35 by 35 inches.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Ancient Ritual 30 ACEO

Ancient Ritual

This is an ACEO 2.5 by 3.5 it is for sale for 15.00

Tonight I'm starting to paint my 33 by 33 inch Koi painting. So I may or may not post tomorrow. All week I have been drawing value studies to determine the placement of the fish and the funny thing about this is...... that I may not use any of them once I begin. I have been thinking about the family, the kids and the parents and how they interact. I 'm hoping I can put something of them into the piece.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Koi Inka Dink

Koi inka dink

This painting is is on Gessoed paper and I like the texture. How I make this texture is by spritzing the watercolor with water and wiping it off with a Kleenex. Where the spots of water fall onto the dry paint.. the kleenex picks up the color.

Its very late and I have to get up at 6:30 to host the life drawing class. I hope the heat is on at the Art league cause its supposed to be 20 degrees (F) tomorrow.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Koi Connection

koi connection

This is my painting... Its called Koi connection. What another Koi? Yes another Koi ....

One of these fish is slighly animated Oh yes, and to animate fish all you have to do is give them great big beautiful eyes and some lips.

The viewer fills in the rest.

This is 6 by 9 and Is is for sale, for 35.00 e mail me if your interested.

I painted this piece by pouring on the paint and pulling the fish back out of the background before it dries. Once the shine is off the paper then I put in the detail.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The ocean Wave

The Sea ll SOLD
I painted two of these yesterday, not that I was overly motivated, in fact, I started out the day with no real idea as to what to paint. I have a commissioned piece ( a large one) I want to start but I have to cut the paper from my 10 foot roll and that means asking my husband for help and clearing everything off my painting table. Not wanting to get that started, I decided I would paint my daily painting and get it out of the way before getting out the big roll of paper which will take over my entire small 11 by 12 foot art space.

Lately I have been painting snow scenes and I thought of painting another one but wasn’t overly thrilled with that. I decided to clean up my painting area. You know, sometimes this helps… Its like getting the cob webs clear from your mine… getting organized also makes painting easier once you have decided what to paint.

I made a cup of hot chocolate and took a look around… dog hair dust bunnies clung to the corners of my walls and corners of the room like people at a meeting when volunteers are asked to step forward. Oh yes, did I mention I love books and as a visual person I love looking at anything with pictures… so of course there are old newspapers, magazine articles, piles of reference books, art books, and my own photographs all just lying about taking up space, space I definitely will need.

I decided to just dig in, to clean, pick up and throw away. So what is better than to start at the bottom...I swept, then I took out the trash… working my way up... I cleaned up my table by throwing away the used Kleenex, candy wrappers, (yes I like to suck on mints or candy when I paint). and misc value sketches and pencil drawings. I took the wet towels to the washing machine, put away stray palette knives and pin knives, cleaned my brushes, and laid them out to dry… got my water buckets filled, & squeezed out fresh paint ( don’t ask me why, but this always gives me a bit of a trill) into my palette finally I got some paper out and of course looked down at the white paper with a “what now?”

This sometimes happens to all artists, especially if you have a deadline to paint a painting every single day. I decided to look thru some books. Hoping for some inspiration. I was looking thru a book a pal of mine lent me about oceans and beautiful beaches all over the world and I realized I love the way water looks… not beaches but the actual water itself, its reflective qualities, color, shape, movement, it all intrigues me. The first surface that I thought of to use was clay board because water on clay board is very slippery and no matter what you do it always looks wet. After doing one wave ( posted yesterday) I did another using alcohol for the white. Alcohol when spritz on (or dropped into paint) pushes water and of course color away from the surface exposing the surface of the paper or in this case the clay board. It has a very natural appearance and is usually very circular in shape. I use this natural shape to make the wave look foamy It dries very fast and leaves the white area of your paper for you to reintroduce more color or just to leave as is.

If you have any questions about the use of alcohol just write to me and I can explain its application further.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The sea

The Sea

I was looking thru a book last night and the book has numerous pictures of oceans and beaches all over the world. I can say.... I was inspired.

I don't usually like the ocean as much as most of my friends, I guess you could say I'm more of a Mountain person. But water itself has always captivated me. The currants and the movement of water is as beautiful as anything on earth.

This is smooth clay board and I thought the slick surface would enhance the way the watercolor moves and it would look very natural . I opted for a very simple wave. For a daily painting I think its a great subject.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Big Sky Farm

Big sky farm

This is a watercolor on gessoed illustration board. 14 by 12 inches $50.00 $5.50 for shipping

Its very cold here and I spent most of the day inside.

I have been doing some planning for a commissioned piece... and I tried to get some ideas for the composition. I usually just do some pencil sketches for the placement of the focal point and for the structure of the painting. I usually try to think of what I'll do for the underpainting just so I can get started because as I paint my intuition will kick in the rest will come.

I like to think about them as a cruciform or a triangle or steel yard composition to get started.. so I start with a logical idea but as I go along, I allow the piece to tell me what to paint.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Winter snow flakes

Winter Snow flakes

Here is the whole picture I couldn't get it to size right either it was too big or too small..

Winter Snow flakes

Winter Snow flakes

This is a very light snow scene. 9 by 11 on watercolor paper $50.0

I used salt ( sea salt) for the flakes.

You'll find in the last year in a half that I 've been painting and posting daily and I 've seldom used salt. It isn't that I have anything against salt, but I just seldom use it. I usually just use water if I want the look of salt. Today I was asked about salt and how it works with watercolor so I thought I would explain it.

The salt technique is all about timing.

I lay down a light wash of blue gray color for the sky... then... I put in the green/brown trees wet into wet right into the blue sky so that it will give the appearance that the trees are off in the distance and that they are a little blurry. Before the paper as lost its shine I sprinkle in the salt. You have to just put a pinch of salt other wise you will end up with a blizzard. At first it looks like it isn't working, be patient after the background dries you will see where the salt soaked up the color leaving the white of the paper and because it is a natural substance it has a natural sharp. It will look like falling snow.

Paint the foreground after the background has dried and add a little warm color somewhere to help the painting be more inviting and not so cold. Dust off the salt and Your done!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Koi Ribbons

Koi ribbions

5 by 7 watercolor on textured clay board. 40.00 plus s & h

This stuff is great to paint on, you have to remember two things, the paint doesn't sink in which causes it to sit on the surface and the second thing you need to remember is that the watercolor will not be fixed unless you spray it with a fixative. I use a universal artist grade fixative but I have been told by experts you can use Krylon fixative for arts and crafts which can be purchased in most hobby shops for about 75% less.

This Koi looks like he is at the bottom of the pond playing in the ribbons of pond grass.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Tri Koi

Tri Koi

8 by 10 70.00 This is on clay board which is gessoed masonite.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

"Fresh Snow " 8 by 11 watercolor on paper

Fresh Snow 2008 75.00 8.0 by 11 inches watercolor on paper.
This painting is basically the one from two days ago revisited. This is one of the good things about painting everyday. sometimes with an artist you will want to paint a painting again but of course change a few things and this is the case with this painting and the original.."snow hare". I obviously didn't put in the hare and I felt the snow hare painting is beautiful but I wanted to paint one featuring birch trees. So this is my answer to that good ole muse who keeps telling me what to paint.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Snow and Ice

snow and Ice

I try to post everyday by 7 p m and the only way I did it today was to paint a small painting. This is a 4 by 6 inch painting and is the special of the week. $20.00 plus 5.50 postage. go to on Thursday and you can buy it with a credit card or paypal. you'll have to contact me by email if you want to send a check,

Tomorrow is Art's ( my husband) birthday and he is going to the Dr.. to try and get a release to go back to work. The Dr.s want him to take a few more months but he wants to go back. I think at work they will let him ease his way back into his duties. Its been seven months and he has been weaning himself from his meds and by Feb 4th we're hoping he will be pain free. I will miss him, but I will also be glad to have our old life back.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Snow Hare

Snow bunny

This is a traditional watercolor on paper. I love to paint snow because you actually don't paint the snow but everything around it. I'll paint some winter scenes for a few days because the temperature dropped here and finally winter has arrived. The rocks are painted with a palette knife.

My snow is painted with cobalt blue and burnt sienna. Sepia for the dark rocks and ultramarine blue for the darker blue in the tree line. Thats it... mainly four colors. These colors make a beautiful snow painting.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Emerald waters

Emerald waters

This painting is 5 inches by 5 inches, watercolor on Illustration Board. $40.00

Emerald waters is the name for obvious reasons. I love the color green and there are so many greens which you can make or buy... that you can really have a great time painting all of them.

If you want to paint this painting: You paint the water first, and remember to leave a space for the fish. I used sap green, phathlo green & burnt sienna for the water. I used primary red, orange, indigo, & yellow for the fish. The white is the color of the paper. Paint in the fish last and remember to soften some of the edges so that the water and the body of the fish merge in places to avoid the fish looking like its pasted on.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Koi Rising

Koi rising

6 by 8 watercolor on gessoed paper. I think that this little guy is getting ready to surface and is heading up to get a snack.

South Carolina Skies

Sunset in SC

This is the sunset in January over my back fence.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

All dogs go to heaven

Sorry this is a bit blurry, My camera batteries were low and I didn't have time to recharge them, so I only got one photo before the camera died. I usually have at least one set of batteries in the charger but the dog bumped the charger so it was pulled out of the wall a bit and not charging. Oh boy... Its been one of those days.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Green Eyed Koi

KOI GREEN EYED 6 by 9 inches

This is painted on illustration board that has been gessoed. I usually paint it right after the gesso dries. It's really important, you don't wet the gessoed paper first since that will work up the gesso and distribute it into your paint. If you want opacity that will be good but if you want the paint to be clean and transparent try not to reactivate the gesso.

After you finish your painting, just spray with fixative or frame under glass.

Thursday, January 10, 2008



This carp is a favorite of the Japanese people because the red spot on his head reminds them of their home flag. Very Striking don't you think? 6" by 9" $50.00 write if you wish to purchase.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

"Koi under the falls"

Watercolor on clayboard. This was the inspiration for a larger piece I started a few weeks ago.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Fantasy Koi

I'm learning some new software. I'm posting my blog just a bit later because of the extra time it takes me to remember how to upload my paintings. This painting is one of those paintings in which the viewer decides what direction they want the koi to be swimming. I like it this way but also liked it in the portrait format.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Family song

I have trouble at times coming up with names for paintings and this one was one of those paintings. I thought "three dog afternoon", or "family song" or " three amigos" but none of them are perfect. So if I come up with something better I may change it.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Cool Water Koi

This is a 6 by 6 by 1 watercolor on woodblock. $50.00

I have three of these Koi on wood blocks and they make a great display,the best part is no need for a frame.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Peek a Boo Koi


I love these wood blocks and I think I may have some made for me. I bought these from someone on ebay, I think it was called "artboards" they offered them in all sizes and shapes.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Koi Intersection

Six by Six watercolor on gessoed wood. SOLD

I was able to get this painting up today at the last minute, I was so busy. The first of the year,I always have lots of work to do to get things closed up for the year, my books and my files, I try to keep everything organized by the month and the year. I just can't believe how much stuff I have to put away. Boy its like work!

I'd much rather paint!

Thursday, January 03, 2008


I didn't feel too well today but I was able to put these two dogs in a sunset painting I painted the other day.

5 by 7 50.00

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

"Ambiance" a Koi painting

5 by 7 watercolor on canvas.

I am not feeling well today and spend most of the day in bed. I have a migraine which I sometimes get but I hope to wake up tomorrow and it will be gone.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008