Frigid Sun Kissed Pines Watercolor Sketch


16°F with a windchill of 2°F

The sun paints pines with toasty colors,
But does nothing to the raw wind.
The steady wind numbs.
And pine needles shave the ice.

I love warm colors in the wintertime. You especially see it right before or during sunset… the sun casts yellow, orange, and pinks on white cold snow…or reds blazing on tree bark…yet it’s frigid out. The sun gives the illusion of warmth, but our skin knows better.

Private Watercolor Sketch Lessons

Are you a beginner and would like to learn how to make quick, simple, watercolor sketches?
Do you live in the Chicagoland area?

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Turn something like this:

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Happy Sketching!!!

Sycamore Stands Alone Winter Watercolor Sketch


Oh Winter Sycamore~
Your camouflage skin failed.
You grew it in vain.
Against the black of pine, you radiate in contrast.
But I like that unlikeness about you, your nonconformity…
Don’t hide it. Be distinct.
It’s your calling.

The sycamore tree has a very unusual bark pattern. It looks just like camouflage. From a distance you would think this tree has some snow on its branches, but it does not.

Ironically, its camouflage trait is exactly what caught my eye the day I spotted it against a thick plot of pines.

As an introverted artist, I am just like this sycamore in the poem. I hate having attention on me, I try to blend in as much as possible and be quiet, but all I do is stick out even more. Ha ha ha!

Here’s to being unique and sticking out!
Be true.


People Enjoying Winter Watercolor Sketch


These people do not have cabin fever.

Adding people to your sketch (something I rarely do because I’m usually a hermit when I go out) gives movement and life and also provides scale. A nice challenge I think you’ll enjoy.

Amber Jelly Fungus, Lichen, and Moss, Watercolor Sketch


Beautiful parasites.
Look closely at nature. There’s life everywhere. There’s a plan. Take your time when inspecting, like you have all the time in the world. Time? Throw away that watch.  Stop checking your cell phone…. Get lost in exploration.

Winter has some secret jewels. It’s not all gloom and gray. Look at the abundance of different life forms supported by this dead branch. Fascinating!
Amber Jelly Roll fungus glistens a deep red color in the sun, Lichen spotted with black spore portals, bright and dark green mosses, dazzles me like a kid with a new toy.

Like a kid I took it home to study and guess what happened? The dry heat of my home, such a drastic contrast to the ecosystem it had, dried up the jelly fungus and discolored the moss. See before and after photos.

Branch Before

Branch After
After (about 18 hours)

I expected this kind of change, but not as quickly. It would have been interesting to record this branch as a time lapse and measure the speed at which the jelly dried up. And do this over again with different controlled room temperature settings.

There’s a secret scientist buried in me somewhere. Others (you know who you are) just call me a nerd. Well…  I LOVE being a nerd.