Christmas Bird Watercolors

Christmas Blue Jay Watercolor

Lately, I’ve been trying to loosen up with my watercolors. The background of the blue jay represents what I’m talking about. I feel sometimes, as if I am too stiff while painting with watercolors. I mean, that’s their true character…loose and free, and so let them be, loose and free! I have to remind myself…stop being a control freak!

“Christmas Blue Jay”
click here to purchase original (it will take you to the available wc page)
click here to purchase prints or cards

Male Cardinal Watercolor

I painted this on Christmas morning, after the family opened presents and there was once again a calm in the house. My scanner doesn’t do this piece justice, as it cannot pick up the most delicate pale blue colors. It is however a good example of a loose background. I wet the sky in certain spots and tilted the paper to let the pigment run. That was much fun! Run little watercolor, run!

“Male Cardinal in Winter”
click here to purchase original (it will take you to the available wc page)
click here to purchase prints or cards


  1. I struggle with that same issue of “control freak” with watercolors! I see how you loosened up with the cardinal picture… it’s wonderful. One suggestion I was given by a “loose” (lol) watercolorist was to put away the fine line paintbrushes, and use wider, flat brushes. (He routinely used a flat brush that was 1″ wide!) It’s tricky, but does help to focus on less details and loosen up. BTW, are you using ink to outline? I want to try that, but don’t know what kind of ink works best – any suggestions? Really enjoy your updates – keep up the great work! -Ruth

  2. Ruth! What a GREAT idea! I am going to try painting with a large brush and see what happens.
    Yes, I am using a black Micron pen to outline. I have 05, 03,01 tips (the larger the number the thicker the tip). I outline after I paint when it is dry. Many people outline before they paint, however, I do not want to “follow” or stay in the lines when painting, I want it to be more loose. Both ways are ok, and you should try both to see what you are comfortable with. Good luck and always keep practicing, never stop! 😀

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