Monthly Archives: July 2011

July 2011 Sketch Class Results


Kathy, Mary Ann, Alanna

July’s sketch class was a success. We had such a wonderful artistic fellowship while discovering nature. After a short walk from the nature center, we settled in by the slough to take in the amazing view.


The dead trees across the slough caught my eye, so some of us decided to paint this scene.


Alanna's beautiful watercolor sketch

Here is Alanna’s artwork. Great job! I love the pink dots of swamp rose mallow growing across the slough.


Kathy's terrific watercolor sketch

Kathy decided to sketch the geese in the slough. These geese kept us company for a long time. What a beautiful reminder of this day.


my artwork

Sometimes it is hard to sketch summer because it seems that everywhere you look it is green. If you can include different variations of green (yellow-green, blue-green, sap green, ochre green) it helps to ease the green frustration.


After our sketch, we decided to take a hike on the Black Oak Trail.


We found little treasures on our trail. This is Two-colored Bolete mushroom (I believe). During the summer when everything is green, this red and yellow mushroom pops out!


This is a male Ruby Meadowhawk. He just happened to stop on a blade of grass right next to me. I was glad to meet him. We also spotted a male scarlet tanager in the woods, but did not get a picture.


We stopped at this swamp rose mallow hibiscus and commented on its imperfection (several holes). We discussed how lovely imperfections  are and what character it brings. We agreed that none of us wanted perfectionism and the holes in this flower and in our own lives are perfect the way they are.

I’m glad you joined us on our sketch class and I hope you are able to get out and try some nature sketching for yourselves!


Last Night’s Thunderstorm – Lightning Sketch


Lightning Sketch watercolor and micron pen

Flashes of intense lightning to the north, it came in quickly this time. The lightning is so bright that it reflects off my drapes for it is too powerful to be contained only to the sky.

Wanting to go out but in fear, I sit in my room by the window like a coward, a fascinated coward…not able to tear my eyes away from the sky.

July 2011 Sketch Class this Saturday


It’s SO MUCH FUN!!! *shouting*
Interested in learning how to sketch nature with watercolors but don’t know how to begin?

Join me for a free class this Saturday, July 30, 2011, at the Little Red Schoolhouse in Willow Springs, IL. Meet in the parking lot at 9AM. We will take a short hike and choose a location to paint. Dress for the weather.

Address and supply list detailed here.

Imperial Moth Watercolor Sketch

Imperial Moth watercolor

That’s what I said when a co-worker walked into work with this dead beauty in his hands. WOW….it’s HUGE…over 5 inches wide! 
He found it, already expired, in the grass and because he knows I’m a nut for nature he let me keep it.
This imperial moth is really soft. The wings and body feel like suede. You can see  individual little hairs on the body. I think this is a female because the images I found for males have larger brown patches on the wings.

There may be a puncture wound on its back. Perhaps a bird caught it, dropped it, and then had to leave the scene? Well, I can celebrate its life by painting it in my journal and learning as much as I can about the imperial moth.


Here is the photo. You can see the tattered wing and the black on the back is a tiny hole.

This big treasure from the sky will live on in watercolors.

How to Paint a Summer Tree in Watercolors VIDEO

For all those who would like a little demonstration on how to paint a tree with foliage here is a video. Because of length they are split up in two sections. Enjoy!

1 of 2 (9 mins)

2 of 2 (7 mins)