Category Archives: sketch book

Autumn Rain Watercolor

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51°F
Overcast, windy, rain.

A hawk cry rings out under the heavy damp air.
A red squirrel sits to peel the outer layer of a nut, unaffected by the rain.
An intruder approaches… another red squirrel. This invasion results in a quick chase around the tree and an angry fast flicker of the tail.
The intruder flees.

The steady hard rain wont deter the red squirrel nor will it deter me, the lover of nature in all weather, as I watch in wonder.

 

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Let’s Paint an Orange Kitty – Watercolor

Today, we are going to paint an orange kitty using watercolors. Pretty simple, but the end might scare you. Don’t let it! You can do this.

I am using Hahnemühle‘s Leonardo 280 lbs matt watercolor paper, a heavy weight thick wonderful watercolor paper with much texture.

In each frame I wanted to have a picture of kitty for easy reference, however my printer is very low in ink so the picture printed really light. Nothing will set us back….so here we go!

Step by step watercolor kitty

Step 1: Draw an outline in pencil. Make notations of stripes and shadows.

Step by step watercolor kitty

Step 2: We are only going to be using two colors: cad yellow and ochre. Paint cad yellow on the whole body except leave some white spots for the lightest highlights. Leaving white exposed also let’s your painting breath. Sounds strange, but without the white, your painting might end up too heavy. Now, while the cad yellow is wet, paint ochre on the spots where the kitty is shaded. Let dry.

Step by step watercolor kitty

Step 3: Using rose and ochre, paint the kitty’s ear. Think of negative painting when you leave in some hair in the ears. Now, paint rose only on his cute little nose.

Step by step watercolor kitty

Step 4: Using orange, paint where the kitty looks more orange: top of head, in the shadow area, stripes on his legs. If your edges are too hard, you can soften them with a paintbrush that has clean water while the orange is still wet.

Step by step watercolor kitty

Step 5: Paint darker stripes on head and legs with brick red and orange mixed together.

Step by step watercolor kitty

Step 6: Paint the eyes with viridian green and Payne’s grey in the middle. Leave white spots exposed for the light reflecting in his eyes. Next, darken part of the ears with violet. Lastly, using some of that violet, make a small line from his nose down to his mouth and paint shadow around his lip area.

Step by step watercolor kitty

Step 7: This is the part that might scare you…. DONT BE SCARED! Just try it!!! In this brave step, we are going to take a big round brush and paint cobalt blue and violet over all of the shaded areas. That’s right, you’re going to paint right over the kitty in large chunks. Take a deep breath. Only do this step if your painting is completely dry. Shadow his left side, the left part of his face, under his right eye, under his chin, in between his legs, by his tail. Just like before, if your edges are too hard, soften with a brush that has clean water on it. Now look at him pop!

Step by step watercolor kitty

Step 8 Final: In this final step, give him something to rest on. With a large flat brush paint, underneath the kitty with violet. While wet, make shadow underneath the kitty with Payne’s gray. After everything is dry, you can outline the kitty with a black micron pen and give him some whiskers. Viola, la peinture du chat orange est fini!

I hope you enjoyed this free step by step on how to paint a cat with watercolors. The orange kitty’s name is Niles and he would be honored if you tried to paint his picture too!

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Purrrrrrr, purrrrrrrr, purrrrrrr.

watercolor kitty

Autumn Begins Watercolor

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And so it begins…

Time cannot be undone.
And the leaves cannot go back on the trees.
But we can still move forward hand in hand with our Everlasting Father as He carries our hurts.
Amen.

Mighty Oaks Watercolor Sketch

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On the advice of a Dove Candy wrapper (sea salt caramel & dark chocolate), I got lost on purpose….

Swallows dance above Crabapple Lake. Even though it is an overcast day, I can still see their shadow on the surface of the lake as they swoop within an inch of the water.

The wind pushes northward and along with it, a single cottonwood seed, floating in slow motion above my head.

The crabapple trees look thin. One looks as if it has changed prematurely, a brilliant red for autumn. But on closer inspection, half the tree has lost all it’s leaves and the only thing that remain are the brilliant little crabapples dangling in clusters.

The mighty oaks across the lake stand firm. Strong, thick, and firm.

How does one strengthen their faith as strong as the mighty oaks on Crabapple Lake?

By denouncing emotions and relying on the Word instead….

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You. Isaiah 26:3

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Crabapple Lake

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The brilliant red crabapple tree

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Bumble bee on goldenrod

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Here’s wishing you many happy adventures when we get lost on purpose.

In Memoriam

It is with a broken heart and many tears that I announce the passing of a dear friend, sister in Christ, and painting buddy, Alanna.

I met Alanna 7 years ago when she contacted me through this site. She LOVES to paint and wanted to learn more, so she emailed me. We struck up a friendship and knowing she was from my area, I offered to teach her how to paint at the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center. That began a wonderful painting and hiking friendship where we visited many forests preserves and explored nature together.

Through the years we shared many things…talking hours about God, sitting in her prayer swing in her backyard, discussing frustrations in our lives, discussing current events, relationships, you name it. She always has a way of making me feel better about any situation. I only wish I could do the same for her.

Many of you might recognize her from the MeetUp group painting events. It was rare when she missed one.

This is the last MeetUp painting she beautifully created….

She wrote:
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want…. ye, though I walk through the valley of death, I shall fear no evil.  Psalm 23”

The MeetUp topic was depression and how to cling to God’s word in the midst of struggle. This was her favorite verse.

But she was depressed and she was very fearful about an upcoming surgery. A routine surgery.

It is with the permission of her family and with great devastation that I inform you that Alanna took her own life.

Our mission now is to tell her story and help others considering suicide. See, just because someone seems strong, or independent, doesn’t mean that they aren’t a scared little girl or boy on the inside. Just because someone says they’re close to God, or a Christian, doesn’t mean that they feel safe and have it all together. Many hide their true feelings deep within.

But God LOVES YOU.
He IS love.
He knows the very number of hairs on your head. (Matt 10:29-31)
He has loved you with an everlasting love. (Jer 31:3)
He sent his very Son to die on a cross for your transgressions so that you would be with Him for all eternity. (John 3:16)
He personally formed you in your mother’s womb. (Ps 139:13-14)
He adopted you as a son or daughter through Christ. (Eph 1:5-6)

Not only that, but He sent the Holy Spirit to walk next to you day by day to strengthen you because he knew this world is difficult. (Matt 10:16)

Life is difficult. Christians are not exempt from suffering, nobody is exempt from suffering, but the Word has power and we must cling to it.

He will never leave you nor forsake you. (Heb 13:5)

If you are struggling with life and have even a tiny fraction of a doubt whether you can go on or not….
If you’re scared and don’t know what to do….
If you’re lonely and have no one to turn to….
If you’re lost and you think there’s no way out….
If you’re so angry you can’t take it any longer…..
If you’ve been made fun of and you believe the bullies….
If you can’t look into the mirror anymore….

DON’T GIVE UP

Call 911 and tell them.
Call the Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255  available 24/7
Text “CONNECT” to 741741 on your cell phone

Please.
You are not alone.

Listen to this encouraging song and hear the words:

I will always keep Alanna in my heart and with me in the woods when I’m exploring.