Tag Archives: pines

All Things Tiny Watercolor


Hot Humid

Journal Notes:
I found a bench in the shade and it’s ALL MINE. I claim it.

A healthy breeze keeps me comfortable, despite the heat.

A charm of American goldfinches keeps my spirits exceptionally high as I notice their hilly flight pattern above my head. Suddenly, a blasting car horn in the distance abruptly ends my trance on the goldfinches. Grrrr……
But my goldfinches pull me back. My mind happily flutters up and down with them in the air as if I am sailing right next to them. Their cheery song while cresting high and falling low is no match for a bad mood.

Circular ripple patterns in the lake grow outward but I missed what caused it.

The air in my nostrils is warm and humid but sweet all at the same time. I am forever thankful for this moment in nature.

My mission as of late is to dwindle my watercolor supplies for the field to a bare minimum. I have become lazy lately and have not taken healthy hikes because I use the excuse of my supplies being too heavy.

Well, no more.


Introducing my tiny watercolor field supply kit. It fits in your two hands. Light weight, portable, and can wrap around your wrist.


All of these supplies fit nicely inside. One watercolor cold press pad (6″x4″), one Daler Rowney watercolor field kit, two aquabrushes, one pencil, one black micron pen (not shown), and a paper towel (not shown). Total weight is probably three pounds. This kit will remain in my car. Now I will have no excuse for a spur of the moment venture.


And here is my new tiny kitten. I call him: Little Baby Turkey Stuffing, but his real name is Niles. Niles does not fit into my tiny watercolor field supply kit. He waits for me to come home so that he can bite my supplies and my hand. Bad Baby Turkey Stuffing!


Here is the reference photo of what I was looking at when I painted the pines. I took the pines in the distance at the beautiful Morton Arboretum and used artistic license, weeding out the background to create the tiny watercolor sketch.

What about your sketching strategy? What does your kit include?


Sketch Class Results April 2012


Last Saturday a group of us met for another Little Red Schoolhouse Sketch Class. Because of the recent rains, we knew that if we painted outside our watercolors would take forever to dry, so we decided to start with an indoor sketch of the fox family display.


We went slow…step by step…and boy did they turn out great! Did I ever tell you how difficult still life could be compared to landscape? Yes sir…but the artwork is fantastic.

The end result is not the goal. It’s all about the process! We are documenting our view and our feeling when we experience nature. They are all unique and beautiful in their own way.
One student said that her friend was interested in attending the class but couldn’t gather enough courage. I replied, “There is NO COURAGE REQUIRED for sketch class!” Everyone is welcome even if you’ve never painted before.


Photo by Alanna. (Christine, Theresa, Alanna, and Katie)
After we painted the fox family display, we decided to take our sketchbooks and a micron pens with us on a short hike, to draw the pines along the field at the beginning of the Black Oak Trail.


Here are the pines we wanted to sketch.


Photo by Alanna. (Katie, Alanna, and Theresa)
We sat down and got right to work. Because we were not using color, we focused on lines. Which way are lines going in the pines? What different lines do the pines have that the trees in front do not? Those are some of the questions we asked as we drew our sketches.


It’s hard to see, but here are our simple black micron drawings. Another great sketch by the class!


I went home and added some color from memory. That was fun and relaxing because I didn’t care if my colors matched at all!


And here is a close up of my fox family watercolor sketch.

I hope you enjoyed April’s sketch class results. Maybe you would like to join at the end of May?