Tag Archives: sketch book

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?


One Bad Squirrel

I dream of a world where all animals live in peace…with each other. Crazy? It could happen!

I thought it did for a while when I video recorded sparrows, mourning doves, and a squirrel sitting together eating in peace, All was well in animal kingdom – until, one bad squirrel came along! Now, I assumed all squirrels were evil but when I looked out the window and watched one eat with the birds I had hope. Then again, there’s always a bad apple not far from the tree! In the last few seconds, a second crazed demented squirrel disrupted animal utopia and caused havoc on the kingdom chasing all birds and his squirrel friend! Watch closely and you can see Stella, the female downy woodpecker, visit before she fled the eminent doom.

Here is my sketch of that frightful moment:

One day fur and feathers will live in peace. I just know it.

Gotta Paint that Weed!


I have no idea what this is. The good thing is, I don’t need to know what it is to paint it! Painting a subject is my way of studying it. You become familiar and intimate with something when you slowly look it over inch by inch…that’s what I do when I’m preparing to paint. I know that the pods have tiny hairs on them and almost transparent skins, the leaves are serrated, and the stem is a yellowish green where as the the leaves are more of a bluish green.

Here is a close up. If any person can identify what this is, please leave a comment. The flower has a deep burgundy center and only lasts about one day. It is located under a thistle feeder where many goldfinches and house finches visit daily. This climate is zone 5 on the gardening scale. I don’t know if that helps any?

Well I couldn’t resist I had to paint it, or should I say, sketch it! When sketching, I came up with a code I like to use everytime: d= date, t= time, c= weather conditions, and a= area of subject. One other thing I find helpful is to always write what day of the week it is next to the date. Years from now when you look back in your sketch book, you will have no idea what day it was only looking at the date. This picture was done with micron black pens and Winsor & Newton travel watercolors.