Lies Sideways Watercolor

This watercolor is a continuation of my series of paintings done from photographs taken by Edward S Curtis in the early 1900s of Native Americans.

This one is of Lies Sideways who was apparently of the Crow Tribe.

Curtis humanized his subjects in a way that no one had done before.   And I love being able to interpret his photographs more than a century later though the medium of watercolor.

Mark Twain Watercolor

I painted this watercolor of Mark Twain a while ago and I waited to post it on my blog because I wasn’t completely happy with it.  For one thing, I overworked it a bit.  The best watercolors have a vibrancy that comes from just painting them and not having to rework them.  I also added some white  back with fresh white paint out of the tube.  Of course, the best way to get bright white in watercolor is to leave the white paper in-touched by any paint.  At the same time, I’ve recently watched some YouTube videos of some world class watercolorists use white (or even bright orange) right out of the tube so I guess I’m in good company.

“When in doubt tell the Truth”

~ Mark Twain

p.s.  Here is sketch I did at the time I was doing the watercolor.  I do a lot of sketches before I paint most of my watercolors.  This time, I drew this sketch after I did the watercolor – I almost prefer the sketch to the watercolor because it seems more spontaneous.

Watercolor of Overlake Golf Course Pond

This is just a watercolor I did yesterday in my sketch book.  I’ve probably driven past this 1000 times on my way to places since it’s near my home.  One day, I just stopped and took a picture, knowing that I’d want to try to paint it.

I think the fact that I wasn’t trying to make a great watercolor helped me on this.  I was just messing around in my sketchbook and started painting and it ended up better than I expected.

Watercolor of a Brock Elbank Photograph

Brock Elbank is a British photographer who takes amazing portraits of interesting faces.

One of his portraits caught my eye in a web search and I wanted to see if I could capture a lifelike portrait of this subject in watercolor.

I overpainted the beard a bit and needed to pull up some of the pigment with a paper towel but I think it ended up ok.  I like that the background is light.  I’ve learned that if you overpaint the background, it usually does not go well – so keep your backgrounds light on watercolor portraits.

Watercolor of an Old Man With a Beard

Guys with beards seem to make really good subjects for watercolors.  I think it is because the area of the beard is a clearly defined large shape and the mind wants to attach itself to shapes.

I have started using a lot more ultramarine blue mixed with different Umbers and Siennas.  They seem to go together and play off each other well as they mix in the wet-in-wet washes.

Floating Down The River Watercolor

I grew up next to the Yellowstone river and we spent a lot of time floating on that river and it’s tributaries in rubber rafts so this picture takes me back to that.

I got lucky with the colors in this and the way the water ended up looking.  It definitely looks peaceful, which was the feeling I was going for.

Meeteetse Trail Watercolor

There’s a dirt road that is the old stage coach route from Red Lodge Montana to Meeteetse Wyoming.  I spend time there every summer and I painted this watercolor of the view one lazy august afternoon last year.  That’s Mount Maurice in the background.


Butterfly Watercolor

I paint a lot of birthday cards for family.

I was needing to paint one for my granddaughter and I wanted to paint one with a butterfly.  I painted several cards to get one that was right and then decide to paint one on a bit larger piece of watercolor paper and this was the result.


Sketch of Thomas S. Monson

Sometimes, it can become disheartening when we see the rancor that goes on between our political parties and all the chaos and confusion the world has to offer these days.  You start to wonder if there are men of character left who have the main goal in life to just serve others.

One such man was Thomas S. Monson, the 17th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

President Monson served others his entire life.  He served for the past decade prior to his recent passing as the President of the LDS faith, but prior to that he served for decades in other important and demanding callings in the church where he literally showed what it meant to be a  true disciple of Christ.

Although we mourn his passing, we cherish his service to others and example of leadership and character that he set.

Sketching Salvador Dali

i had more fun sketching Salvador Dali than almost anyone I’ve painted or sketched so far.  His face was truly unique with the big eyes and the long mustache.

I had his mustache all sketched in and I was going to add some of his fluid time pieces when I had the idea to drape one of them over his mustache – I think that took the sketch to a different level and I think it turned out really well – so, this time, the work paid off.