Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Size: 10 x 10 inches
Medium: Watercolors, inks, metallics on canvas
Prints ($16.95) and detail closeup images -available here-

I had been planning to do this piece for a while, based on the miniature 3x3" canvas painting I did a couple of weeks ago. And that in turn was based on a photo of my daughter. I don't often stick this close to reference photos, but in this case it was so nearly perfect that I strayed from my usual.

This painting was my first attempt at doing watercolors in larger scale on a canvas, prepared for that purpose with watercolor ground (produced by Daniel Smith). I prepped the canvas by painting two thick coats of the ground onto it, waiting 24 hours, then taking medium-fine sandpaper to it to get a nice smooth surface. I have always preferred my canvas to have minimal texture. I then sketched my image onto the canvas.

 The first layer was painted with a 1 inch flat brush, very rough. Lots of liquid. Lots of ink. Lots of pigment. Lots of MESS! This is basically just blocking in some rough areas. I then let it dry overnight. The waiting is what I really hate. Because at this stage it looks horrible. Half my sketch lines get obliterated (because I forgot to lightly spray with a workable fixative before starting to paint), and I have no clue if things will work out or not.

Next morning I was able to start in on the finer details.

With a small brush, I started picking out whatever shapes and edges jumped out at me in the background chaos. 

Worked my way around to the figure. Pale and luminous white under the trees. I waffled for a long time on whether to give her black hair like my reference, orange/red like the mini, or to leave it ghostly white.

Gold leafing.

And building up some thick watercolor ground on the lotus to give it a slight relief texture.

Bad lighting in this photo, but you can get a glimpse of the whole canvas.


  1. Lovely. I learned to love white because of a couple of your paintings with mostly white with minimal shading and color. So unexpectedly beautiful.

  2. it's a big pleasure to see the work step by step! Magical peace of art as always :)
    Thank you for share!

  3. Wow, I've just discovered your work and it's absolutely beautiful. Lovely to see your process as well. Thanks for sharing x

  4. Hi!
    Do you do tattoo sketches?
    /Camilla, Sweden. :)

  5. Hello Camilla -- No, I'm not doing tattoos at this time, sorry!

  6. These are such wonderful designs, they remind me of illustrations in children's books!