Zoom Workshops open

Sunflower Watercolor

Registration is open for the first Two series of 3-Step Botanical Watercolor workshops that will be held in 2 hour increments over 3 weeks. The First part will cover the preliminary drawing and how to transfer the drawing to watercolor paper via tracing paper. Part 2 will focus on detailed under-drawing as the key to depth, shadow and texture. Part 3 is the finished painting in watercolor using layering or glazing techniques to achieve rich color and velvety smoothness in petals and leaves. The first series will feature sunflowers and the second will be on Pansies. Sunflowers will take place on Tuesdays and Pansies on Mondays. Two times will be available for both series. Click on the Workshop button in the side bar or go to the Workshop page. Class size will be limited to provide personal attention. I look forward to meeting new faces and seeing the art work of lots of artists out there. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions.

Once registered class materials will be made available for download in PDF form.

Coming up soon will be a Student Gallery of work created in the workshops! Help me make a place to showcase what artists are doing in Botanical Painting

Purple Pansies

Fall Blooms at the Belmont Mansion

Purple pansies, watercolor over pencil

We will be painting pansies and other fall blooming flowers at the Belmont Mansion of Belmont University, in Nashville, TN on Saturday and Sunday, September 26th and 27th. For registration, follow the link here. Community Education at Watkins College of Art is now part of Belmont’s Leu College of Art. We will spend day one out in the gardens of the mansion and day 2 will be in the studio to complete paintings. All the steps from preliminary sketches to the under drawing to the final painting will be covered. Please join us!

Pansy, Stage one 2 drawing

In the beginning, we might start with preliminary sketches until we find a layout that is pleasing to the eye. From there it can either be redrawn on watercolor paper or transferred using tracing paper. Appropriate tools for transferring will be covered and demonstrated. I like the transfer method because I can keep the tracing for future paintings, using all or parts of the original drawing in new works. A tracing can be the gift that keeps on giving!

Stage One paint

After the lay out is complete and the under drawing is finished, we begin choosing the paints we will need and start the glazing process. Glazing layers of washes is crucial to the development of deep velvety textures, in my opinion. I have long preferred this as a way to get richness. However I have seen the work of many fantastic artists who do not use this technique. It becomes a matter of preference. Try it and see how you like it. You may prefer layering too!

Layering continues as we methodically glaze sometimes adding new colors to the washes as we go. Patience is required in letting each wash dry before applying the next glaze. Breathing in patience adds a peaceful feeling to the process. The beauty of the garden can’t be rushed.

Pansy, stage 5

Following our laying method, we carry on. Sometimes it becomes difficult to remain patient and methodical. Rushing the process can make Boo-boo’s happen. We will even go into repairing those little mishaps.

I invite you to join us in September for the first time our workshop will be held on the grounds of the beautiful Belmont Mansion. We will paint pansies and other beautiful fall blooms. Day two in the studio we’ll complete the paintings started in the garden on Saturday. In case of in climate weather, we’ll do both days in the studio but still have the opportunity to paint from the what’s growing in the gardens.

Here is the link again to sign up. Hope to see you there!

PS. The first person to spot the Boo-boo and its repair in the final painting photo at the top of the post, will receive a special Musgraves Unigraph Drawing Pencil in 5H. Let me know and I’ll mail it to you!

3-Part Sunflower Zoom Class

Sunflower-1-8/20Coming in late August will be the first painting Zoom Workshop that I have offered.  After a trial run in June, I have discovered that a Zoom workshop is very possible.  My fear was that I could not give the personal attention I love in a Zoom format.  The trial run made it abundantly clear that it would not be difficult to interact with individuals and their art in a Zoom workshop.  With that said, the first official Zoom workshop will be a 3 part series on sunflowers.  I love sunflowers!

In this 3 part series, I will cover all three aspects of completing a finished sunflower painting in a botanical style.  In my method of teaching, I prefer a watercolor over pencil approach to capture wonderful detail, rich variations of dark and light, and the velvety appearance of flowers.  Step one is getting the basic outline drawing with arrangement on the page by making a preliminary drawing on drawing paper to facilitate the ability to try out different positions of the flower in the picture plane.  Once the preferred outline drawing is complete, the technique of tracing the drawing will be described and assisted beginning with how to use tracing paper to transfer the drawing and the other necessary tools.

Sunflower drawing-2-07/20Stage two will cover the process of creating an underdrawing.  Attention will paid to proper pencil and various shading techniques.  Its the really fun stage, at least to me!  This stage always makes me think its the place where we get to fool the viewer.  At the same time, I hate to cover up a good drawing.  I love drawing.  Yet its the good drawing that makes the wonderful painting.

Who doesn’t love laying on the color? The paint stage takes the drawing and layers color on top.  The icing on the cake where the finishing touches are made.  Its easier to get daring with the icing.  Make all kinds of beautiful things with layers of color.  We might even do some tricks with a few color games.  Just our secret!


Enrollment in the first Zoom starts next week.  Costs will be per session for three sessions.  $25 for each of three sessions, lasting two hours each or $60 if signing up for all three sessions at one time.  I’ll be posting more next week about it.  Feel free to message me with questions


Flowers of the Zoom

Mary's Rose
Yellow Rose by Mary Phillip

Mary Phillip, (Notions Journey), Misty Swann, Sandy McNeal, and Emily Hudgins Gibson graciously agreed to assist with my learning curve on Zoom.  This is their beautiful work. Full disclosure: they have all taken either workshops from me or other assistance with their work. However, they are each accomplished artists and I love working with them.  An online format for teaching art is a whole different animal.  These artists adapted easily.  I was amazed!

Sandy's Lily
The start on Sandy’s watercolor Lily.

Sandy McNeal is the newest member of the group.  Her usual medium is oil.  Watercolor is a new venture for her and botanical watercolor, especially. The style was unfamiliar to Sandy so hers was not as finished as the others in the 2-hour time frame but a really beautiful and delicate start.  Sandy has a natural feel for what the paint can do.  The specific paint colors for botanical painting were new to her too.  The zoom format was a challenge for me in demonstrating color use.  Sandy had no trouble picking it up!

Misty's Yellow Rose
Misty’s Yellow Rose

White flowers are Misty’s specialty.  This yellow rose was not an issue for her at all.  She was able to almost completely finish this painting in our two hour zoom.  I particularly love the center with the stamens reaching out. Her depth in the flower with the subtle use of the yellow paint is amazing. A very delicate and sweet painting. Yellow is a color easily put on too thickly.  Misty was able to control the layers of yellow to keep the rose light and airy.  During the Zoom time, I was able to follow her progress easily by her use of her phone to capture the painting as it developed.

The last artist, Emily Gibson is still working on her Lily, progress held up by a personal issue but hopefully we will soon be able to post it too!

Thanks, to these four artists, I have been able to gain a feel for the use of Zoom as an art instruction format.  The plan is to soon set up more Zoom workshops.  Sign ups will come through this site.

See ya soon and happy painting!