, , ,

The Easy Way to Paint Watercolors

Screen shot 2015-11-21 at 11.46.30 AM

When you dilute watercolor paint with liquid light (clear water), you can create an image that’s translucent. Because the white of the paper shines through, the result suggests a sunlit moment in the garden.

I learned this cool technique from San Diego watercolor artist Diane Palley McDonald.

  1. Select a photo that inspires you.
  2. Print the photo on 8-1/2 by 11 paper.
  3. Put the photo on a light table or against a sunny window, and tape a piece of watercolor paper over it.
  4. Using a pencil, lightly trace the photo’s main lines onto the watercolor paper.
  5. Tape the edges of the watercolor paper to a thick rectangle of cardboard.
  6. Mask any bright white lines. (optional)
  7. Have fun painting!

It’s a lot like painting a coloring book page. The worst that can happen is you’ll have to start over, but the hard part of any painting is the drawing, so you can skip that part. I often do two or three paintings of a subject before I’m satisfied.

Screen shot 2015-11-21 at 11.47.38 AM

Screen shot 2015-11-21 at 11.47.06 AM

Screen shot 2015-11-21 at 11.48.23 AM

Screen shot 2015-11-21 at 11.48.07 AM

Screen shot 2015-11-21 at 11.48.00 AM

Screen shot 2015-11-21 at 11.47.52 AM

Screen shot 2015-11-21 at 11.48.15 AM

See more of my paintings in my succulent watercolor calendar…or paint your own! Most of them also are on my Pinterest page, Succulent Watercolors. I also have a YouTube video showing how I paint a watercolor. Enjoy!

 

, ,

Got a Pot? Elevate it!

“Everything looks better elevated,” says San Diego succulent designer Diana Clark, who has wood stands custom-made to enhance her potted compositions. Diana, who calls her business “The Perfect Plant” because she pairs vessels found at antique stores or estate sales with a “perfect” succulent, created the plant-pot pairings shown here. As you look at them, ask yourself: Does the stand matter? Would the composition look just as good without it? And if you agree that the stand makes a difference, do you think you might you might try it?

It’s surprising how easy it is to find stands that will work for pots, at thrift stores. Learn more about Diana’s Asian-inspired design aesthetic in this YouTube video I created. And if you’re in the San Diego area, do come to a show-and-sale she’s having in Point Loma November 7-9. I’ll be there Saturday morning, Nov. 8, signing books, and would love to meet you!

IMG_1616a

IMG_1617a

IMG_1620a

IMG_1622a

IMG_1639a

IMG_1645a
IMG_1726a
IMG_3734annotatedresized
IMG_3749annotatedresized

IMG_3778annotatedresized

IMG_3873resized

For more great succulent plant-pot design ideas, see my bestselling book, Succulent Container Gardens. 


Debra Lee Baldwin, Garden Photojournalist, Author and Succulent Expert Debra Lee Baldwin, Garden Photojournalist, Author and Succulent Expert

Connect with Debra on Google+