Day 196 Beach sketching part 2

Sketching everything in sight on the beach like I don’t know better. And that golf cart and those tiny tiny people. Oh well. Onward and upward right?!

the egrets in back of the house which sits on this lagoon.

Margaret going to bed so she can veg up early and have one more try at a good pic of those darn egrets out back. Xoxoxo

Day194- Down Edisto Way

A quick sketch while on the beach today. Micro uniball Fabre Castro watercolor pencils stillman and birn Alpha

BYTW you can own this house for a mere $4.9 million. 5 bedroom 9 baths on the front.

My favorite watercolor pencils. Buy please tell me why there a pthalo blue instead of cerulean or cobalt. Someone please explain.

Margaret ready for bed. Another busy day manana xoxoxo

Day 188 I just had to.

And I should have left it alone but NOOOO I couldnt do that.

So I have quit now. Impossible to knock out that yellow and make a nice tin roof on the house like a Low Country Cottage would have.

Bytw in case u were wondering the Low Country is the coastal area of South Carolina starting around Orangeburg about 90 miles from the coast. A slower way of life.

My moms fav cookie. I love the orange cranberry walnut version

Our family has been making these cookies for as long as I can remember. Originally on the back of the Quaker Oatmeal box.

My son Bens fav. Also quite a few of my friends. Some like them with nuts some without. I usually make both types.
My friend slim trim Alexis will break her diet for a few of these and my friend Elizabeth- well better than anything to her. Tell her I am baking and she WILL show up. Voted best cookie by all the Saturday artists. Well at least a big fav.
Grits is …. well these can’t be beat. Best made with nasty mineral laden Edisto water. Anything with all that milk and cheese is bound to be good right??!

I didn’t wet this watercolor pencil because I was afraid it would smear the ink. What is with that ink?! Should be permanent.

Pot kitties. My pots used to be gorgeous til the pot kitties took them over. A veritable kitty play ground.

Tootsie short for Tootsie roll actually came in the house today. Oh my.

A few more kittie pics because who doesn’t love kitty pics?!!

Margaret whose made two loaves of bread and hand made artisan pizza today as well as a jillion other things now calling it quits. Oh wait ones still in the oven. Xoxoxox

Day 189 – Impressions in Watercolor

Today’s painting. Somewhere in Europe.

Half sheet Cheap Joes Kilimanjaro 300# cold press. LOVE this paper. So easy to lift color from the wrong spot like when my sloppy painting gets a dark where it should be white. Eeekkk.

Now about the painting. I took a day long class from Vlad Yesileyev today. Oh my did I learn a lot. MAYBE it’s finally getting thru my thick head. Lol.

Draw the shapes

  • FIRST w line.
  • Then make forms.
  • Then add details LAST.

The Order of Importance!!

Same thing with painting.

    Light overall wash – lightest lights.
    Then midtones.
    Then darkest darks
    The add details.

So this is what we did.

The photo

The value sketch. Extremely important to determine focal point and details.

The sketch. Half sheet is 22×15″

First wash. Lightest lights in the focal area. Yellow ochre alizarin and cobalt very watery w some cad orange and burnt sienna.

Eek. Half tones running wild with that black. Trying to loose the building edge but NOPE and ending up black. Odd now that it’s dry it doesn’t look like that. Sometimes in watercolor what U think is a train wreck isn’t.

So watch

More washes lots of splattering. The dark mess on the bottom right is now light. Hmmm how did that happen?!!

  • Negative painting always makes what it surrounds lighter. Even if it isn’t light.
  • Laying on dioxzine purple burnt umber ultramarine and neutral Tint. Splattering w cad orange
  • Doors green cad yellow cobalt yellow ochre. And make up a black. Fun stuff as long as you paint really fast aka flying paint brushes.

I love flying paint brushes. 🤗🤗🤗

Close to the right colors. Adding details aka last steps. I used a large oil brush to paint a lot of the darks. Lots of fun!! Who knew. Thanks Vlad for the idea.

I meant the left door to be the focal point but I think I have the right door as the focal paint. What do u think?!

Adding details. Who knew wires were even round NOT a flat line so should be dry brushed. Vlad did. What that man knows. Maybe in my next lifetime I will know it. 😊

And putting my feet up with a glass of wine and some cheese. Time to watch Biden on CNN.

Today’s pot kitty shot. Mind u we have had hours of monsoons from Sally and I am near Augusta GA- hours drive from Mobile.

Pot sitting must be really good even when it’s soaked. 🤣😂😅 Margaret Xoxoxox

Day 183 I might have learned something

Looked at this one and thought that hubcap in the middle is TOO yellow. I have to knock it back. 

So I did. Now the focus is on tractor not it’s tire. Woohoo. Progress. 

Finally I know that I have learned something taking the paint alongs with Vlad and that I can do it ON MY OWN. Hallelujah

Because the focal point is the point of highest contrast. Anything else should be greyed out. The focal point should be on a third point. And this one is done. See how your eye goes right to the white boat on the left top?! FOCAL POINT!!!

Today I spent some time emphasizing it.

Before. The boat did stand out but now it really goes boing LOOK AT ME! It was killer trying to straighten out the wash not he right side. Was not sure of the mix!!!

NEVER EVER stop a wash w a HARD LINE. What was I thinking?!!!

Day178 – which paper is the best??

arches #280

I was so annoyed with my nasty streaky sky wash Sunday that I went thru all my paper today to see which ones would run a nice nonstreaky wash.

Expensive watercolor paper should NOT streak in a wash.

Annoying because basically I like this painting a lot.

Evidently there was not one piece of the three – not rough not the 280# arches I have.

I was also annoyed at my rough but expensive Fabriano 300 seeming to suck up all the paint color leaving a pale image forcing repaints. Not a good thing to do when you are trying to paint alla prima aka first strike of the brush painting.

So here’s what I learned.

140# cold press fluid. Not bad. I actually changed the brown when I ran this wash. More red at top and blue at the bottom.

Cheap Joes Kilimanjaro 300 cold press on left did a fabulous job and the color was bright. The arches 280 streaky once again and not so bright. Exactly the same paint mix.

Both did scratch well though. Something I can’t do with the Fabriano rough. The tree on the right on the arches 280 is completely scratched in.

My Cheap Joes American Journey cobalt mix I used for today’s tests on all the types of paper.

Cheap Joes Kilimanjaro 300 cold press on left. Fabriano 300# rough on right. Though the Fabriano ran a nice wash it was noticeably lighter using the same wash mix of cobalt blue.

The Kilimanjaro is noticeably brighter but costs only $54 for ten sheets. The Fabriano is $137 for ten. 🤮🤮🤮 Don’t ask me how much Fabriano I have. Even Cheap Joes catalog Rates Fabriano with fewer stars than Arches and Arches is hideous.

Next the back of the Cheap Joes Kilimanjaro 300 cold press on left. Fabriano 300# rough on right. The Fabriano on the front is about the same color as the Kilimanjaro on the back. Hmmm

Kilimajaro 140 cold press compared to the Fabriano rough. The 140 ran a great wash and is a little lighter but the cost 25 sheets for $45 compared to 10 sheets of Fabriano for $134.68 😳. I don’t think that the Fabriano is that much better.

Kilimanjaro 300 left back of Fabriano rough 300 in middle and front of Fabriano rough 300. The back of the Fabriano is noticeably lighter. Don’t bother painting on the back of it please. You will be disappointed.

Kilimanjaro 300 left and Kilimanjaro 140 on right. The 140 ran a great wash the color only slightly lighter.

Kilimanjaro 300 cp left Arches 280 cold press right. Arches noticeably streaky and the colors weird. Kind of grey. Can I say grey. It’s a problem with the Arches sizing. All the real Cheap Joes paints on is the Kilimajaro so you know he wants the quality maintained. Sometimes it pays to be the boss.

Cheap Joes Kilimanjaro 300 on left and 140 Aquabee 140 on right. The Aquabee is a little streaky in the photo but not to the naked eye. HMMM.

Aquabee a little lighter and a much smoother surface to paint on. I love my Aquabee sketchbooks so I had to have some of their paper when I found it.

Strathmore 500. What a champ. 100% cotton paper. Runs a great wash and scratches well. Loves color aka doesn’t suck it up. I don’t know if you can buy big sheets. This one is 5×7″. I buy packs of them now and then. I don’t remember seeing them in large sizes. It doesn’t have a lot of tooth like The Kilimanjaro Fabriano and Arches do but still a great paper. Look at that scratching WOW!!


I hope I posted the right pic with the right name. I have to say the Kilimajaro was the hands down winner. Too bad they don’t make rough. The price is unbeatable.

Tomorrow I intend to paint a real painting on the Kilimajaro. Get back to you soon on the results of that.

Please don’t let me buy anymore paper. I don’t need another scrap. Hmm well I only have 3 sheets of Kilimanjaro 300 left. Hmmmm.

Kitty cuteness. Tortie let me pet her. Maybe tomorrow I can pick her up hmmm.

Today’s pot kitty pics. I need to wash the windows but can’t because it scares the kitties. Good excuse right?! Lol

Margaret ready for bed but maybe a few episodes of Schitts Creek first. Xoxoxo

Day 177 Calle de Palafrugell Spain

So relaxing after that abomination yesterday. This is on some Arches 280# cold press.

the photo

the Value sketch.

No of the drawing. But this is mostly the first washes. Was not thrilled with the sky wash which went streaky. Though I have had this arches for a while I don’t know that I have ever run a wash on it.

Adding bushes on the right which I swear looks like a huge pothos aka philodendron plant.

Lots of splattering on this one. I love to splatter.

Wires were fun to do too.

Painting the bougainvillea was way too much fun. Splattering the wet greenery with alizarin then cad red. Love to splatter. I think I like watching the colors interact when they are splattered. I might be a latent pointillist like Seurat.

Cad red added to the bougainvillea. FUN!!

Love the lush purpley dark of the alizarin under the cad red splatters. Wet on wet. Yum

I darkened the sky w cobalt Andrews turquoise and dioxzine purple.

  • And done for now. Have already started a fix it list like
  • What’s up with the guys pants hanging so low.
  • Touch up the upper lantern.
  • And somehow get the light on one of the rear buildings back.
  • OH Cobblestones on the Calle aka street.
  • And I am sure there will be more. I know take the tape off. Hahahahaha and
  • Try some washes on scrap arches 280.
  • Dark down the hill. Will make the top of the street pop.

Margaret ready to do nothing for a while. Xoxoxox

Day 176 sometimes disaster

And you start over.

Awful. Everything I don’t want. I painted on the back of the last and it took so long to draw I didn’t want to start over drawing on the right side. Think I should have. This back of the Fabriano rough 300 just sucked up paint. No matter how dark it looked going on it always dried lighter.

I did end up drawing another on my old reliable Fluid. Only it’s not rough. More about that later.

The sketch and the photo

This one done in Waterlogue would have been better than mine.

First wash oops forgot abt the sunlit street. Sigh

Do you know what’s wrong with mine?? Too many hard edges nowhere near enough soft ones.

Sky wash done.

Coming along.

And now. The palms and the biker are too dominate too. Just an awful painting. What was I thinking of painting those palms on the right so dead black?! 😵😵😵

But I have started another. It already looks better than this one. Painting faster this time.

Margaret who might do something easy like sew or clean tomorrow. Xoxoxox

Day 158 Update

The Finger Lakes Upstate NY

Fabriano 300# rough 15×22″

Done. I lost a lot of whites and can be almost impossible to get back.

Had fun drawing white lines on it with my white pentel gel pen. It easily lays down a really white covering line. If it’s not getting entered in a Watercolor Show doesn’t matter if it’s gouache or gel pen does it?! Yesterday. I added ALOT OF DARKS today and tried to finish the water. A few more windows and darker ones bigger shadows more shadows. Greyes the power pole down. Built a fence and a dock well sort of.

Somewhere in Paris
Fabriano 300# rough 15×22″


Added more darks and some whites with my white pentel gel pen. The darks really make both of the paintings pop don’t you think!??

I think when it comes down to it I just like to draw with something. A pen is good a crayons works so does a dark juicy pencil.

Fabulous clouds tonite.

Margaret xoxoxo

Day 156 Who is cutest?!

The birds and I are having a debate. Who do you think is cutest ?!

Think it’s actually Zoe. Drawn by my friend Ruth Pearl. ❤️❤️❤️

Oh things I learned today. Talked to the guy at a local ups store. They also take in USPS. He said it was like Christmas. Everyone is using the mail but they didn’t hire any extra to take care of all the extra business from Covid. Like Christmas or toilet paper there are slow downs in the supply chain.

Margaret watching Jacques Pépins Kitchen Essentials. Jam packed with how to info. Who doesn’t love a cute guy with a French accent! Tres charmante.