Tuesday, April 21, 2015


The sun streaming over the mountain, making the water below the National Museum of Bhutan sparkle, was dazzling. I just wish I had painted this on watercolor paper rather than in my sketchbook.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Signs of Spring

It's incredible how fast baby hummingbirds grow. I painted them two days ago and checked on them today and they are fluffy with feathers, have no more down and are bright eyed and active. You can watch them via live webcam here.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Bella's Babies

Bella is an Allen's Hummingbird in LaVerne, California, whose nest is being webcammed and live streamed at http://explore.org/live-cams/player/bella-hummingbird-nest for all to see. If I have my facts straight, the new mother of the clutch being streamed right now is Bella's daughter Rosie from last year. I cast the live stream to my television so I can keep an eye on her as her two tiny eggs were due to hatch any day. Late this afternoon, I looked up and saw a tiny crack appear in the lower egg. My tv screen isn't as clear as my computer screen so I ran to my computer to watch. Before much longer I saw a couple of tiny eyes peering out at the world. Just then, the momma came back so I worked on a sketch from a screenshot I had taken. As the afternoon waned, Rosie would occasionally leave the nest, and when she did I watched and sketched the nest. Before I could do much more, it became completely dark. Now I have to wait until morning to see the new arrival. Can't wait! I hope to sketch the babies a much as possible in the days to come. In three short weeks, they will be ready to fledge. By the way, to give you an idea of size, the nest is about half the size of a golf ball! Imagine how tiny these eggs are!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Bird on a Berg

We're off to Greenland for this month's virtual paintout. Lots of icebergs floating around there, including this one with a bird coasting along on it for a sunset cruise. The painting was too large, at 10x13", to scan so I snapped the photo with my iPad which led to a loss of color and detail. oh well, you get the picture, no pun intended. I painted this with M. Graham gouache, which was fantastic to use. It has no white in it so it behaves exactly like watercolor, but is bolder and more easily controlled.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Hummingbird in Flight

I'm taking a really fun online class on painting birds in ink and watercolor from Val Webb. This lesson was on birds in motion. (The photo reference was from Paint my Photo, Gloria Ester.) If you look very closely, maybe you can see all the different ways the ink was applied, i.e., scumbling, scraping, fountain pen, sponged ink, and pointed skewer dipped in ink.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Bangladesh Marketplace

This month the virtual paintout is in Bangladesh.Very exciting! I haven't had a chance to look it over too much, but from what little I have seen, there are a ton of colorful sights to paint. I could do a series just on the beautiful "sarees or shalwar kameeses" traditionally worn by the women. If I can find the time, it should be a fun painting month.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

So This Rooster Goes Into a Bar....

Found this vintage looking painted iron rooster happily crowing on a bar in Philadelphia for this month's virtual paintout in that city. I'm getting a little burned out on drawing/painting street scenes so am looking for more intimate scenes for quick sketches.