watercolor palette

wc pallette

This is one of the palettes I use for plain air painting. The colors shown are all Daniel Smith Extra Fine. The round plastic water cup in the upper left of the image is attached to the metal palette with velcro. I don’t usually clean the mixing wells after finishing a painting in the field since the leftover colors make wonderful grays for the next go around. This image is of the palette after finishing the previously posted “Bristlecone Border”

more botanical lanscapes

bristlecone-border-1This is the graphite drawing of the Bristlecone Border at the Denver Botanic Gardens done on Canson Montval watercolor block, 9″ x 12″, cold press. The dark gray areas are the Pebeo drawing gum resist applied to save the lights.


A “ghost wash” is applied over the resist and graphite, with warm tones in the foreground fading to cooler tones in the background.


The main dark and light tones are now established –


and the resist is rubbed off revealing the saved lights.


The final details are added with the small blossoms in the foreground done with white gouache and watercolor.

More botanical landscapes


This is the initial graphite drawing on 140# Arches cold press watercolor block, 9″ x 12″, with a resist (the greenish areas, which is a liquid frisquet called drawing gum made by Pebeo ) applied to save the whites  and the “ghost wash” applied over that. The resist must be allowed to dry completely before adding the wash.


The resist has been rubbed off only after the wash has completely dried.


and the painting is brought to completion, about three hours start to finish.


What the camera saw.

Yucca glauca


This is an example of a  scientific botanical illustration done in pen and ink on drafting film. It represents the complete life cycle of Yucca glauca developed from several months of study. Sketches from direct observation and photo references were used to depict the different stages of growth and individual parts of the plant. I was fortunate to accidentally obtain some  yucca moths which were in several of the blossoms I collected. This species of moth has evolved along with the yucca to be the only pollinator of this plant. It is one of only a few pollinators in the plant world to accomplish the fertilization process on purpose instead of as a result of collecting pollen or nectar for it’s own use.