Sunday, December 27, 2009

New Watercolor Collages


Copyright Kay Smith 2009

Cat Tales and Fish Stories

Yesterday and today was fun day in the studio for me to relax after the holiday hubbub and hoopla. I'd already prepared two 11x14 approx sizes of matboard, one had been brushed with black gesso (cat above) and the other white gesso along with torn tissue toilet paper covers. This cat here I placed cut out plastic shapes into another coat of white gesso over the black gesso, let dry, then applied paint where I saw shapes. Christmas miracle! There appeared a cat and fish!
With Jailbird, I collaged a man's eyes photo detail I'd torn out of a newspaper, then the bottom half of his face appears on the left side. Portions of an article about a suave and shrewd swindler are scattered about including info about the police. Just last week had been reading about Mr. Madoff and how he got caught in his Ponzi scheme. With multicolored pencils I wrote words across such as ruthless, mean, schemer, etc. Also I stamped words and postmarks with black gesso. Using colored pencils, watercolor, Caran D'Ache crayons, I put colors down then removed until a design emerged of birds, then jail bars, almost by magic. Green areas were added to symbolize green grass Mr. Madoff won't be seeing as well as hear birds singing.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Pretty Poinsettias

12x9 inches, watercolor on Canson rough 124 lb, done last weekend. I added a mysterious background with negatively painted leaves, then the 3 colors of poinsettias.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Cold Snap

Copyright 2009 Kay Smith
"Cold Snap" 15x11 watercolor on gessoed matboard, American Journey/Daniel Smith paints. Today, Christmas Eve, we are having a cold snap with wind, snow, and icy conditions. I want to wish all my friends, followers, and fellow painters a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Baby Bath

Copyright 2009 Kay Smith "It's a Small World"

15x22 watercolor painted today of this sweet kitten taking his bath, all roly-poly and fluffy as he should be. This one is SOLD.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Pretty Poppies

Copyright 2009 Kay Smith

12x9 inches watercolor on Canson 124 lb rough paper, Daniel Smith/DaVinci/American Journey paints of a field of mixed poppies done yesterday while in the mountains. Painting is such a great occupier of time preventing me from doing more Christmas shopping!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Summer Squash still life

Copyright 2009 Kay Smith
22x15 watercolor still life elements of a red tin pitcher, fresh zucchini and yellow squash, vase of fresh orange tiger lilies on old red/white floral tablecloth draped over a chair.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chicken Ranch - watercolor collage

15x22 Arches, chickens are wc collage cut from one failed painting on top of really bad old wooden shacks painting to make a new view. It is meant to be a humorous piece from two 'dogs'. Moral of the story: Never throw away a bad painting. You can always recycle it! This painting will be part of a traveling exhibit to the Hill Country galleries in a few months.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


14.5 x 10.75 watercolor, acrylic over old collage on gel coated matboard done yesterday. Elephants are outlined in black Sharpie pen. A few touches of colored pencil and Caran D'Ache crayon were added. The abstracted areas in background and foreground are where the gel medium did not cover completely which was my intent. The old collage was a man holding a fishing pole bent over; you can see his plaid shirt. These pieces were cut from another old watercolor. My motto: Never throw away your paintings you dislike. Yesterday's dog is tomorrow's collage!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Antique Roses

6.25 x 9.5 watercolor commission finished up today for my friend Barbara who has excellent taste and who is now my #1 collector!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Asian Persimmons

This is a half sheet (15x22 inches) watercolor finished up this weekend from a still life set up of fresh Asian persimmons and my tall, very heavy concrete statue. The fruit sits on handmade brocade silk squares with sequins and pearls. She seems to be contemplating whether to eat the fruit or do away with it while the background is hazy, mysterious, and possibly laden with incense or smoke. I used Winsor Newton 140 lb cold press paper and American Journey and Daniel Smith paints.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Chickadee Migration

15x30 watercolor on Fabriano hot press paper that was coated with heavy gel medium. Three 6" squares were blocked off and covered. After stamping into the gel, I let it dry, then drew shapes and wrote words 'chickadee migration', covered all with blue and gold watercolor, then wiped off all paint. Next I carved out tree branches and limbs. Into the middle square I painted a bird's nest with eggs and let the painting tell me what it needed. A black crow appeared in the left square and far right a speckled leaf that uses repetition along with the eggs.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Window Amaryllis

24x9 inches, watercolor on Strathmore 140 lb paper, Daniel Smith paints, completed yesterday during a timed exercise on a weekend drawing event with It is definitely time for seeing red and peppermint hued amaryllis for Christmastime!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Vineyard - negative painting

15x11 watercolor on Fabriano 140 lb hot press paper, no pencil used. Negative painting was done on top of dry underpainting of yellows and blues to establish groups of grapes and leaves. I used a palette knife to add twigs at the last.
Copyright 2009 Kay Smith.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


15x22 (half sheet) watercolor painted wet on dry with large brushes only, no pencil, in Francese's class last month. I named it for Sedona, Arizona as it reminds me of that area.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Painted Ponies demo

22x15 watercolor painted today as a 2 hour demo during Old Railhead Trade Days in downtown Colorado City, TX. This photo is from reference library images. I drew it in pencil on Fabriano 140 lb hot press paper then madly applied American Journey paints: Coastal Fog, Midnight Blue, Copper Kettle, Harvest Wheat, Royal Amethyst, Gamboge, Skip's Green, Andrew's Turquoise, Orchid, Periwinkle, Taylor's Pink Flamingo. Daniel Smith: Moonglow, Raw Sienna.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


22x15 watercolor collage on AF gessoed matboard. Other media: Ink, metallic acrylics, newsprint, paper doily. Figure design was drawn first then flipped, pears and tulips added last before paint applied. This painting was a demo for the Abilene arts group last year and will be part of the Caboose Watercolor Society's traveling exhibit in a few months.

Image copyright Kay Smith 2009.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


15x22 harbor scene on 140 lb Saunders cold press watercolor paper, one of the fast and furious works done last month in Francese's workshop. No pencil used, just painting color on top of color and negatively carving out shapes with 1" and 2" brushes, wet on dry in about 1.5 hours.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Branching Out

15x11 quarter sheet watercolor on Italia Acquerello 140 lb cold press paper, drawn in 10 minutes, 1.5 hours painting, wet on dry. I added kosher salt to background colors, encouraged backruns, and did some negative painting of branches. American Journey paints, direct painting style, usually with only 1 application. Spattered titanium white when dry for snow effects. Thanks to Alain for the photo reference!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


22x30 watercolor, another one painted wet on dry, American Journey paints, in Francese workshop mid-October. Now these colorful skies are exactly what we see in West Texas! Even the greenish tint in the clouds perfectly complements the reddish glow of that awful hot sand.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ruidoso Road

11x15 watercolor on 140 lb Kilimanjaro paper, American Journey paints from my photo taken in March up on Sierra Blanca. I added the warm colored bushes here that were not there for added interest. This road seemed to be going off the mountain side into nowhere.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


22x30 watercolor on Saunders 140 lb cold press, painted on 16 October at Frank Francese's workshop, Lubbock Texas. An imaginary scene, it was done using 2" brush, American Journey paints on dry paper, no pencil drawn shapes, layering color on top of color quickly in about 2 hours. The subject is actually the clouds not the buildings or cows.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Second Demo of Pears

15x22 watercolor, Tree-o demo done today, wet American Journey paints on dry Saunders Waterford 140 lb paper in about a half hour.

Today's Studio Workshop Demos

Pencil sketch over collage elements, 11x15 matboard, using torn paperback pages from Winds of War and torn tissue toilet seat covers (they make the best texture for watermedia) from the Red Lobster. Thanks RL! I used matte medium to adhere these then applied gesso at random and let dry.

Finished 1st demo watercolor collage, Pears on Pepper Plate, with ink on AF Crescent matboard demo in about 1.5 hours. This is posted on WetCanvas that you can see here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pompous Poppy

This watercolor is 22x15 inches painted wet in wet with Daniel Smith paints and is the one juried into a national show by Don Andrews. A friend and I want to look up his workshops and find one to attend next year. Contact me for more information about this work at

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Autumn Leaves and Grapes

15x11 watercolor, Daniel Smith paints, lots of negative painting with no pencil drawing only layering of colors: Quinacridone gold, burnt orange, magenta, violet, coral, Ultramarine blue, mauve, and aureolin. I used a small palette knife to make branch lines across the composition.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Moovie Stars - Reworked Acrylic/Mixed Media

This is the bad floral from a few years ago ABOVE.

30x22 inches, a pair of Holstein cows, cropped, drawn over existing latex acrylic pink/white floral with black Tombow brush pen. Next I put in black using ink. With Caran D'Ache watersoluble crayons I scribbled blues for the sky and greens for grass under their feet, adding water, letting dry, reapplying crayons. This is at the 2 hour mark. I left the abstract floral stems/leaves in foreground but might have to glaze over them later. I kind of like them as the whole composition is unusual and strange. They are ready for Hollywood!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Say Cheese

11x15 inches watercolor of several mischievous mice eating cheese and talking trash amongst themselves, maybe even planning to take over somebody's kitchen. I love these little devils drawn from tiny figurines.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Tap Water Painting

This is the painting below with as much paint scrubbed off under tap water in the sink as I could get yesterday.

First painted version from reference photo, courtesy Nusret. Size: 15x22 painted fairly close to the actual hues and design wet in wet watercolor. When almost dry, I scrubbed off all the pigment I could with a sponge and let dry to determine my final design. (See above)

15x22 Poppies and Berries, finished version with lots of layered negative painting of leaves, berries, and flowers ala wild woodlands, after washing off all pigment from first painting.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Harvest Crows

This watercolor is 1/4 sheet, which in our lingo is one fourth of a full sheet measuring 22x30 inches. I drew this scene while in the New Mexico mountains on Friday. Lots of harvest ideas and decorations are out in town now and painting crows is total fun. Nobody likes them. They are black, though, and add a nice punch to the imaginary scene and pumpkin field...or I could've added black cats but that would be too Hallowe'en-ish.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Citrus Sky

22x20 watercolor on Italia 140 lb paper painted earlier this year of a palm tree and coconuts. Maybe with winter coming on I am thinking of citrus skies.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pastry Chef

22x15 Caran D'Ache watersoluble colored crayons with black ink on 140 lb hot press paper, drawn in 10 minutes and painted in about 1 hour. Let him fix your next meal!


15x11 watercolor from a photo by Emilia in the Hamilton Gardens, New Jersey sculpture garden. The sculptor used French Impressionist painter Gustave Caillebotte's work entitled Paris Street; Rainy Day (1876-77).

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Reworked Watercolor Woman "Brunette"

BEFORE 22x30 sunflowers drawn from fake paper ones; I left a white background. A few months ago I added color blocks to improve the composition but something still lacking...I used
Strathmore Gemini 140 lb hot press paper, DS/DV paints.

AFTER version, 30x22 watercolor and gouache over failed sunflowers above. I drew a female shape with chalk. Using gouache for flesh tones I painted in face, neck, arms, lower legs, part of feet. Now this brunette has herself a new sundress.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Lounge Lizard

22x20 watercolor painted very unorthodox of a pink cat on his chaise lounge. Patterns are deliberately pointing to the cat who himself remains an enigma as all cats do. Colors: Permanent rose, quin coral, red, aureolin, indigo, thalo yellow green, vermilion.

Monday, September 7, 2009

OK, OK I Had An Oil Change!

16x20 oil done Saturday as one of the images going to DPOT (Daily Painters of Texas) show in Dallas October 17-November 30, 2009 at the Dutch Art Gallery I've painted this still life twice before in watercolor and once in oil and the oil was disappointing so I redid it with much more enthusiasm. Its title is Green Teapot and Apples.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Here's to: New Blog New Beginning

7.5x11 watercolor, 140 lb cold press paper. I painted this while in Albuquerque recently. I used Winsor Newton paper and travel kit. Colors: Cadmium yellow pale, ultramarine blue, yellow ochre, cadmium yellow hue, cobalt blue, burnt sienna, cadmium red pale, sap green, burnt umber, alizarin crimson, and viridian.

As a watercolorist mostly self taught with workshops scattered throughout the years it is my hope to be able to answer questions and show you works in progress.

So I will say "Here's to my new blog!" This painting's title is 'ritaville . CHEERS!!!