Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

5.5x8.5 watercolor and ink, inspired by a can of blackeyed peas containing tomatoes, onions and jalapenos, commonly known as Hoppin' John.  Sometimes served with rice or just on a bright white plate, the peas are a tradition for good luck if you eat them on New Year's Day.  So HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Image is Copyright Kay Smith 2014/2015.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year's Eve

8.5x6 mixed media done today just in time for New Year's Eve when this post will run.  Tick tock! Almost 12 midnight we will count the final hours of 2014.  Drawn with Pigma Micron 01 pen on ColorSketch paper, I next added yellow colored pencil to the 12 numerals and watercolor over most of the clock.  Upper left is Auld Lang Syne, one of my favorite songs.  Here's to all my friends, followers and faithful relatives:  Have a Happy happy happy new year! God bless America!
COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith

Monday, December 29, 2014

Doctors Office People

8.5x5.5 watercolor and ink of two people trying to check in at a doctor's office the Thursday before Christmas.  As I need practice sketching people this was the perfect place, from the bored clerk behind the counter to the young girl in a hurry and old impatient man with a red cap. In reality his cap was blue but artistic license dictated its change to a warm color.  An apparent homeless woman kept coming thru the waiting room and using the clinic's bathroom; as she was pretty disheveled and unkempt I did not even try to sketch her although she would've been a good subject.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Frozen Trees

7.5x5.5 watercolor and white wax crayon on 140 lb Arches paper done today using no reference and no pencil (brush only).  I first applied white crayon at random on dry paper then did a light wash of raw umber and Prussian blue over most areas.  While still wet I used a wadded up facial tissue to blot at the top and over small area of the water.  As it dried too light I added more washes using carbazole violet and sepia; when dry I used the same colors to do negative painting for tree trunks, limbs, and branches.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Saturday, December 27, 2014


12x9 watercolor on Bristol 100 lb paper done yesterday.  A limited palette underpainting was done first with Prussian blue, alizarin crimson,and quinacridone gold over pencil drawing.  Next the darks of windmill blades and parts was painted using UB, quin burnt orange, burnt sienna, carbazole violet, indigo, sepia, quin violet, periwinkle blue; warm colors used to indicate rust.  Tree limbs were a dark mix of burnt sienna and UB.  A mix of aureolin yellow, quin gold, Prussian blue, UB, indigo was used for leaves.  When dry, splattering of Halloween orange and a dark mixed green was done.  This windmill is a crop of my initial reference featured on WetCanvas, courtesy of Mary.  We had 2 hours to do our painting.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Fox Theatre

10.25x9 watercolor and ink on paper done today from one of my many town photos that have not yet been painted.  This one shows the legendary Fox Theatre, conceived in 1928 and opened on Christmas Day 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia.  With its ornate architecture rising in the sky, the theatre overcame many obstacles and was rescued from demolition by the town citizens.  For the past 10 years, the Fox has been rated one of the three top American theatres.
COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Dyer Dogs

9x12 watercolor dog pet portrait commission for Christmas of three pets on the couch, dressed in their sports clothing.
Image is SOLD/Copyright 2014 Kay Smith.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Poinsettia Party

12x9 watercolor on 140 lb cold press Canson paper done today, brush only, no pencil drawing first.  I used a dark red silk poinsettia and drew with a brush from life, selecting three red leaves and bracts, then did negative painting elsewhere.  This is wet on dry direct painting completed in about 1 hour.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


5.5x8.5 mixed media (ink, watercolor, colored pencil, gouache) on paper done today from A Christmas Carol featuring Ebenezer Scrooge.  Written by Charles Dickens in 1843, the stingy old curmudgeon's name is synonymous with misers who detested the giving Christmas spirit.  I don't think I've ever seen any Scrooge images painted so thought, why not?  MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!
Image is copyright 2014 Kay Smith.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Kitten Khristmas

5.5x8.5 watercolor and ink on paper, sketched this weekend and painted today of an imaginary orange tabby kitten enjoying his first Christmas.  He's managed to get three ball ornaments off the tree and play with them until the owner put a little Santa hat on and told him to pose.
Copyright 2014 Kay Smith.

Sunday, December 21, 2014


8.5x5.5 watercolor and ink sketch on paper partly done Thursday morning while waiting in a doctor's office.  The black and white purse belonged to a young woman sitting in the next chair; it is partly open.  The other two bags were for sale in a western store and are not attached to anything.
COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Letters to Santa

9x10.25 mixed media on paper done yesterday. I sketched with black Uniball pen, then applied watercolor. When dry colored pencils applied to envelopes, then I drew in snowflake shapes to help balance the composition. Poor Santa looks quite tired, and obviously doesn't have email yet. Merry Christmas everyone and Peace on Earth good will to men!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Santa's Shipping and Handling

9x12 watercolor of Santa busy on someone's rooftop preparing to descend down the chimney with his too large bag of goodies.  That family must have been extra good this year for so many crammed into one bag.  Now you know why shipping and handling costs so much.  Splatters of white gouach for snow were added when painting dried.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Lamp Post

10.25x9 watercolor and ink line on paper, a festive lamp post with its Christmas red fancy bow trails and blows in the town wind.  Only the flag across the way waves higher and more majestic in anticipation of the season.  Uniball pen and Daniel Smith watercolors were used in this urban cityscape.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Front Entry Nature Decor DIY

During Sunday afternoon's sandstorm I was busy paying attention to the theme of an old decorating book called Use What You Have.  Since this is a creative blog it is time to show some of the other interests up my holiday sleeve.  I had the old metal pail and watercan, pinecones, curly willow branches, and plaster mourning doves.  Hometalk online had recently featured paper snowflakes on straight twigs as flowers.  But I did not have any white paper snowflakes as Dollar Tree was out, so opted for their small and large plastic ones, and paper stuffed stars for ornaments to put on the branches.  Pinecones filled the bucket while the glue gun heated and I was able to either hang snowflakes or glue them.  Tiny silver frosted Christmas balls were put on at random for an outdoorsy natural set up...all for just a few dollars.  Corny? Maybe, but who knows, this do-it-yourself array might find itself my next unique still life.  Now all we need is snow!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Old Christmas Tractor

12x9 watercolor of an old broken down farm tractor in the snow.  I've put a wreath on its front.  Background trees were negatively painted.
COPYRIGHT 2009 Kay Smith.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Caribou Christmas

8.5x5.5 watercolor and ink (Micron 01 pen) on Masters sketchbook paper done yesterday, a lonely reindeer awaiting his orders from Santa to begin trip preparations.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Curious Christmas Fawn

8.5x5.5 watercolor and ink line wash on Masters sketchbook completed yesterday, an imaginary scene of a young fawn checking out  bright shiny ornaments.
COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Barbershop Downtown Big Spring TX

5.5x8.5 watercolor and ink done plein air last Sunday afternoon following rain so there were no great shadows.  I've only sketched three buildings on the east side of Main Street as each one is unique; lots of details have been omitted.  The sign for City Barber Shop is actually white outlined in red but it didn't show up well.  You can see 1900 at the top of the far left building and I did not put James Currie sign under it in this composition (this was longtime store Big Spring Hardware owned by the Atkins family).
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Santa's Workshop

12x9 watercolor on Canson 140 lb cold press paper of a busy old St. Nick working steadily by candlelight in his shop, getting ready for the big sleigh ride coming up across the night skies.  In this imaginary vignette, I've tried to show his intense concentration.  This is using brush only, no pencil drawing done prior.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Midnight Christmas Tree

10.25x9 mixed media imaginary Christmas tree, brush only, so no pencil drawing first.  I used watercolor, gouache, white wax crayon, black India ink, Inktense watersoluble colored pencils on paper.  Paint colors used were Payne's gray, indigo, thalo green, alizarin crimson, Grumbacher red.  Inktense was green.  Splatters were done with both the cool red (alizarin) and warm red (Grumbacher).  White designer's gouache was applied at the end over the pale gray background.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Santa's Snacks

8.5x5.5 watercolor and ink line on Masters sketchbook paper done a few days ago.  Candy canes and chocolate chip cookies with a cold glass of milk await Santa, when he stops by to leave gifts and enjoy a quick refreshment for the road.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Monday, December 8, 2014

World Blog Hop Continues On

               © "Art Studio" ~ Watercolor 2014 Kay Smith/Brushworks Studio Gallery 2014  Big Spring TX


My invitee gets a big Texas "Thanks!" Thank you, Laura Leeder for inviting me to my first World Blog Hop.  Laura has been a follower of mine quite awhile and hails from British Columbia.  Her link where you can check out this watercolorist's latest creations is; she's been blogging since 2008.  So hop on over and see her delicate teacups and lace and other activities she is engaged in.

© "The Gift" ~ Watercolour  Dec 18, 2013  Laura Leeder
~ WORLD BLOG HOP ~ My Chosen Artist To Continue The Hop
I'm thrilled to introduce you all to another west Texas artist named Leada Wood.  Leada has a lovely country home in Colorado City, a full and busy studio, Studio 20, off I-20 interstate, and when not busy painting, teaching, or taking workshops works next door in the family business, Wood's Boots.  We met in 2002 at a Douglas Walton workshop here in Big Spring, TX and I was amazed at Leada's fearless and bold methods of creating art.  Check out her blog here at:  She will attempt to follow the hop by posting on Monday, December 15!

                                                     © "Easy Riders" ~ Watercolor June 17, 2014  Leada Wood

~ WORLD BLOG HOP ~ Question and Answer Period

1. What am I working on?
Currently I am concentrating again on watercolors with nature themes.  Mostly birds or other wildlife from photos taken while outdoors in Texas or New Mexico.  I photograph many views from many angles and enjoy finding hidden areas no one else notices.  Now I am painting a red-winged blackbird, a happy fellow partly hidden by shadows and rocks in a roadside marsh.

 © "Red-Winged Blackbird" ~ Watercolor work in progress December 2014 Kay Smith

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Mostly my art has a vivid color component in design, even with more photorealistic subjects.  I like to include color surprises for the viewer to find.
3. Why do I create what I do?
That question is asked of me all the time and really it depends upon what inspires me on a daily basis.  Sometimes it is a still life, others I feel like going outside to paint plein air with pen and ink and a sketchbook, like yesterday.  I have to feel an excitement for my subject first, though, or the creative juices don't start flowing!
4. How does my creating process work?
An idea is the catalyst for any piece of art.  If unfamiliar with the subject, as in a commissioned work, I'll ask the client to provide photographs.  From there I will usually do a value sketch to get a feel for what I need to zero in on, then apply all my energy in that endeavor, such as pet portraits.  Lately, after having signed up for Sketchbook Skool online, I find more and more the joy in creating sketches of my environment.
Thanks for joining in and learning more about the World Blog Hop!


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Cool Colored Cat

11x15 watercolor on Canson 140 lb cold press paper painted today.  We had been given December's watermedia challenge on WetCanvas and it was to make a painting bold and bright using ideas given.  This kitty is an orange tabby so I've taken artistic license and selected a color at random and voila! He is a purple puss with bright orange and red accents; background darks are a combination of indigo blue and carbazole violet.  Bed linens and pillow are thin washes of blue bice and light purple then darker splatters while still wet.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Bali Princess

30x22 acrylics on paper, an older work that is SOLD.  I drew with wax crayon on dry paper from a small doll figure, then added paint.
This image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Secret Santa

10.25x9 watercolor and ink (Pigma Micron 01 pen) done today.  I drew this wacky Santa this morning around 5:30 then added paint after work.  He looks like he is up to something naughty.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Chickadee in a Christmas Tree

10.25x9 watercolor done today.  It is my version of a little chickadee removed from his post he was perched on in the WetCanvas reference, and placed in a loose, splashy tree.  No brush was used, just spritzed paper with water and added several greens, then sprayed sap green in a mister, splattered white gouache, let dry, then with a no. 1 rigger brush, put the darks in his head and wings by negative painting.
COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas Birdhouse

6.5x3.5 watercolor done recently for a special painting friend after a birdhouse seen in the mountains of New Mexico. Painted wet on dry I used Daler Rowney 140 lb cold press paper and not too many colors (quinacridone burnt orange and gold, UB, Grumbacher true red, mint julep, green gold.)   No masking fluid was used.  This work is SOLD.
COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

White Amaryllis

11x15 watercolor done a few years ago and is now SOLD.  These Christmas bulbs were too pretty to pass up.  As painting white subjects is at the top of my list this one was a go.  Later I added a multicolored background but think with an unpainted one they are just as grand and elegant.
Image is COPYRIGHT Kay Smith 2011.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Amaryllis Monte Carlo

12x9 watercolor on Canson 140 lb cold press paper completed yesterday of a large red amaryllis with a white star known as Monte Carlo.  I've painted lots of these blooms and thought it was perfect for the first day of December.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2014 Kay Smith.