Sunday, May 31, 2015

Cup of Cheer Bouquet

15x11 watercolor, brush only, which is today's work of imaginary kitchen windowsill still life.  I used my own plants for models  and love the cup planters.  I surrounded the planter with white coffee cups and mugs.  Only one brush was used, #18 round synthetic on Canson 140 lb paper.  Definitely needed a break from painting so many birds and have two of those not yet posted.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Saturday, May 30, 2015


6x3.75 watercolor and ink drawn yesterday and painted today.  This fellow, who holds the distinction of being New Mexico's state bird, is also known as a chaparral and is sometimes called a prairie chicken.  Native to hot, dry climes of the desert southwest, it is capable of flight but is usually seen running down the road.  We have them living in vacant lots on our street and I don't see them very often on trips to New Mexico.  I painted a fiery orange background indicative of a very warm day and the roadrunner is done on a New Mexico magazine card.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Friday, May 29, 2015


8.5x6 watercolor and ink line (Uniball pen) done yesterday from WetCanvas featured on last Friday's Weekend Drawing Event.  This is on ColorSketch paper which is tinted pale yellow and is Kerkyra Street.
Image COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


5x8 watercolor, colored pencils, and ink (Micron 01 pen) done today, a quick sketch from my white ibis photos taken in Florida last year.  The first group seen were a flock of them just walking down a residential street.  There are other color varieties of ibis birds.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Fruit Pickles

5.5x8.5 watercolor and ink (Faber Castell Pitt pen) done today, a work on paper practicing the Sketchbook Skool style of illustrated journaling.  With this, you can see a recipe for brine to make quick pickles, whether using fresh fruit or vegetables, to place in canning jars.
Image COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Daisy Day

11x15 watercolor, brush only, on Canson 140 lb watercolor paper done yesterday.  First the darks were blocked in with a 1" flat brush for this negative painting, then the midtones such as daisy centres and background.  More negative painting of flower shapes are scattered about.  When dry splatters of transparent pyrrol orange done with same brush.  Blues are indigo, manganese, cerulean.
Image COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day - Remembering Our Soldiers

6x6 watercolor and ink line on paper of two men folding US flag carefully, remembering the fallen soldiers, the ones who never came home from battlefields near and far.  God bless them for their ultimate sacrifices for our freedom.  Never forget that freedom is not free. Take time today to pray for the soldiers and their families serving our country.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Zinnia and Butterfly

22x15 watercolor on 140 lb cold press paper from one of my older photos of studio zinnias that I was lucky enough to have camera ready when the butterfly stopped by for a visit.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Saturday, May 23, 2015


11x15 watercolor on 140 lb Saunders paper I painted awhile back that is SOLD. 
I was learning how to do negative painting and it is easily seen in the leaves.  This small birdhouse was photographed on the way to the frame shop and it was the second time to paint it from this angle.  At this time I'd been doing watercolor about 3 years.  A large orange trumpet vine framed the little house and the first wash was an underpainting of primary colors.
Image is COPYRIGHT Kay Smith.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Artistic Cows

3.5x6 watercolor and ink on The Artist's Magazine insert card done today quickly as I had to get ready for our local art show.  These two Holstein cows are peacefully grazing and gazing at the farm.  A Micron 01 pen was used to sketch them.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Time to Garden

15x11 watercolor done today, a partly imaginary garden scene featuring my old potting table that is really pale green, pots of geraniums, and red orange poppies.  I have all but the poppies; hydrangeas  haven't bloomed yet.  Larkspur and lilacs have already shown their faces.  This was sketched yesterday using brush only, no pencil, and is on Kilimanjaro 140 lb cold press paper.  I painted wet on dry for the most part, spritzing with a fine water mister for softening far background elements.  Time to garden!
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Crocodile Smile

15x22 watercolor on Lanaquarelle 140 lb hot press paper, sketched first with tip of India ink applicator, then alternate spritzing with water and painting was done yesterday.  Splatters were applied with a loaded brush and ink as well onto dry paper.  With the pattern diamond areas I put in various shades of colors.  I featured this evil-grin fellow in the Animal & Wildlife forum monthly challenge on WetCanvas.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015

Three Wheel Bike

11x8.5 watercolor and ink on Strathmore journal for mixed media.  With this sketch of a blue three wheel bike I ran out of room for the remaining wheel so you will have to imagine it being there.  I first used brush only and did entire outline then followed with a more precise line of ink as they showed us in Sketchbook Skool.
Image COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Lin's Hyacinth Macaw

8.5x5.5 watercolor and ink on Sheraton Hotel paper which is what you use if sketchbook isn't handy.  Drawn with black Tombow brush pen ink this fellow then was quickly painted yesterday in golden yellows and brazen blues.  This parrot was featured on WetCanvas Weekend Drawing Event; photo courtesy Lin Goodwin.  He lives in a parrot rescue sanctuary in the UK.  Look closely and you can see the hotel logo on the bird's forehead.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Dog with Ball Swimming

5x7.5 watercolor on Moleskine for watercolor sketchbook done today.  Drawn with Micron 01 pen this fellow was seen retrieving then swimming back to shore.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Beach People

5.5x12 watercolor and ink line on old ledger paper done recently. I took a photo then cropped into it to isolate the three figures in the foreground heading to the beach.  Other figures populate the distant horizon. This one is featured in Watermedia forum on
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Rancho de Taos Spring Sky - Snyder TX demo

15x22 watercolor on Fabriano 140 lb hot press paper done this morning for the Snyder TX Palette Club.  Using my photo of the infamous Rancho de Taos St. Francis Assis in New Mexico, I left the church white, not brown as in real life.  Also I gave it a red roof. A stormy Spring sky was already in place when visiting there in 2007 after doing the Intensive Studies Seminar.  This is the building Georgia O'Keefe made famous.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Bust of a Woman

 7.5x5 watercolor/ink line on Moleskine done today as Sketchbook Skool homework.  In this exercise we were told to do careful drawing of any object, then with no looking at it, do it from memory on another paper.  I selected an old antique plaster bust to do from life that's been in my studio for years.  With this view here you can see I've extended her Victorian hair across the page and up.

Ink sketch with Micron 01 pen

With the figurine out of sight this is what was the result on lined paper, a semblance of the woman but not as exact as the first sketch. In fact I have her left shoulder exposed as she's about to lose her gown.  A fun experience in the Stretching module of SBS; instructions by Fabio.
Images COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Two Apples sketch

5x7.5 mixed media on Moleskine sketchbook done today.  In Sketchbook Skool part of the Fabio's assignment homework was to depict an object from life but draw with both hands.  With a fresh red apple, I used a Micron 01 pen, then colored pencils around the tops.  The right apple was first followed by the lefthanded drawn one.  A bite was taken out for interest and because I was hungry.  Watercolor was next using Grumbacher red, alizarin crimson, transparent pyrrol orange, gamboge, quinacridones gold an violet.  Text applied last then splatters.  It wasn't too difficult to draw and paint lefthanded as I'm ambidextrous anyway.  The righthanded apple is fatter, though.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Monday, May 11, 2015


5.75x4.25 watercolor and ink on paper, another magazine insert card from the publication Sunset, done today.  This little shorebird was in the beach photos from last August's Florida trip.  When I run out I'll have to go back.  In this one I moved palm tree trunks closer and shaded with carbazole violet that was nicely paired with burnt sienna for a background sunset.  With black Tombow I used the brush end of the dual pen to draw then added water to blend darkest areas.  Some white gouache, quinacridone gold, Prussian and UB round out the pigments used.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Management Donkeys

15x22 watercolor on140 lb cold press Saunders paper painted wet in wet.  When I first painted "Management" everyone who has ever been in the workplace loved its title.  These three donkeys were grazing not far from my mother's farm in west Texas and they came over to meet me at the fence.  Background buildings were imaginary as I wanted to depict a very hot southwestern day.  This one sold right away then I painted it again several years after and that one sold at its first show.  Who knows, I might do them again as I have saved the drawing on tracing paper.
Image is COPYRIGHT Kay Smith.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Angel Boy

9x11.25 watercolor and ink line on old ledger paper done today.  In the original photo of this garden statue you could see the entire figure but I cropped into it in order to focus on the angel boy's face and shoulders.  Working from a black and white photo it was drawn with Micron 01 pen first then all color is imaginary.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Spring Porch

8x5.5 watercolor and ink line on Strathmore Visual Journal for mixed media done today.  I used a Micron 01 pen to draw the scene and it has been awhile since painting any houses or porch chairs.  This was from one of my east Texas photos.  I love country porch scenes, houses with shutters, and plenty of flowers waiting for a Spring rain.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Red-Winged Blackbird on Cattails

12x4.75 watercolor and ink on old ledger paper done a few days ago.  I drew the bird with a black Tombow brush pen then added watercolor, painting in a quick but direct manner.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Baby Zebra

15x11 mixed watermedia on Canson 140 lb cold press paper done today. Using an India ink color chosen at random, I drew with the tip of dark purple on dry paper.  I used a small resin figurine to draw from life.  These were the darks and stripes were added.  Next I spritzed with a fine water mister to move the ink a bit.  With a large foil paper doily I put pink acrylic over the holes with a sponge brush, then flipped the doily over and ran a brayer for another application of the wet paint.  When about dry, watercolors were put in with 1" flat brush beginning with Blue Bice Hue (American Journey), arylide yellow, transparent pyrrol orange, quinacridone gold, permanent rose and quin magenta.  Lastly I stamped with the top circle of a plastic container.  It was a fun, experimental piece with no real plan.
Image COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Hunter Hawk

9x12 watercolor on Canson 140 lb cold press paper painted yesterday as part of a weekend challenge on  It is done wet on dry with a fairly limited palette in a direct painting method.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Monday, May 4, 2015

May Birdsong

4.5x9 watercolor and ink line (Micron 01 pen) on old ledger paper done Friday, just a repetition of the same bird shape across but each in a different color.  Each bird is singing his own song now that May is here.
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Woven Tulips finished WIP

15x11 watercolor on 140 lb Canson cold press paper finished work in progress.  Two almost identical tulip paintings were cut into horizontal and vertical strips to weave into one piece.  See the steps in this WIP for previous 5 days (Wednesday, 29 April - 3 May) for a how-to do a watercolor weaving.  Any questions please email, call, or Facebook message me at KaySmithBrushworks.  I really do like how this one looks now.  So if you think your art is boring, paint another then cut them up! Total fun!
Image is COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.  NOTE:  See woven strawberry 2012 blog demo here

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Tulips - WIP woven watercolor

First strip weave at the top.  I started with the right side going left across.

Second strip under first one.  I'm looking and checking to be sure over and under, under and over match up.

 Note I've used large paper clips at the top left and right corners.  Be sure and push together for a tight fit.

On the right you can see the weaving working its magic while horizontal strips to the left show what is remaining of that painting.  Be sure and save the bottom horizontal strip to be the last one woven as you'll want a straight edge.

I've reached the end and had one left over which was the second one from the bottom.  It will be saved and put with other cut pieces of watercolors to use again.  You can make a much looser weave and allow white space to show between each strip.  This one is fairly tight.  It can be framed as a regular one sheet painting with a mat on top or it can be 'floated' on top of a mat showing all edges.  It is now done and a new post will follow showing more detail of the finished woven piece.  I hope you enjoyed the demo.  Here are some
Use 140 lb cold or hot press watercolor paper, not heavier 200-300 lb
Use sharp scissors
Place on white foam core or mat/mount board while assembling and weaving or other flat surface
Sign your name on both paintings in the same general area as one will show on the finished work

Images COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith

Tulips - WIP woven watercolor


This is a close up of dark background that I added an opaque watercolor to in order to push pigment around and do unusual tricks. I've added Orchid by American Journey (Cheap Joe's) to background colors of quinacridone violet, UB, thalo green, carbazole violet.

Side by side now we have two completed paintings almost identical using a secondary color palette for the most part.

First slightly wavy vertical cut; you can do very straight also but stick to one or the other, about 1-1.5" in width.  Continue across.

 Now cut up the second painting but in horizontal strips also a bit wavy.

You can see both directional cuts of each image side by side.  Most often you will have 1-2 strips left over.  Don't throw away! Keep in your collage paper stash for another time.  Stay tuned as another post is coming.
Images COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Tulips - WIP woven watercolor

Continuing with day 3 in this work in progress of tulips on 15x11 paper; two images painted side by side in a direct painting method.  Usually only one application with a brush is done unless values need strengthening.  These iPhone images may not be clear enough

With today's work I started on the small tulip bulb just opening from its beginning stage.

 Close up view of the new bloom; colors are arylide yellow, permanent rose, green gold.  Stem of a mixed green was first.

Other mixed greens of UB, Prussian and arylide are put in with pale light values.  Under top tulip I've started the background which I've decided should be dark values.  Using quinacridone violet, UB, thalo green, carbazole violet put down next to each other on dry paper I let the pigments mix and blend.

Here you can see broad strokes with the 1" flat brush on other side of top tulip going across the top towards the left upper area.  Hopefully the darks will push lighter blooms forward to really make them pop! When the background is painted I'll take a step back to look at both paintings to see if any more fixes are necessary.  Then we get out the scissors and do some surgery.  Stay tuned!
Images COPYRIGHT 2015 Kay Smith.