Iris in Bloom

I am back to painting flowers again. I was inspired by a picture that I took a few weeks ago. I noticed that the Iris buds are beautiful as well as the lovely flowers. I really need to plant some in my garden soon.

Painted on Canson 9×12 inch watercolor paper.

Iris in Bloom watercolor
Iris in Bloom

This was a fun painting and it did not take long to complete. I worked on a few similar paintings first and then combined a few things from each of those paintings.
Hope you enjoy!

Watercolor tips:

  • Keep a scrap piece of watercolor paper nearby for testing out any color that you aren’t sure of. It is better to test out color on scrap first than to be disappointed after you’ve already used it in your painting.
  • To soften hard edges, use a damp brush and lightly go over the edge to smooth it out. A small round brush works well for this. In my painting I had to smooth out around the flowers a bit.

Happy Painting!

Patty Anne

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You can also find me on Instagram at pattyanneart.


Watercolor Dog painting

I’ve been working on painting dogs this week.  This is a painting of my two year old Labrador Retriever pup. The bright bold background of this painting matches his spirit and personality!

Painted in my 8×10 inch Pentalic Watercolor sketchbook.

Watercolor Labrador Retriever
Watercolor Labrador Retriever

Watercolor tip:

A small spray bottle is very handy for wetting your paint before you start painting. My bottle is plastic and has a cap.  I can easily take it with me when I travel and am painting away from home.

If you would like to keep up with my watercolor journey, just click the follow button.

Happy Painting!

Patty Anne


Watercolor Cats – Then & Now

Looking back, it has been a while since I painted cats.  I decided to give it a try again this weekend.

“Sweet Kitty” I painted in February 2017 (#301 in my 5×8 inch watercolor sketchbook)

Sweet Kitty
Sweet Kitty

Today I painted, “Gray & White Kitty”  (#385 on 8×10 inch Fabriano Watercolor paper)

Gray & White Kitty
Gray & White Kitty

I am not sure how much I have improved painting cats since February but hopefully things are getting better. One thing for sure is that the big colorful cat eyes are a lot of fun to paint!

To start, I sketch the eyes first, their placement and size is key. Then just a light sketch of the rest of the body. I paint the eyes first and then move out from there.  The rigger and liner brush were used quite a bit on this painting.

If you have any tips on painting animal fur, please share them in the comment section. I would love to hear from you.

Watercolor tips:

  • Color mixing light gray – I used a mix of cobalt blue and burnt sienna light.
  • Color mixing dark gray/black – I used a mix of indigo and burnt sienna light.
  • For a lighter shade,  just add a drop or two of water to your puddle of color on your palette.

If you would like to keep up with my watercolor journey, just click on the follow button.

Happy Painting!

Patty Anne

Bluebells in the Garden

I have some adorable little bluebells in my garden. There are so many delicate bells on each flower. Below are a few attempts at painting these little garden beauties…
Bluebells 1
7×10 inch Canson mix media sketchbook
Bluebells in Bloom 1
Bluebells in Bloom 1

Bluebells 2
9×12 inch Canson watercolor paper 140#

Bluebells in Bloom 2
Bluebells in Bloom 2
Bluebells 3
9×12 inch Canson watercolor paper 140#
Bluebells in Bloom 3
Bluebells in Bloom 3

I was unable to escape the “detail mode” and let go to paint a loose version.  Maybe I will try that another time.  Each painting is a bit different.  I like the simplicity of number 1 and the bright color and detail of number 3.

Watercolor tips:

  • Keep painting and documenting your work so that you can see your growth over time.  I am now up to painting #382. Looking back I can see that many things are improving and that makes me smile!
  •  Cheap brushes fall apart quickly. I have a few that I need to replace because the paint is chipping off the handle and starting to flake into my rinse water.  I know that I should get rid of them but it is like having an old pair of worn out jeans that you just don’t want to let go of.  I will be replacing these cheaper brushes with better quality ones soon.
Happy Painting!
Patty Anne

Chives in Bloom

I have a few potted chives on my deck that are in full bloom. The fluffy purple blooms are such a sweet sight to see. Below are a few attempts last weekend at painting the chives. I used the same photo and mixed it up a bit and the result was three very different watercolor paintings.  Hope you enjoy!

My 1st painting was on Canson watercolor paper.
Just chives with some detail.

Chives in Bloom 1
Chives in Bloom 1

My 2nd painting was in my Pentalic watercolor sketchbook.
I added a background and additional colors.

Chives in Bloom 2
Chives in Bloom 2

My 3rd painting was on Canson watercolor paper.
A loose style with a background.

Loose - Chives in Bloom
Loose – Chives in Bloom

Which of the three paintings do you prefer?  I would love to hear your feedback.

Watercolor tips:

  • Give the rigger brush a try, it is great for working on detail.  The more I use this brush, the more I fall in love with it.
  • Try painting the same subject a few different times.  Mix it up using a different color palette, trying a different background, or using different brushes. See what happens, you might just be surprised and delighted  (as I was with the chives).

Happy Painting!

Patty Anne

Landscape – Painting Trees

I enjoy painting landscapes.  Pine and Birch trees are among my favorite trees to paint.

I started with a quick pencil sketch to find a composition that I liked.

Simple sketch - trees
Simple Landscape sketch

Then I moved on to using a black micron pen (size .03) to help me with the placement of the trees on the watercolor paper.  You could also use a watercolor pencil as well for this.  I have found that if I start painting without a few pen lines for tree placement first, I end up getting lost and paint over an area where I should have placed one of my trees.

This is a sample of my Pine and Birch watercolor painting.

Landscape - trees
Landscape – Pine and Birch trees

I’m happy with the pine tree and I love the bark on the birch trees.  I think I may try using a sponge next time for some of the foliage on the birch trees.

Watercolor Painting notes:
9×12 Canson watercolor paper 140 #
Daniel Smith and Winsor & Newton watercolor paints
Round #10, #6 and Rigger #0 brushes
Black Micron pen – size .03

If you would like to see more and keep up with my watercolor journey, consider clicking the follow button.  I’m having fun and hope you are enjoying my journey.

Happy Painting!

Patty Anne

Foxglove Flowers in Bloom

Springtime is here!  The birds are singing and the flowers are blooming. I bought my first Foxglove plant last weekend. My beautiful plant has lavender flowers and many little buds just waiting to bloom.
Here is a quick watercolor painting of my new plant.
Foxglove Flowers in Bloom
Watercolor painting notes:
7×10 inch mix media sketchbook
Daniel Smith and Winsor & Newton watercolors
Round #6 and Rigger #0 watercolor brushes

Painting tips for beginners:
– Stay positive and keep painting.
– Start with your lightest colors first and then build up to your darker colors.
– Try to keep a few unpainted spots here and there, it will add a little sparkle and interest.

Happy Painting!

Patty Anne

Oh my Daisy

I’ve always loved daisies, they are one of my favorite flowers. I have a few different varieties in my garden. Here is a quick watercolor painting from my 7×10 mixed media sketchbook.

Daisy watercolor
Yellow Daisies

A simple composition and sketch with pen.  I love the daisies here but wish the leaves were a brighter green.

Painting notes:
Daniel Smith watercolors
Winsor & Newton watercolors
Black micron pen .05
Round #10 watercolor brush

Watercolor tips and notes:

  • Change your rinse water when it gets cloudy, that may have been why my greens aren’t as bright as I would have liked.
  • Don’t overwork it. I think I stopped early enough on this one but I have to always remind myself of this.
  • Be careful with the amount of water you use on the mixed media paper.  Try to avoid puddles and very watery washes because the paper will wrinkle and buckle up.
  • Keep in mind that the more you paint and practice, the better your paintings will become.  This was probably the best advice given to me by my watercolor instructors.

Happy Painting!

– Patty Anne –

Pink Dogwood Tree

The Pink Dogwood tree in my yard is in full bloom.  It is such a beauty!
This is watercolor painting #364 from my 7×10 Mixed Media sketchbook – inspired by my Pink Dogwood tree.

Pink Dogwood Tree in Bloom
Pink Dogwood Tree in Bloom

A few tips and notes:

  • Mixed media paper doesn’t handle as much water and pigment as watercolor paper.
  • It was difficult to get the fun mingling of colors in the watercolor washes on this paper.
  • After the painting dried, I ended up liking it more than when I was working on it.
  • I need to push myself to use brighter colors and washes.

Happy Painting!

-Patty Anne-




Then & Now – Tulips

Tulips have been a bit challenging for me, but I think I’ve come a long way.

Watercolor Tulips – Then

Tulip garden 2016
Tulip Garden – March 2016 watercolor painting

and now, April 2017 (hopefully, you will agree that this is much improved)

Blushing Tulips 2017
Blushing Tulips – April 2017 watercolor painting

Today I framed the Blushing Tulips watercolor painting to give to my Mom on Mother’s Day.   I really hope she likes it.

What I’ve learned:

Keep painting and journaling.  Note what works and doesn’t work for you.

Loosen up and have fun.  When I’m playing and not trying so hard, I usually have better results.

The Rigger brush is great for adding in fine details, a splash of color, or extra definition at the end.

Know when to put down the brush and stop so that you don’t overwork your painting.

Happy Painting!

– Patty Anne –


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