Birch Trees – painting with a plastic card

I love painting with a plastic card. Today I have birch trees that I painted using this fun technique.

Happy Sunday! 💚

dipping credit card into paint puddle

Using a plastic card to apply watercolor is easy to do and very enjoyable.

Paper of choice: I recommend a cold pressed watercolor paper. Cold pressed paper can stand up to the plastic card pushing and pulling paint without damaging the paper. In addition, the slightly textured surface of this paper gives the trees a more realistic look.

Simple Technique: Using a plastic card to apply paint.
Dip the edge of a plastic card into a puddle of paint (see photo above) or directly into pigment and then apply the paint to the paper using the card.

painting with card - start of birch trees

A view of the beginning stage.

I used the card to print lines on the paper and create various tree shapes. Then by dragging the card left and right I can pull and push paint to look like markings you might see on birch bark.

It doesn’t look very good at first but by continuing to add more paint and detail, the trees start to look quite nice.

birch trees in progress - watercolor

I used three colors that really play nicely together:
Prussian Blue
Paynes Gray
Sepia

In the same area on the mixing tray, the colors slowly start to mix together as I dipped into them over and over. I just continued to add back each color to the puddle as needed.

I also swiped the edge of the card into concentrated pigment to get some nice color for darker areas. In some places a damp brush with a little water helped move paint around a bit.

It’s really all about playing and seeing what happens!

Birch trees - watercolor painting

8 x 8 inch – Birch Trees on Fluid Watercolor paper

To finish things off I added a sky and some grasses. The darker area around the base of the trees helps to anchor them so that they aren’t just floating on the page.

I had so much fun painting these trees that I think I will try this again and work larger. I hope you are inspired to create art and do something you love.

Until next time, share a smile and sprinkle kindness everywhere!

🌸 Patty Anne 🌸

Join me on Instagram @pattyanneart.

Beach painting – then and now

I’ve been working on more landscape paintings lately. I thought it might be good to look back and remind myself just how far I’ve come. Today I have a recent beach painting to share and a few to look back on.

So here we go back to 2017

beach watercolor 2017

Beach watercolor – 2017

and then 2018

Beach watercolor - 2018

Beach watercolor 2018

Below is a recent beach painting before final details were added. I really like the color palette and the simplicity of the sky.

Beach watercolor - before final details

Beach watercolor 2022

I decided to add a few birds and some grasses in the foreground. I think that really completes the scene.

Beach watercolor with final details

Beach watercolor 2022

I can definitely see the progress I’ve made over the years and that makes me really happy. As they say, practice makes progress! 😊

I am enjoying the journey and trying to remember that not every painting will be a success. When I am unhappy with a painting I find that taking time to step back and reflect on what worked and didn’t work helps me with the next painting.

I hope you are inspired to create art and do something you love. Until next time, keep playing and having fun!

🌸 Patty Anne 🌸

Join me on Instagram @pattyanneart

Little seascape painting

Today I have a seascape to share with you. I was playing in my 5×7 inch sketchbook and was pleasantly surprised with the results.

Happy Sunday! 💙

My first step was color mixing. I painted a few samples in my sketchbook documenting the colors that I planned on using.

Color mixing for beach watercolor

The next step was deciding where to place a light pencil mark for the horizon line. The space is quite limited in the 5 x 7 inch sketchbook but I didn’t let that stop me.

seascape watercolor

I worked from top to bottom with the wet on wet technique. I simply wet the paper by brushing on clean water first and then added some paint on the damp paper.

I like to focus on the sky first and then move on to the middle and foreground areas. There’s something very calming about painting a water scene and I love all the blues of the sea.

Small seascape watercolor with matt

I placed a matt over the painting to see how it might look in a frame. I think it looks pretty good that way. 😊 I hope you make time to play in your sketchbook and have fun.

Until next time, share a smile and shine on.

🌸 Patty Anne 🌸

Join me on Instagram at pattyanneart

Saving space for the focal point

My painting started out as simple vines and buds.

floral watercolor painting beginning

I left space for more flowers to be added later. I should have taken more photos but I’m glad I have this one to share.

Flowing floral watercolor painting

I strengthened the buds with darker color and loose shapes. I love how the pretty purple flowers and leaves at the bottom guide your eye up into the painting.

There was enough space for a large flower at the top. It worked out well and became the focal point that this painting needed. The center of the flower turned out really nice. The little bit of dark color that bled into the petals from the center really makes my heart sing. The best part was that I didn’t overwork it. Yay!

It’s important to remember that showing up and having fun really makes a difference. Some paintings will work out better than others. While I may showcase some of my favorite paintings here, I have many that aren’t successful. I do my best to keep in mind that each painting is a step forward and an opportunity to learn and grow.

Until next time, share a smile and shine on!

🌸 Patty Anne 🌸

Join me on Instagram at pattyanneart

More fun in my sketchbook

I’ve been playing in my sketchbook and have a few pages to share with you. I layered watercolor shapes with markers. It was a fun and easy exercise that I hope you will try as well.

I’m always inspired by watching Shayda Campbell videos on YouTube. She has so many great ideas for filling your sketchbook. I love her style and enjoy her watercolor tutorials.

I painted simple watercolor leaves and flowers all over the page. I love the combination of peachy pinks and soft browns together.

watercolor floral with marker detail

Once the page dried I used my dual tipped Tombow markers for some detail. I’m always amazed how adding detail with a pen or marker really wakes things up. I tried to keep the detail all very simple but I did get carried away with a few of them. 😉 Looking over my page, I really like the simple flowers much more.

Note to self…whether painting or drawing with markers, you have to know when to stop.

watercolor underpainting

For my second page, I switched up the colors. I covered the page with a variety of leaves. I ended up with a nice little playful pattern.

watercolor botanical with marker detail

Wow, the fuschia really added a nice punch of color. Nothing shy or boring about that color.

These dual tip markers are really nice to work with. They have a fine tip on one end and a larger brush pen on the other. I do need to practice more to learn how to control the brush pen though.

I hope you are inspired to create art and do more of what you love. Art is for everyone and I hope you play and fun in your sketchbook too.

🌸 Patty Anne 🌸

Join me on Instagram at pattyanneart

Watercolor warm up

Today I have a simple watercolor warm up to share.

Hope your day is wonderful! 💙

watercolor waves - landscape warm up

This little landscape warm up in my sketchbook was a great way to loosen up and play a bit.

It’s always fun to watch the colors mix and mingle on the paper. I love that it ended up looking like waves rolling in.

I hope you take the time to do what you love and enjoy the process. Until next time, share a smile and shine on!

🌸 Patty Anne 🌸

Join me on Instagram at pattyanneart

Painting a little bird

I decided to paint a little bird and play around with the background. I have a few in progress photos to show you how it all came together.

Hope you are having a lovely day. 💚

watercolor background - bird painting

I started with half a sheet of a 9 x 12 inch watercolor paper. I taped off a small border and then I outlined the shape of my bird using a pencil.

The background was first:
I wet the paper around the bird using clean water. This lively watercolor background quickly took shape as I dropped in green gold, sap green, and prussian blue on the wet paper. I used mostly lighter colors in the top area and darker colors below the bird. For some additional interest, I dragged the edge of a credit card through the wet paint in random places and it created some nice markings.

bird watercolor - first layer for bird

Painting the bird was next:
After the background was dry, I wet the bird with clean water. Then I painted an initial layer of color.

I had to lift off a little bit of the green that had covered the bird’s beak area when I painted the background. These things happen so I just went with it and made an adjustment. It was an easy fix. If the green wouldn’t have lifted off so easily, I would have just gone with a darker beak instead.

bird painting - adding details

The next layer of paint adds more definition. I added some feathers to the body and tail and then started working on the eye and beak. Placement of the eye is very important so I took my time with it.

At this point, the bird was starting to look pretty good.

Tip:
When painting the feathers, be sure to paint them in the same direction as they would be on the bird. To soften any hard edges, you can use a damp brush with clean water.

bird watercolor painting

Sweet little bird

Finally it was time for a little more color and detail. I noticed that my bird was just floating without a branch (oh my)… so that was a last minute fix. 😊

I hope you are inspired to create art and do more of what you love. Until next time, share a smile and shine on!

🌸 Patty Anne 🌸

To see more of my work, follow me on Instagram at pattyanneart

Visit my shop on Society6

Reworking an older painting

I had an old painting on my desk that I’ve wanted to do something with for a long time. I planned on adding some ink sketching to it but that never happened.

Soft watercolor underpainting from 2020

Floral watercolor base from 2020

Recently I decided to just dive in and play. I used a large brush and lots of bold color. I played with expressive brush strokes and didn’t worry about what “should be”.

Loose expressive watercolor floral

Here’s a close up view of the floral

Spring Glory watercolor floral

and a full view … I love all the little buds and flowers everywhere. This happy painting makes me smile. I also love that years later I turned this painting into something that I really like now.

I hope you are inspired to create art and have fun. Until next time, share a smile and stay excellent!

🌸 Patty Anne 🌸

Join me on Instagram at pattyanneart

Thoughts for a creative 2022

Happy New Year, friends! 💚

As we head into the new year I like to think about new possibilities and what I will focus on. I don’t like resolutions but I like having goals and things to reach for.

My thoughts for a creative 2022:
Keep working to improve my watercolor skills.
Have fun and explore different techniques.
Improve my watercolor backgrounds.
Allow for more playtime in my sketchbook.
Share videos and snippets of my painting process.
Remember to be gentle with myself and slow down when I need to.

Watercolor background in progress

Watercolor Backgrounds
I plan on putting more thought into backgrounds this year. Hopefully playing more with backgrounds will improve my paintings and make them more interesting.

As an example, I recently painted this lively background above with the wet on wet technique. I used a damp brush to lift off paint in some places for placement of bigger flowers.

I think playing and experimenting with backgrounds will be a lot of fun.

Watercolor floral with lively background

Here’s a photo of the final painting taken with better lighting. 😊 I added some flowers and bumped up the color. It think it looks a bit dreamy… I love that.

I hope you are inspired to create art and do what you love. What are you planning on focusing on in 2022?

Until next time, share a smile and shine on!

🌸 Patty Anne 🌸

Join me on Instagram at pattyanneart

Visit my Society6 shop


Long lost landscapes

I’ve been working on cleaning up my art/painting area this week. I’m trying to pack away some older work and tidy things up. I found a few simple landscapes from 2018 that I wanted to share with you today.

Happy Sunday, friends! 💗

landscape - distant blue trees

I love the mood and the soft blue trees in this one. They look a bit frosty to me. This is painting #669. As of today I have painted close to 1500 pieces.

landscape distant blue and gray trees

Even though the horizon is not straight (something I would fix today), I love the color of the distant trees. This is painting #671.

landscape blue and green trees

This final landscape was painted on 9 x 12 inch Arches watercolor paper. I love the blue green trees and the pretty sky. The placement and separation of trees created a nice depth that really draws me in. This is painting #668.

It’s fun to look back at my older work. I’m kind of amazed at how much painting and learning I’ve done over the last few years. I still have more cleaning to do, I wonder if I will find any more long lost paintings that will be saved from the packing box.

I hope you are inspired to create art and do more of what you love. Until next time, share a smile and stay excellent!

🌸 Patty Anne 🌸

Join me on Instagram at pattyanneart

Visit my new shop at Society6

I’m Just getting started on Society6 (an online marketplace that allows artists to sell their work on a variety of products). More details to come. 😊

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