Thursday, March 31, 2016

Nice Day for a Mow

If yesterday was gorgeous, then today was phenomenal! Spring is here! I had a lot of errands to run after teaching my class this morning, so I barely made it home in time for my Thursday afternoon Periscope. I got all set up, but the entire neighborhood was mowing their lawns! It sounded like a scene from a WWII airfield!

Eerily, they all stopped at once and I could proceed with a live watercolor demo of my iced green apple lemonade with frozen blackberries, and a sprig of mint. I got a lot of great suggestions for additional ingredients, too!
If you missed it live, watch the replay on or 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

How to make Your Own Accordion Sketchbook-Quick and Easy

Would you like to record a day in the garden with your watercolors? How about sketching in an accordion or concertina sketchbook that you made yourself? Watch my tutorial live on or catch the replay here on Katch.

Impromptu Visit to the Garden for Sunshine and Tulips

Come on out to the 70 degree sunshine on the deck where I made a 5 minute Periscope today. It's tulip time in the Pacific Northwest. Surprise! There's a tulip watercolor for you, too.
Catch the replay here on Periscope or here on Katch.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Playing "Hop Sketch" in Seattle

There is such a thing as a "sketch crawl". What Tina, Kate, Feather and I did today was anything but a crawl. We met at 10:00am at Husky Station, sketched for an hour, then hopped on the new Link Light Rail to Capitol Hill, Denny and Broadway Station. We warmed up at the Oddfellow Cafe, having lunch while sketching, hopped over to Dick Blick Art Supply for a bit, then back to sketch at the new Denny St Station for more transit sketching. I have coined the expression "Hop Sketch" to fully describe this game. But that's not all!
After sketching outside the new Denny and Broadway Station, sharing our sketches on a bench on the underground Link Platform, and getting a trophy shot, one of our party, who shall remain nameless, shivered her way home. That left three. We hopped on one of the new streetcars and rode the line down to 5th and Jackson, near Uajimaya and King Street Station. During the ride, I sketched the commuter with the hat pulled over his eyes. The stationery department at Uajimaya beckoned. As we ogled the gleaming display of Lamy pens, my husband called from Kng Street Station with an invitation to dinner. What? Who can be hungry surrounded by pens, inks, paper, and socks with funny  sayings embroidered on them, such as "My Favorite Vegetable is Wine" and "I Love You" (above the ankle) and "Weirdo" (below the top line of the shoe).

But then, we had to part ways. The new Amazon store at University Village was calling my name. That left two. Where they went from Uajimaya, I don't know. They may still be there.....sketching with their new Lamy pens, wearing their witty socks.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Watercolor Postcard-Water and Reflections on Periscope

Here's my desk after today's live demonstration on  Replay available for 24 hours. And you can still leave hearts if you like! :)

This is a bit of a sample of some things we covered in class today. How to adjust the composition, using a value study, following the value plan instead of a photo. Oh, and some tips on setting up a simple travel kit to use on the train, plane, road trip, etc.

Great group of viewers today, with good questions! I trust this will encourage you all to give watercolor sketching a try. :)

Update: If you missed the 24 hour window of opportunity to view replay on Periscope, please go to  see the replay now at

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Tiny Spring Flowers

I wanted to sketch these sweet little grape hyacinths before they finished blooming. It was just too cold to stay outside, so I picked a few and drew them at the sink in the studio where I washed them off.

Come to think of it, the squirrels in the tree nearby were shaking their heads and "tsk tsking" as I provided a bad example about digging up bulbs. No wonder they ravaged my crocus with impunity!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Hack Your Kindle Cover and Make a Custom Watercolor Sketchbook

I had so much fun sharing this recycling art tip on Periscope today! Thanks to those who watched live and asked questions and sent hearts. I hope this gives you some good ideas on making your own custom sketchbook.
If I missed your question, please post on the comments below or on my IG account.
For a tutorial on how to sew the watercolor paper into the Sketchbook Project cover, see my YouTube Channel here and here.

Every week I broadcast art tips and tutorials live on Thursdays at 4:30 pm!  If you missed it live, you have 24 hours to watch the replay.

For previous broadcasts that you may have missed go to:

Oh, yeah, and also......When I get all excited about sketchbooks, I get mixed up about the name of the sketchbook in the YouTube Title (it's not a Moleskine) and the initials for Do It Yourself (DIY) heheh. So my new acronym is DYI which stands for Do You Innovate? or Do You Inspire?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Grilled Cheese Sourdough and Tomato Basil Soup for Lunch Sketch

I just finished my Coffee Break Sketch live on Periscope. I finally got to eat my lunch! Although I had to microwave it to heat it up again, the toast still made a satisfying crunch around the melted cheese.

So much fun, sketching and chatting with old friends and new. Thanks for watching! See you all tomorrow at 4:30 pm Pacific time. Bring your old Kindle cases and make a sketchbook. 

Most Delicious Grilled Cheese Sandwiches on the planet. How's that for a batch of great lunch ideas?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Monday, March 14, 2016

Not All Pi is Created Equal

You can google anything. For those in need of ideas, here are 8 Ways to Celebrate Pi Day.
As you can see, there is quite a size difference between the half apple pie sold at Haggen's (upper left) and the half cherry pie left over from Costco (upper right). It took a slide rule, pocket calculator, compass and protractor to even out the difference in the sketch above. Several attempts were made to create a slice in the precise formula of Pi but incremental adjustments (i.e. taking small bites out of imperfect specimens) have resulted in the half pie situation as evidenced above.

You can't say that we have not made a serious effort here at the Pacific Northwest Studio.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Suzzallo Library with USK Seattle

Seattle Urban Sketchers met at the Suzzallo Library on the campus of the University of Washington this morning.  Taking advantage of early opening for students studying for finals, many decided to shelter from the rain and chose subjects inside the building. My vantage point was from the third floor of the Allen Library, looking back at a wing of Suzzallo and adjacent buildings.

For a while, the sun broke through and a few of us walked over to view the cherry blossoms in the quad. My commute northward towards home was wild and wet, scattered with fallen tree boughs as I navigated through several squalls.

At this moment, we are experiencing extrememely high winds. So high that our star magnolia split and half of it is laying across the pond.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Watercolor Greys from the Altoids Mini Palette

After demonstrating how to mix warm, cool and neutral greys from a limited palette, I used them for this little watercolor post card. 

If you missed it, catch the replay here on Katch. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Boston Cream Pie for Dessert

Thanks for joining me for a Coffee Break Sketch at noon today on 
It was lovely, chatting, sketching and visiting with people from all over the world today.

I always have the goal to take only 15 or 20 minutes for these quick sketches, but the conversation is so interesting that I end up slowing down. :) Still, if I missed any of your questions or comments, you can ask me here or on Instagram

See any broadcasts you may have missed on

Monday, March 7, 2016

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Attacked by Squirrels!

I'm working out my anger issues against the wild gang of squirrels in our back yard. Sketching the crime victims seems to help. This was an impromptu Periscope broadcast just now, so you can catch it on replay until it expires tomorrow.
After signing off air, I finished up the crocus sketch by adding the bedraggled, wilted flower, a crucial part of the post mortem evidence!

Friday, March 4, 2016

First Hand Painted Feature Film Ever!

Recently I have been using Vincent Van Gogh references in my watercolor classes. In a serendipitous coincidence, a groundbreaking film is being made about Van Gogh.
Watch the amazing trailer here.
Break-Thru Films has released a trailer for the upcoming full-length film Loving Vincent, an animated film which brings the work of Vincent van Gogh to life. Loving Vincent features the work of over 100 trained artists who, as a collective, were responsible for creating more than 56,000 hand-drawn paintings in total and 12 hand-made oil paintings per second in the style of the late Impressionist.
The plot revolves around the artist’s life, with 800 letters written by van Gogh himself comprising much of the storyline. These letters detailed his closest personal connections and serve as an investigation into his death. Additionally, over 120 of van Gogh’s most famous paintings were re-created for the movie.
Apparently, they are still hiring artists. See the rigorous selection process here

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Mixing Greens in Watercolor

Join me live on Thursday, March 3 at 4:30 pm Pacific time for some tips on mixing greens using your limited palette travel kit. Watch the demonstration, ask questions, chat.