November Watercolors

We’re coming up on the end of the year. I was lucky to get watercolor sketches done this month, between the holidays, travel, and general busy-ness. I also hit a snag when I ran out of watercolor paper and tried to supplement with some general purpose drawing paper until the art store opened the next day. Kids, don’t try this at home: it’s never worth it to use crappy paper, even if you’re desperate.

In November I also upgraded from my 5×7 Moleskine Watercolor Notebook to a 10×7 Strathmore 400 Series Field Watercolor Notebook. So far, I’m loving the Strathmore much more than the Moleskine because the spiral binding provides more flexibility, the paper and cover are sturdier, and the aspect ratio of each page is more comfortable.

I had some fun with simple lines and angles in this piece.

Travel Scenes

Each of these pieces are reminiscent of travels I went on in October or during Thanksgiving.

A sketch of a woman in a full body jumpsuit at San Jose Airport. I got a little frustrated with the pants.

Driving down the I-5 grapevine, I noticed the great contrast in the yellow of the hills and the purple haze of the valley. When I got home after this trip, I immediately tried to capture the color scheme and general shapes.

A better version on the yellow grass/purple haze effect noticed on the I-5 drive to the SF Bay Area. I'm really happy with the wash and bleed that created these clouds.

A sketch at the cliffs of the Palisades in Santa Monica, overlooking the Santa Monica pier.

This palm tree had a frond sheath that was slowly peeling away from the trunk. I aimed to mimic the cool, zippered effect.

Last month, I painted some people building a sand castle at Clearwater Beach. This was another one that I had sketched in pencil, and this month continued the scene in watercolor.

A Clearwater Beach cabana: I had kept meaning to do a sketch that had the nice contrast of these orange cabanas against the deep blue sky and ocean. While a little too over-bled in spots, I am very happy with the color scheme!


By doing a piece focused on snow (specifically, of a girl catching snowflakes with her tongue), I was able to play with bleeding washes, salt effects and frisket. I didn't like the colors of the background in this one...

...So I ended up with this piece, instead. Fairly loose and splattery.

Random sketches on interim paper

Since these are the few pieces I had desperately done on generic drawing paper, I won’t say much about them. Having the right paper makes a whole world of difference.