I taught my first class! They liked it!! Who knew….


When I was in my twenties, I taught an art class of about twenty students, all ages. Within several weeks, most of the class had evaporated!  After that, I determined that I should leave teaching to others…

When I was asked recently to demonstrate watercolor, I started the class by reciting my experience, but figured I’d aged and acquired some knowledge that could be useful. I used my bluebird painting for everyone to copy, and I painted along with them.

While the class painted their bluebirds, I painted two: one on Arches 300 lb. cold press paper; the other on Arches 300 lb. hot press paper. I thought it would be fun for everyone to see the difference. Hot press paper is smooth, and has none of the dips and rises of cold press, so the watercolor slides more readily and produces a different look.

They did a great job, and they all stuck around!! They’ve even asked me to come back!

Below you can see the class working away, and in the distance so am I, madly trying to keep up with TWO birds!

*Click on the images if you want to see them close up.

Here are the two Bluebird drawings side by side. The 300 lb. cold press paper is on the left. The 300 lb. hot press paper is on the right, and you can see the Arches logo on the bottom right. The “300 lb.” indicates the thickness of the paper.

*Click on the images if you want to see them enlarged!

Here are the two finished Bluebird paintings:  The 300 lb. cold press paper is on the left. The 300 lb. hot press paper is on the right.

*Click on the images is you want to see them enlarged!

PAINT – For the Bluebirds, I used Daniel Smith:

  • Aureolin (Yellow)
  • Cobalt Blue
  • Phthalo Blue (Red Shade)
  • Quinacridone Rose
  • Quinacridone Burnt Scarlet
  • Quinacridone Sienna
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Prussian Green
  • Winsor Green (Blue Shade)

To make light black, I combine: Cobalt Blue, Quinacridone Rose and Aureolin.

To make dark black, I combine: Winsor Green and Alizarin Crimson.

PAPER – Arches Cold press and Arches Hot Press:

  • Cold press is best for beginners as it absorbs water better, and is easier to work with. It has a clean look.
  • Hot press is great for detail line work and inking, and stays wet longer as it lays on top of the paper longer so you can play around with it.

The next class we’re going to be doing “Hydrangeas” on hot press paper. You do this with the paper on an incline, and you watch what the pigment does as it rolls down the page…This is going to be a fun class! I’ll keep you posted!


This has been a particularly busy time since moving from one side of Charleston to the other. I love where God has put us, backed up to a creek coming in from the Inner Coastal Waterway. We can put our kayaks right in off our back yard, where we can see Dolphin, Osprey, Herons, Egrets, and so much of His creation. That’s my husband, Michael, in the distance, and Maisie (or Brussels) is making sure he stays on course…


Kayaking with Maisie