#magrish_challenge_sky 2023 (+2022!)

For the last three years, one of my favorite sky painters, Maria Smirnova (@magrish on Instagram), has posted a three-week challenge at the end of November (#magrish_challenge_sky). Each week, she posts a black-and-white sky photo, and you’re invited to paint it in any colors you wish. I joined for the first time last year, and I participated this year as well.

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Announcing the Billy Idyll Etsy Shop

I recently participated in a local “Yart Sale” (yard sale + art sale), where I made my first art sales. Since I’d already put together all my sellable art and purchased plastic protectors and things, I figured why not take it online and sell off the rest of my stock online. I’m in the art … Read more

Inspiration Mood Board: Themes

In a few different classes, I’ve had the assignment of making a mood board to inspire artwork. In Liz Steel’s Watercolour course, she suggested making a color mood board to get in touch with your favorite colors, and in Ruth Wilshaw’s Fantasy Landscapes in Watercolor and Gouache, she suggested a more general mood board of … Read more

Building Community

I started this blog without having any idea of whether anyone would read it. It was a place for me to gather my own thoughts and organize an increasingly unwieldy amount of notes I was taking in Google Drive about watercolor technique, supplies, tips & tricks. I’ve really enjoyed actually getting comments and “meeting” you … Read more

Watercolor Top 8

Dr. Oto Kano has a recommended color wheel palette, which I showcased in the previous Artist Palette Profile, but the colors they actually use most of the time – their subjective favorites – are the subject of their Top 8 list. They’ve actually done two Top 8 videos – the original Top 8 (2018) and … Read more

Travel Sketches: Nova Scotia

I recently took my first vacation / plane trip since pre-pandemic, visiting Halifax, Nova Scotia and the surrounding area in late October, at the tail end of peak foliage. This was also one of the first times I’ve watercolored as a travel activity, beyond a few outdoor sketches in my local Massachusetts and nearby Maine! … Read more

Lessons from “Making Color Sing”: Octanic Color

I’m working through Jeanne Dobie’s Making Color Sing, and after exploring chapter 1’s Mouse Power, I’m up to chapter 2: Octanic Color. The topic of this chapter is finding an individual paint color’s bias (e.g. lemon yellow is a “cool” or green-toned yellow), and using that to mix vibrant color. Although Dobie uses “warm” and “cool” terminology – which I notoriously dislike – I take the point that it’s important to know a paint’s color bias in order to mix vibrant paints! It’s easy to say that “red and blue make purple,” but your purple will come out different depending on which red and which blue you use.

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