Category Archives: watercolour

San Fransisco Colourful Skyline Abstract

There was no painting class last week, and there won’t be one this week, so I decided to do one on my own.

Last class, we did an abstract of the Minneapolis Skyline, and I decided I really needed to do one of my favourite city, San Francisco. So here goes.

Source photo

I spent a minute digging up a good skyline of the City that showed a good stretch of the famous buildings.

Silhouette created from source

I took the photo and traced the skyline, and removed all the other information from the image, so that only the shape of the skyline remained.

Sky underpainting

After tracing the skyline onto the watercolour paper, I inverted the pad and set it at angle by propping up the back. The underpainting is in Quin Gold, which I love for providing a glow back through any other paint I put on top.

Sky overpainting (fog)

The underpainting dried off pretty quickly so I used an atomizer spray to wet the area, then applied some really wet Payne’s Grey to give the foggy sky effect I wanted.

First pass on buildings, still wet

After letting the sky dry completely, I set to on the buildings and skyline. Like the last painting, I used straight colours of Aureolin (Cobalt Yellow), Cobalt Blue, and Permanent Rose to form a triad, and just sort of slopped the paint on letting it blend where it wanted to. (Well, not so much slopping in the building edges, but all the rest.)

After this dried a bit, I went back and firmed up the edges of the building.

Flung drips of paint

After the painting was dry again, I again used the spritzer to wet the bottom of the painting, and using some really juicy pigment, flicked drops at it. This is kinda fun, but also can be messy!

Final, signed

Satisfied with the result after everything had dried again, I signed it.

Colourful abstract San Fransisco skyline
Final, cropped and straightened

Taking the last image into Pixelmator, I straightened the edges and corners, and cropped out the surrounding cruft.



  • Quin Gold
  • Payne’s Grey
  • Aureolin (Cobalt Yellow)
  • Cobalt Blue
  • Permanent Rose


  • Dreamcatcher #10 round
  • Dreamcatcher #4 round


  • Arches 140 lb cold press, 9×12 block


Prints and other items of this work are available on Redbubble.Com

Minneapolis Skyline Colourful Abstract

This week we were set to do a skyline, most of the class wanted to do one of Minneapolis. While a few of us looked and found possibles, the teacher came in with something completely different, a very colourful, stylized skyline, which we were to emulate.

My first thoughts went to the painting “Morning Cyclist” by Fealing LIn, which we’d copied some time ago, and I thoroughly enjoyed. I decided to make mine in a similar fashion.

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.: action figure :.

Another Work in Progress. The subject is the granddaughter of our teacher’s friend.

I love the practice strokes I made (first painted image with all the figures on it). I tried it from different angles and slight different colours (still mainly in the quin burnt orange and french ultramarine). It’s my favourite part of this particular exercise so far.

Continue reading .: action figure :.

“Bruce, the Aussie Dog”

Last week and this was another quick study, this time of a very cute Australian shepherd (we think). I don’t know what its name is, so I decided it was a Bruce.

The fuzziness was what we were after, and that happened with wetting the paper, then painting in the background, leaving space for the dog, and letting the pigment bleed in, leaving the fuzzy edges.

While the paper was still wet, we also dropped in some quin burnt orange, raw sienna, and some chromatic black for the colouring on the dog’s fur, while still keeping everything nice and fuzzy.

This week I finished up by darkening the background a bit more, and adding in the eyes, nose, and mouth, finishing it off with some white gouache for the spectral highlights in the eyes, and the two white dots on its nose.

Continue reading “Bruce, the Aussie Dog”

The Old Mill, in the style of Andy Evansen

From a picture provided by our teacher, we painted after watching local Minnesota watercolourist Andy Evansen‘s video Andy Evansen: Secrets of Painting Watercolor Outdoors. In the video, Andy tells us: “Get in and get out” as well as a lot of other really great advice.

Following a few weeks of doing fast and loose painting of flowers, I was set to try this on a landscape.

Continue reading The Old Mill, in the style of Andy Evansen