It pays to just stop and call it a day.   After a disastrous go at my garden’s giant strelitzia, I had to pause.

I was simply doing myself no good at all by trying to keep on,  trying to ‘fix it.’

You know the saying, ‘no sense beating a dead horse?’  That is precisely what I’d begun to do.

Waiting to wake up refreshed is a fabulous idea.

The creative brain, mine anyway, always operates much better.  With a fresh start.



watercolor strelitzia, bird of paradise watercolour, mixing greens in watercolor, botanical leaves, ultramarine blue pb29, winsor lemon py175, prussian blue pb27,
Giant Strelitzia, watercolors


Gorgeous Watercolor Greens



My Motivation for this free and loose garden study was two fold.

1.  Teaching the course Mastering Color with its focus on Blue paints this term.

2. And then,  there was my previous very unsuccessful watercolor attempt at this giant strelitzia….. per the post,

WATERCOLOR-fresh start tomorrow! 



Pausing.  Waiting.

  • This is different, than giving up or quitting.
  • I put things on ‘pause’  vs  quitting.
  • Pausing allows the brain time to think about appropriate options.
  • I’d like that time frame to be less than one hour.
  • The reality is it could be. Or it could be 1 week, 1 month, 1 year.  1 decade.
  • This…….. is where “Persistence”  comes into play for the creative artist.
  • We need to remember to think  “Long Term!”
  • We’re not in this for the quick fast, Short Term.
  • Short Term motivation will get me lost. Confused. Irritated. Frustrated.
  • Short Term motivation will often lead to ….   Quitting.




The paper I chose was Fabriano Soft Press 100% cotton rag.  A gorgeous paper I have to order from overseas. But, its such a treat. Its so worth it.

Personally, I like Fabriano papers best.

I know I always suggest Arches for Beginners; as it is truly a sturdy robust no nonsense paper that will take a lot of abuse and still look great.

But once you’ve moved ‘beyond’  the beginner stage,  trying the other papers is such a wonderful delight. Its an adventure.  No. Really it is!



Drawing Tool

I ditched the pencils.  Too tight. Too confining.

Too persnickety

I headed for my big fat black Permanent Marker!

I can see eyes roll, jaws drop.    “But, what if you make a mistake? What if the line is wrong?”

Yeah,  I know!  Isn’t that excitingly fun!

Roll the dice. Take a risk.

It is after all,  simply,  a bit of paper.


And yes.  My lines went wonky. Askew.   Imperfect.    ….but, I liked it.



Watercolor Paints

I’ve mentioned,  we are exploring Blues in watercolor, as part of the Master Color course.

I’d given the class  the go ahead for Ultramarine blue,  Prussian blue, Phalo blue.

And those are the blues I’ve used to mix with Winsor Lemon.




I’ve used a 1 inch flat synthetic brush by Da Vinci.  Short handled but quite fun and I must say for a synthetic brush, I’ve been happy with it. It has limitations. But is has some lovely little assets that I optimized.  I dipped its corners into 2 differing colors and then, whacked it onto the paper. Now that was fun!

We are trained.  Conditioned.  To never, ever go outside the lines.

Its one of the first things I try to ‘repeal.’

And ask, that people TRY to go outside the lines.  To allow the paintbrush to dance around and ‘accidentally’  step out of line!




Summary  Assessment

There is adequate warm and cool  Foliage Greens  created here to indicate which leaves are in front and which ones are in back.

The overall  Tonal value structure is, ok.  I think I’d like more variation within each leaf. But that wasn’t my target goal in this exercise, so I will give myself a pass on it.

The freshness of the green colors mixes is lovely.