Spectacle of Trees  #WorldWatercolorMonth

Spectacle of Trees #WorldWatercolorMonth

Day 3 of #World Watercolor Month.  Also known as Trial and Error., watercolor landscape, #world watercolor month, watercolors, tree paintings
Tree in The Glade,

Its so,   S. I. M. P. L. E.   I’m told.

Its just,  “Intuitive”…

Please. Just give me my paints, my brush and my papers.



Let The Spectacle Begin

So,   Lets try this again!

I know one thing,  computer skills,  certainly aren’t  my strong points.

Watercolors though, are right up there, on the ‘Yes, I can do!!’ list.

Whatever I did on yesterday’s post….I didn’t do ‘something’ right.


This –  is why I don’t do Twister,  I mean Twitter.

Or Instagram… its more like  ‘For-ever-a-gram’ with yours truly.     I’m all paws, hooves, and thumbs!  Everything goes south in a handbasket!





Its so,   S. I. M. P. L. E.   I’m told.

Its just,  “Intuitive”…


“Just tag the post with hashtags.”

I did. What happened?!  I don’t know!  When it comes to me, buttons, electrical gadgets, computers…. any thing can happen.  Or go amuck.  And does.   Garage doors, hard drives, backups, phones, alarm systems.


That last one.

Is a real hoot.  I bet you CAN  imagine the scenarios with alarms going off suddenly, at work.


I knew I was Alive.




Looking For the Trees


Where is this Spectacle of Trees, you ask?

I’ll get there. Don’t get those knickers in a knot….   I did paint them.

A Forest of Them!  And had great fun doing them too.



Its Not like bumbling around on the computer.   Trying to do #World Watercolor Month posts.

Just wondering,  how many of those,  #WWM  I can squeeze in.  Should I try for 5, 7, 10? Would that increase my chances of success?      Actually,  I think I’m done now,  with the two I see already.

A bit like giving up too soon,  but I’m terming it… “Hoping for the Best.”


Where… are those Trees!!





  • my beautiful watercolor trees
  • some of my own, personal favorites…..
  • peace. zen. serenity.
  • with no fumbling about
  • how lovely


Embankment watercolour techniques landscape prussian blue b27
Tree On Embankment,


zen of colour: forest in cobalt teal blue pg50,
Zen of Color: Forest
Mountain in Blue watercolours
Mountain and Trees, watercolor


Lunar Black, Quincacridone Sienna, Daniel Smith watercolors,
Smoke and Fire,


watercolour landscape painting, hornsby bushland
Hornsby bushland, watercolor
Summer impressionist watercolor landscape painting,
Summer color


watercolor contemporary landscape, cobalt teal blue pg50, abstract watercolor landscape,
Magical Mists watercolor landscape debi riley


watercolour trees painting
Watercolour Trees painting
cobalt teal blue pg50, reflections, landscapes, watercolor tips, beginners guide,
Reflections, detail



I hope you enjoyed your wander through the watercolor Spectacle of Trees.



More Reading? 

Suggested partner posts with watercolor lessons, tips, guidelines:

Watercolor Getting Started

Watercolor Trees

Watercolor Materials

Watercolor Tree foliage greens

Easy Beginner Watercolor Techniques 

Watercolor Basic Tips and  Guide,  hub Page 

Watercolor Secrets 




All Images,  are copyrighted by Debi Riley (c)

and are my exclusive property to use.


Please do not steal,  copy,  “borrow”,  plagiarise, etc.  my work.

If,  you see something you would like, let me know, as prints are available.

Thank you.    Debi


Gorgeous. Inspiring Faces of June

Gorgeous. Inspiring Faces of June

So Incredibly gorgeous, these ‘Faces of June.’   I’m sorry to see them go.

What a Lovely month it was!

sunset painting, in June, ink duochrome, debi riley creative art techniques
The Sun Sets, for June. Ink duochrome,


Walk with me for a short stroll,  past my favorite  June faces.





June’s   Top 3  Posts

June’s  Top 3 posts  that tug most on my heartstrings are those that evoke the most  Feeling.


Those Faces that have revealed the most unique, authentic character pull me in.

Through the  visual imagery – yes.



But also the  words,  the verse that accompanies the image.




Number 1


Own The Sky,

with  an unforgettable verse by     I fell in love with the spectacular soaring and inspiring message Ms. Moem shares with us, revealed in her stunning word choice.



Number 2


Why Does The Rose Cry, Mommy?   is another that wraps itself right around my heart.




Number 3


Ink Stained Face of Watercolor, Midnight – the verse is deep and strange and compelling;  it reveals yet another face… of the Day, of watercolors, of self.




abstract oil painting, sunflower yellow and prussian blue paint, debi riley art
Own The Sky


Raindrops on roses, rose photograph, debi riley paintings
The Rose Cries


painting midnight in watercolors, indigo paint, debi riley art techniques,
Ink Stained Face, Midnight






Those were My favorites, and why……

Share with me, what your favorites  for the month of June were!


sunset painting red and black inks,, creative ink techniques
June Ends, Ink painting,





June ends,   but  July  begins!


July…. the Official,  “World Watercolor Month.”


I’m going to watercolor,  doodlewash, ink and wash up a storm this month and donate to the Children’s Art programs – so they can create Art too !!

Lets all pitch in to help out.    Check out Charlie’s   World Watercolor Month for more details.




6 Easy Beginner Watercolour Ideas

6 Easy Beginner Watercolour Ideas

Watercolour Ideas. Easy, simple, beginner friendly.Finding the  ‘perfect fit’  –  the right watercolour approach, Beginner friendly tips and techniques can be like playing hide and seek when you are a beginner.

The White Floral, below, was really a simple basic painting. Done in a limited palette, a bit of splatter and very impressionist approach!


debiriley at Society 6, white floral watercolor,
Society 6 debiriley

6  Watercolour Techniques that are easy for Beginners to learn and practice

Simple basic watercolor techniques are the the key to creating amazing ideas that help you make delightful beautiful art images.

There are many, many ideas, styles, approaches out there for you to get ideas from. Some will work perfectly for you, others won’t.  Hopefully,  one or two I will  show may work for you!


Test Strip  colour drenched

Having a test strip handy to test the colours and tones is an ideal way to improve your paintings. You avoid the wrong colour and tone before you put it onto the paper – Easy!  Once in a while,  a Test Strip becomes a stunning work of art in its own right. A stand alone image with just the right balance of colours, tones, shapes, movement.  I know….. It was an accident.

 watercolour test strip
Lori’s watercolour test strip


However,  remember that many many artworks were  created from inadvertent mistakes and ‘happy accidents.’  And we like happy!  So do not let that stop you from seeing the beauty in an image!


watercolour landscape using blue and orange,
Dry Lands watercolour landscape

Aerial Perspective

Easy! Just put warmer colours like red, orange, yellow in front of the cooler colours like green, blue, dull lavender and grey.   As long as the front foreground has the warmer colours and the background area has the cooler colours, you have a nice sense of depth and perspective happening.


maimeri ultramarine pb29
maimeri ultramarine mix

Graded wash

Graded wash is simply making the top darker in tone, then going progressively paler toward the bottom area.  (or vice versa!)   This simple little tip will work perfectly for skies. For  lakes,  tables, meadows, hills, rocks, roads, etc…. reverse it so the dark is on bottom and the lighter tone is top.    You can do an entire painting using this idea and approach.


Wet in Wet forest

Wet in wet technique is simple: the paper is wet, the brush is wet!   And …if you use One colour until you feel really at ease with it,  it works like a charm.   Make sure that you have at least 3  types of tonal values – a Light pale tone;  a mid tone;  and the deep Dark tone.  This is what will give the image the illusion of depth.   A Post Watercolour Beginners 10 Tips to get You Started      is an excellent one to refer back to.


wet in wet watercolour skies,
Wet in Wet watercolour skies,

Wet in wet  sky

Wet in wet sky.  The paper is wet, brush is wet – but I suggest perhaps 3-4  strokes of sky colour at the most!!  no more.    2 is better.    With the 3rd if needed, towards the horizon …a faint shimmer, a whisper of pale tone.

The horizon IS  paler;  check it out.


winter watercolour,
Winter watercolour

Monochrome Landscapes

Monochromes are simply paintings done in 1 colour.    This makes it really really easy for watercolour beginners to get a better painting.  Even working in a Limited Palette of just 2 or 3 colors is a big help.

Less worries, frustrations about trying to mix up too many other colour mixes and getting mud!    The tonal value structure you will get in a monochrome will nearly always be spot on, vs  when beginners are working in full spectrum colour range.   

monochromatic watercolour landscape
Monochromatic Landscape



The last image, Splatter Fun!   Is Super Easy.

Load up an old toothbrush with paint and then splatter away in the targeted area.   This is wonderful for texture and details close up, especially on Dry paper.  You can see in the back it was damp and how it blurred, melted into the distance. Great for recession, distance.   This is a very playful and fun idea to try for watercolour beginners – or just anyone really!

splatter watercolour depth



The Nature of Art – Around the Edges

The Nature of Art – Around the Edges

What type are you – soft edged or hard edged?  I love art images and paintings with soft blurred edges …..  I wondered why.  What type are you most drawn to?

summer pond reflections photo
Summer Pond Cool Reflections

Wandering through the galleries I instinctively am drawn into some artworks, but seem  blocked from others. I  wondered why.  For a while I was absolutely certain it all due to the colours used!    Sometime later, I thought it had to be the Light.

As time progresses,  I’m more and more aware that the images that invite me in with welcoming arms are those with a higher ratio of soft blurred edges. That’s not to say that colour and light tones don’t play a role, they most certainly do. They’re just not the deciding  factor for me.

Autumn Landscape prussian blue pb27
Autumn Aglow Landscapes, softly inviting –

Our innate personalities can influence edge dominance in our paintings and artworks.

Some artists are naturally outgoing and friendly.  Some of my artist friends are  fantastic hosts and hostesses, having mastered the art of hospitality with grace and ease. Its just who they are.  These artists do seem to  have more soft edge dominance in their work.

One can perhaps infer that the way an artist uses edges in their artworks coincides with their character and personality … or with what is going on with them in their life at that moment in time.


What if an artist feels the need for more structure, disciple, order  in life?  Thus, without really thinking about it, are using predominately harder, sharper edges to create that structure in their artworks.

By creating a painting realm of dominant soft edges, the artist may be creating a more welcoming world of gentleness that may not exist for them at that juncture in time. I think personally, with all the global events of late, I probably am in a way creating a realm that is just a little more kinder and gentler.  Perhaps!


Gallery images comparing gentle soft edges vs. hard defined edges


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Lives change.  Life circumstances fluctuate, health may decline and rise again. Many situations occur to  influence the mind, emotions and heart that may cause a change in edge dominance over time.


When I gaze upon a dominantly  soft edged painting,  I still.    It is zen.  Calming and relaxing, a contentedness fills me. There is peacefulness in the soft edges that I do not find in hard, sharp, bristly edges.


The lovely soft edges create an unequalled serenity and harmony that I can become lost in.


When I look at hard edged paintings, even though I’m not drawn  to them, I will look beyond my discomfort.

I think about them. The artist. The individual.  What their life must have been like.

Where they lived, what other things they enjoyed. What prompted their Edges, subjects, colours,  tonal keys, the media used. I reflect for a moment on what events and circumstances may have prompted the style of art I’m looking at.

What is interesting, I’ve noticed that I accept a much higher ratio of sharp edges in  photograph images than I will find comfortable in paintings.

Anyone else  ever thought about how you use your edges   and how your preference is linked to your unique quirks and traits?  I wonder……..


Debi Riley Basic Watercolour Materials

Debi Riley Basic Watercolour Materials

Wondering what Basic Watercolour Materials to buy and use?  Do you want to keep it simple and without hurting the pocket book too much?!   With these tips using a minimum of materials you can start off on the right foot with watercolours.

Arches cold press
Arches watercolour paper Cold Press
Twinrocker Feather Deckle watercolour handmade paper
Twinrocker Feather Deckle handmade cotton watercolour paper
Fabriano rough watercolour paper
Fabriano Rough watercolour paper

I have each those 3 types of paper on hand for when I want to just have some watercolour fun and “play”…  but my standard go to watercolour paper is Arches rough 300gsm.

Beginners watercolour materials pared down to the bone –  3 tubes of paint, 1 sheet of paper, 1 brush –  makes learning easier, less initial outlay and better results, faster.

Paper:        Arches Rough 300gsm     (100%  cotton paper)            100% cotton paper  is really a necessity for the absolute beginner in my opinion.  This paper never lets anyone down. This is the paper that will allow for mistakes, permit scrubbing, will easily lift paint mistakes off,  provide you with a lovely surface front side and backside to paint on  (specifically Arches Rough)  which you could….  . Rinse off; dry; and start again,  using the specific 3 tubes of paint below.

Also,  for more paper information you can go to the  December  16,  2014 post on paper.

3 Tube Mixes by
cobalt pb28; permanent rose pv19; winsor lemon py175


These  3 Tubes of paint create 100’s of mixes.  The   “pb  pv py”   numbers  are  very important !    This  lets you know with certainty that the paint is genuine and not a cheaper substitute that will not perform the task required.

Daniel Smith watercolours,  Winsor & Newton  or Art Spectrum:       Cobalt Blue  pb28                   Permanent Rose pv19                   Winsor Lemon  py175

 Rekab brush
Rekab 320S brush

Brushes:       1  Brush       a  100%   Squirrel hair    mop    Rekab 320s #2 (Isabey,   or  Raphael,  or  Rekab,  or  Roymac,  or  Winsor & Newton)  are all nice squirrel brushes – the Rekab is my favourite.

The Rekab 320s  which is featured (front)  in this photo comes to a super fine tight point. It has an excellent paint load carrying capacity, allowing one stroke of paint to glide and stretch across the paper beautifully.

You only will ‘need’ this   1   brush, it is  that sensitive and  versatile.

For more information on my suggestions for brushes see the December 13,  2014 post on Brushes.