Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A couple things I'm working on today...

Did you think I forgot? I didn't! I'm FINALLY starting the winner of the last poll. I've actually taken one picture and turned it into two - I thought both cats were so beautiful they deserved some individual attention. Here's what I've gotten done today...

Click on the pictures to see larger versions

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Giraffe Art

I've been itching to do a large version of this giraffe ever since I did a mini study, and I've finally finished it. This giraffe lives in Nairobi at Giraffe Manor. I'd love to visit some day!

"Giraffe and Sky"
20" x 13"

Suffolk Punch Art and more

I'm lovin' my winter break - getting a ton of commissions done, including these...

I didn't get this one's jaw wrong - it is crooked from being shot, poor thing!

These are Suffolk Punch draft horses.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tuxedo and Friend Watercolor Painting

I'm finally finding time to complete some paintings, now that I'm off for Christmas break. I'm hoping to get several commissions finished and a couple I've been doing for fun before I go back to work. Here's the latest...

Thank you to Geonetix for his wonderful photography!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Come Cruise with me!

In December, 2011, I'll be cruising and teaching watercolor. I'd love for you to come join me! I'll be teaching beginning watercolor the Dec 23 sailing of Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas. We'll be exploring Cozumel, Grand Caymen, and Falmouth, Jamaica. They have me scheduled to teach three sessions, but if I get additional students I may do some additional plein aire sessions at the different ports.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Christmas Shoes!

I had someone special order these shoes from me...

Cute aye? I made them with my painting "First Snow".

Friday, November 12, 2010

Great book for dog lovers!

My cat and dog art will be featured in this book...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Commission Done!

For the final phase of the painting, I took a light wash of blue paint and washed it over the entire lower third of the painting to tie his jeans to the background grass and to soften this areas as it's not the center of interest. I also darkened the grass under the subject to anchor the painting and give it more depth.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

"Myrtle Beach Tees" watercolor painting

When I lived near Myrtle Beach I used to love to go take pictures of the night life. I worked on this little painting for four years. Sometimes paintings are like good wine, they need to sit. This painting has a lot of thought put into it. I was trying to capture that neon glow that is the essence of Myrtle Beach night life!

"Myrtle Beach Tees"
8" x 10"
Click here for purchase information

Saturday, November 06, 2010

New Watercolor Painting - Tortoise Shell Cat

"On the Fence"
10" x 8"
Click here for purchase info

I just finished this one; it's from a picture I took over the summer while doing a show in Pine Mountain, Georgia. Thanks Babs, for letting me visit your gorgeous farm! Both the original and prints are available.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Work in Progress - Bonnie's Commission

I thought it would be fun to do a 'works in progress' for those of you who paint so you can see my progression through the painting process. Below is a picture of "Don". His wife is giving this to him for Christmas.

The painting starts with a blank piece of paper with a pencil drawing. I first add masking fluid to the parts that I want to keep white until the very end, such as eye sparkles. The only areas I masked on this painting were the dog's eye sparkle, his claws, and the shoe laces. This makes it easier to paint around those areas and not worry about saving the white of the paper. I then lay in the first wash by wetting the section I want to work on. In this painting I did a few sections; his face, the dog, the background, the clothes, and his boots. For his face, I wet all the areas except those where the sun hit him. Then I dropped in various colors - warm in the sun lit areas and cooler colors in the shaded areas. The second section was the background. Again, I kept the hat and face dry, and moistened the rest of the paper, then dropped in yellows and greens. For the first layers of most paintings, I work wet in wet, which keeps everything soft.
You can see at this stage I also did his shirt and pants as one large area for the first wash. I got the whole thing wet except for where the sun hits it, then dropped in different colors of blue, green and yellow. It's good to use more than one color in these first washes as they add interest and keep the painting from looking flat.

In the picture below I added more detail to the dog. I got the whole dog wet, then, with thicker but moist paint, added some of his stripes on his body and markings on his face.

Below I added the pocket details. Working with a less wet paper, but still moist to keep things soft, I used a little bit thicker paint for the lines of the seams. To get the right moisture on the paper, I use a nice sable brush and squeeze out the water so it's not dripping, but still has plenty of water in it. I run this over the areas I want to add soft details.

Although the picture below was after the picture above, you'll notice the dog's muzzle is lighter. I use Mr. Clean Magic Eraser pads, the ones you find in the grocery store cleaning aisle, to 'erase' some of the paint. They don't have any harmful chemicals in them and are perfectly safe for painting.
Here I've added the first wash to the boot. I try to do the 'first wash' and maybe the 'first soft detail' step on each section before I progress to the final stage of the painting to put in the fine details, which I often do mostly on dry paper. Stay tuned for the final stages of this painting!

To see some painting tutorials, click here. Click on uploads and you'll be able to scroll down to see the tutorials. I have over 20 posted.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

And another commission finished...

Trying to get through all these to clear my plate for Christmas commissions!

Finished a large commission

This is Maggie and Mandie - a huge 32x38 inch commission I just finished.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Paws for Charity Calendar

If you haven't checked it out already - visit the Paws for Charity Blog or to buy a 2011 calendar! I'm in there somewhere : ) Proceeds support breast cancer research, a cause near and dear to my heart as my paternal grandmother had it.

Friday, October 08, 2010

"Fox" Watercolor Painting

I finally finished this painting - after many attempts at finishing it! This is one of several commissions I've been trying to get done. Click on the picture to view it on my website. Thank you so much to Carolyn Seaton for letting me use her gorgeous image!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Congratulations Gina!!!

Congratulations Gina, your beautiful cats won!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Pine Mountain Painting

Here's a commission of Pine Mountain, Georgia I just finished. I went there over the summer and had a show at Cat's Meow, the store at the very left end of the painting. You can click on the picture to view a larger version.

Vote for Rachel's next painting!

It's been a while, but at long last, here's another poll! I'll end it in 24 hours, Saturday night around 10 pm. The winner will get their picture painted and a free print. If you'd like to enter the next contest, enter your photo HERE.

Also, if you're anywhere near Irmo, SC this Sunday, Oct 3, come see me at Saluda Shoals Unearth at 1 pm. It's only $5 and the Lake Murray Symphony will be there, along with several other bands, musicians and artists. For more info, visit HERE.
It should be a lot of fun and I'd love to see you there! I'll be painting : )

A few other dates to remember include October 8th - I'll be at Wingard's Nursery to help raise money for LICS. Click HERE for more info. Then October 16 I'll be at the SC State Fair from 11 am to 8 pm selling my prints. Look for me near the art exhibits and the Cantey building; I'll be outside in the Gazebo.

October is going to be crazy!! Remember, my prices for commissions go up in November, so if you'd like a museum quality piece of art that will last generations, now is the time to do it.

What should's next painting be?

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Zebra Painting and more wildlife!

I miss painting for a whole days, but I must admit I love my day job too (school social worker). I've gone back to work full time, as you can tell by my scanty blog posts. Here's the latest...

"Zebra x 2"
15" x 20"
Click Here to Inquire
Thank you to Giovanni at for letting me use his gorgeous picture!!

"Flamingo Mini"
2" x 2.5"
Click here to Inquire
Thank you so much to Matt for his photo.
Visit him at

Saturday, August 14, 2010

New Original Black Cat Painting

Sadie is SUCH a diva and she demands that I paint her often.

This is a detail view
"Sadie with Red Curtains"
10" x 8"

Sunday, August 08, 2010

My apologies...

Woops! I credited the wrong person for my last foxhunt painting. Thank you so much to Clive Bowsher at for letting me use his photo!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

"A Woman's Thoughts" Original Watercolor on Yupo

I always feel guilty if I take a day off from painting, and I've taken THREE days off!! So, I've been doing a lot of painting today, and this is one of the ones I finished. It started out as an experiment; then I really liked where it was going, so this is one of my few experiments that I decided to finish. It's done on Yupo paper, which is a synthetic, slick paper. It forces me to stay loose because the paint does pretty much what it wants to, unless you REALLY work at it. I like this splashy, carefree look, and I hope to do more along these lines!

"A Woman's Thoughts"
9.5" x 8.5"
Click here to inquire

This is a detail view

PS - My days off entailed going up to the mountains to relax at Grove Park Spa, catch a horse show in Blowing Rock, and explore. My perfect vacation includes good friends...

Gorgeous places...(note waterfalls falling from above)

Funny dogs...

And no Rachel vacation is complete without some beautiful horses...