"Octanic Color"

I started experimenting with water colors this summer when I took a sketching class from Richard Scott. He recommended the book Making Color Sing by Jeanne Dobie as the best book on watercolors that he has seen. I am going through the book chapter by chapter and trying the various techniques and ways to mix color. This chapter is entitled “Octanic Color”, and is about how to get clear bright colors.

This time of year, there are not that many bright colors outdoors, but I found a Yule Tide Camellia blossom to paint from my garden. I overworked the petals so they didn’t quite turn out as hoped and the background was pretty iffy too. I attempted to fix it up a bit with colored pencil.

My next attempt was the berries on a Madrone tree in my neighbor’s parking strip. When I walked up to the tree, the leaves started rustling all over the tree as the birds and squirrels who had been busy gobbling down berries scattered away. They soon settled back into the banquet and seemed to forget I was there. I did a pencil sketch outside then took a photo and painted inside where it was warmer. I am happier with this second attempt at getting bright clear color. I decided to forgo attempting a background on this one. Maybe another chapter will help me with that!


  1. Your madrona berries are so beautiful! Love to see spots of color this time of year. I have these huge barberry bushes in my back yard which I really hate…until this time of year when they are heavy with red berries! Keep on drawing, girl!

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