On Betsy’s Patio

Plein Air #28 / 9.13.17 / 12×11 watercolor
Porter Ranch, CA
“Crown of Thorns on Betsy’s Patio”

Oh, Watercolor…it’s been awhile. I took a refresher class 8 or 9 months ago in which we did a few exercises and copied a couple paintings. I’ve also bought a few books and a couple classes on Craftsy lately, all in hopes of working up my nerve to revive a triptych I did back in 2006 for my living room.

(Phyllis asked me why I didn’t just start over and repaint it.)

(…Because the idea is horrifying!)

Anyhoo, the refresher class taught me a few things I didn’t learn the first time around, eleven years ago: Layering, for one. Remembering to leave some white on the paper for another. The Craftsy class guy got me experimenting with ink one-line sketches (see last week). I’ve been watching some youtubes and making thumbnails, experimenting with laying down paint.

So, last Wednesday I sat down in Betsy’s backyard and it dawned on me that I had to sketch first. Pretty much forgot about that part! Then I stared at the subject wondering where the heck to start, seeing as I would have to paint around something somewhere, no matter what I started with. Betsy told me to just pick something and go with it. I managed to get it about 2/3 of the way done while there and finished it at home. 

So many faults! But I got a better start than I’d expected to get and learned a few things. (Ex: Scraping with a knife helped save the thorny stems. Easy to overpaint green.)  Just what I needed–a second medium to play with 🙂 .


  1. Teresa Catlett says:

    Hi, Linda

    Your watercolor is very pretty, You should do more! I was wanting to try it, years ago when i watched PBS programs, but i never did.

    Love your colors!


    • Linda W says:

      Thanks, Teresa!

      There is still at least one guy on PBS doing watercolor–look for Frank Clarke Simply Painting around the World: China. We get it on KLCS here in So. Ca. Also, there are lots of tutorials/demos/etc. on youtube 🙂

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