Cape Disappointment Lighthouse Commission

Seaside Lighthouse Commission

My client wanted a watercolor done of the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse for their parents at Christmas. Here are some of the steps taken to create this painting

I received an example showing what they were thinking of but they wanted a warmer looking day maybe with some sun.

rec'd from client
I found a sunnier shot of the same area that had a great array of sunny color.

sunnier shot

I also took a look through my own photographs to find a shot taken of that same bay while we were on vacation on the coast of Oregon. This just so happened to be a beautiful sunny day when my husband and I hiked up to the lighthouse a few years ago with a couple of friends.

my own photograph

Jazz progressive #1

A deja vu image that keeps coming back? I sure do. The third time around is a rendering in watercolor… step one.

Jazz01Using my reference images I sketch in the collage, changing what I want. Most of the change is the desire for movement in the collage. The way I’m approaching this is changing the singer’s face in a more Hispanic flavor, with  hair flowing up and twisting around. Another change is to make the piano keyboard dance in a curve around the guitar. I use resist on the piano keys and other white areas that I want to reserve. Then lightly wash in some of the shapes to see if I am happy with my layout.

Deja Vu “Jazz” reference mat’l

This image keeps showing up for another round? This is round three. I wanted to enter a Spokane Watercolor Society Show and couldn’t get this idea out of my head. So, I decided to give it my best to render this scene in an ultimate fashion then possibly it would not keep coming back.

I begin with finding great reference material to work from, showing  characters and instruments well, placing them in PhotoShop and printing it out. The print sits right next to me as I paint this musical collage in watercolor, my ipod singing in the background with all my favorite tunes.

reference images for jazz music collage

Recurring Inspirations

Have you ever had an image that kept coming back for another round? I sure have. I had a vision of music being played on various instruments by a singer, sax player, trumpeter and hearing piano going all at once. A very brightly colored dream set in Florida tones. The first time I painted this inspiration was with a quick sketch in watercolor.

medley of jazz musicians in watercolor

This  8×11 framed original is available for purchase.

contests again

BTW I have had a long (4 years) separation from entering any art competitions and shows and this year I am beginning again. The portrait of Lil’ Ben was entered into,

The Artist’s Magazine Annual Art Competition

hope it will do well…

You know what they say the only guarantee you have is if you don’t enter you for sure will not win. LOL!



portrait Lil’ Ben redo prog #7

more details…progress child portrait

This is a gradual process adding lights and adding darks detail after detail…. Back and forth. I am feeling like I finally have succeeded in creating an image that is the person in front of a reflection. Now to just finish up all the details.



portrait Lil’ Ben redo prog #5

more details and more background washed in…

photograph and child portrait progress
a wonderful smile

I keep the photograph that inspired the portrait close so I can measure and make sure that the features are correct. Just a tiny bit off will make the portrait totally wrong. I am trying to get real good at likeness now.  Always striving to improve.