Tag Archives: watercolor

Watercolor class project 1

Watercolor class project 1, a flower still life.  Sketch and work in progress.


pen and ink portrait

pen and ink portrait

20160111_170900bMy friend C protests she is not an artist but every year she takes a road trip on which she makes pen and ink landscapes.  I am impressed.  It takes me years before I am brave enough to abandon my pencil and eraser.  Favorite pen #2, Platinum Fountain Pen, Preppy, Fine Nib, Black (PPQ-200-#1)

Quick Sketch

Quick Sketch

scan0010TV sketch plus, Scottie.  Added a splash of watercolor.  I am aiming for an Egon Scheile style of drawing.  Pen, ink, and watercolor.


Art Stories: Marine indicator species

Art & Science

I lead a dual life.  By day I am a science researcher.  But I am also an artist.  My art friends want to know, when do I have the time to work?  During lunch, after work, on the weekends, and when I have insomnia, I think about art, I dream about art.

Sometimes I am able to combine my research work and my art.

Marine Biodiversity

Currently I’m involved in a collaborative project to study  marine biodiversity in Monterey Bay, California.  Marine biodiversity is a key indicator of ocean health and can give us an integrated picture of what is happening in the ocean.  These studies will provide marine resource managers and policymakers with tools to address threats ranging from invasive species to climate change.

Marine Indicator Species

One of the marine indicator species proposed is krill.  Krill are near the bottom of the oceanic food chain and are therefore very important to marine life.  Krill are very small crustaceans.  They are the main food source for some species of whales, and also for fish, penguins, seals, and squid, among many other ocean wild life.

The krill population in the world’s ocean becomes critical not only for marine wild life but also for people, more than 3.5 billion people depend on the ocean for food.

The ocean is life.

ReikoArt Shop

The Marine Series will soon be available for sale.  Art prints with mats will be available from my web store.  Also I’ll be working with a third party vendor to provide Fine Art Giclees.  If you are interested please sign up for my newsletters or drop me an email.

On my easel: Marine series, Heterocarpus ensifer

Marine Series: Heterocarpus ensifer

Heterocarpus ensifer, watercolor, marine series, marine art, watercolor setupOn my easel, a new watercolor for my marine series, a deep water shrimp, heterocarpus ensifer.  My work set up, for when I paint during lunch.  This works for me as I paint in layers.  One lunch hour to research and draw, the next lunch hour to lay down the first layer.  And a final lunch hour to add the next two layers.  It’s important to have the time between layers so the watercolor paint can completely dry.

Equipment and supplies

When I was a child, I read the same cereal box every morning as I ate breakfast.  Now that I’m a grown up, I read art supply catalogs as I breakfast.  I should start a Pintrest wish list of art materials and my dream studio.

My newish palette; small, sleek black metal, filled with 14 half pans of my current favorite colors.  I’m that kind of person. I mean, I have favorite pens with which I write , favorite pencils to draw, favorite brushes, favorite watercolors, ad infinitum.  I searched for a long time to find my palette and as an ‘at work’ palette it works well.  Palettes can be very expensive, in the $500 range for the top of the line Craig Young paintbox.

Heterocarpus  ensifer, marine series, marine art, watercolorMy favorite brushes tend of be rounds.  And they are not necessarily expensive brushes.  Technological advances in synthetic brushes these days make them a pretty good substitute for the very expensive sable brushes.  The brushes shown in the photograph above are Princeton and Daler Rowney brushes.

I like the Strathmore Visual Journals.  The size of the journal (5.5 x 8 inches)  and the spiral bounding  are pluses.  The watercolor paper is a good weight and takes the paint well,  140lb cold press.


Everybody’s Ocean Art Exhibit at MAH

Jellies: Mixed media 2014

Jellies: Mixed media 2014

Everybody’s Ocean, an art exhibit at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History.  Wave II runs Feb 27 through Apr 19.

My submission, “Jellies”, an abstract mixed media art piece of the surreal and ghostly jellies as they drift through the upper ocean realm.

Scuba diving in Monterey Bay, we saw many jellies as they were a frequent visitor.  As jellies float slowly through the water, it was easy to get close to examine them.  Sometimes one could spot small crabs on the bell, or an unfortunate fish tangled in the tentacles.  And sometimes swarms of jellies surrounded and flowed passed us.

For me, having lived along the coast all my life, the ocean is a circadian rhythm.

To be full immersed in the ocean, to give in to the power of the ocean, and to let oneself be gently rocked in the ocean’s embrace is an incredible feeling.

The ocean is life.  The ocean provides food, water, and air.  Without the ocean we cannot exist.

New Paint Brushes

Silver script paint brushes

Silver script brushes

As I mentioned in a previous post I have a weakness for paints and paint brushes. These script brushes were recommended by the watercolor artist and teacher Steve Fleming. A script brush is narrow and has a long hair. Typically used for lettering, outlining, and it has a fantastic capacity to hold lots of paint and so makes a wonderful continuous line.

watercolor painting, art

watercolor study , river series

In art, making marks is an important part of any piece. The sepia marker I was using in my river series just didn’t seem strong enough, see figure on right. And so I’m experimenting with my new script brushes for improved marks. Stay tuned and let me know what you think of the results.

River process

River series  begins with aerial views from the NASA collection of satellite photographs.  This is the “Blue Dragon” river in Portugal.  Try a few sketches for composition and design.

Process begins,  sketch ideas.

Process begins, sketch ideas.

test colors

Test colors, brush strokes, and watercolor technique. Here we let the colors mingle.

Blue Dragon

Blue Dragon: The first small study on watercolor paper. With sepia brown pen for abstract marks.


River Study 2

Blue Dragon

Blue Dragon

“The River” – Geoffrey Oreyama

Paint me a picture of a river
and let it flow
just let it flow
it will flow and wash away our differences
and love will grow

You have the power to deliver
so let it flow
When I dip my hand into your water
I feel your soul

Nafikiliya Koruba Shamba
Nafikiliya Koruba Shamba

I’ll do the fire by your river of melted stone
you can drink the silver of my moonlight
as our fire burns
the fire burns

I’ll slide inside your silent water
like polished stone
then break the surface with a shiver
while the river flows

Nafikiliya Koruba Shamba
Nafikiliya Koruba Shamba

Paint me a picture of the river
and let it flow
let it flow
all across the deserts and the mountains
we’ll let it go
let it go

Nafikiliya Koruba Shamba
Nafikiliya Koruba Shamba

New color

A new tube of watercolor.  I have a weakness for paint and brushes.  And shiny paper.  My friend says that we must have been magpies in a former life.

Manganese Blue

Manganese Blue