Friday, June 5, 2009

"Desert Storm"

"Desert Storm"

original watercolor pencil on paper
9" x 11 1/2"

I updated this post, since I rediscovered a demo I did for it! People seem to enjoy them, so I added two new detail shots and put the demo below. It seemed especially appropriate since I'm in the middle of teaching my online class--on watercolor pencil.

I've done several workshops for the Nevada Watercolor Society, and a field trip into the desert with my sister and brother-in-law brought me to this beautiful redrock outcropping with the storm lowering over it near Mt. Charleston. The colors of the high desert landscape were intensified by the blue shadows in the still-snowy mountains, the burnt sienna of the redrock, and the gray-green of sage and other desert plants. I love the scent of the desert, and the coming of rain intensified that too--fresh, spicy, wonderful.I wish I could share that with you as well...

This is an original work, using the versatility of watercolor pencils , done on cold pressed paper. It was a challenge, but all painting worth doing IS...

This was originally in my North Light book, Watercolor Pencil Magic--it's one of my favorites--so I put it on my new CD, Watercolor Pencil's part of Lesson 3.



Here, you can see the progression from dry pencil on paper to the first washes--you can do the pencil work in the field and not worry about carrying water with you, if you like. They're lightweight and versatile...

The careful application of clear water softens and blends the pigment on the paper...I was careful not to blur the edges where colors touch,where I preferred a crisp edge. I let this dry before adding the foreground layers.

I DID want a soft edge to suggest clouds--you can see I kept the application of blue pencil much lighter in that area, then was careful to blend softly.

Scribbled marks worked well to suggest the desert scrub...dots here and there suggested smaller plants. They blended just enough...



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This painting will come to you unmatted and unframed for ease of shipping; I wrap with care and send via Priority Mail for most dependable shipping.


  1. Kate, I think these new demos are wonderful! You are so generous with your knowedge!

  2. Wow, beautiful. I love the contrast of the colours. My parents live on a farm of flat grass plains, when a storm is brewing on the horizon the intense blue of the clouds make the grass look golden...I imagine is kind of the same thing.

  3. I'm glad you're enjoying them, Susan! I really didn't mean to do another one QUITE so soon, but it published anyway...I thought if you set the date ahead, then it shows up as scheduled. This one just showed the new date but went up anyway!

  4. And Danette, I've seen that! GLORIOUS...


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