Statehouse Christmas Tree Class demos and advice



Demos from watercolor class at the RI Statehouse yesterday.


A bit of advice for Christmas tree painting in watercolor:

Start with the bright decorations, this will help keep them light.  Tree afterward or around.  Addingdecorations on top of the painted tree will make them dark as you’ve already lost the light of the page.

Below is a christmas tree from my sketchbook. I’ve included it to show the above practice (start with the decorations and keep them light) and to point out that the warmth and light in this one comes as much from the overall dark values of the foliage and the background as from bright decorations.


Peruvian Retablo at peaceable kingdom

From a wonderful art class at Peaceable Kingdom on Ives St. in Providence.  Joan and her husband have a fabulous collection from around the globe.  It was hard to settle down and sketch one thing but I managed with this …are you ready? dog party retablo.  Can you believe it?  I think it might be my bravest sketch ever, small endeavor that it was.  I love my paint box, not because it allows me to capture what I am seeing but because it helps me enjoy it, and life, more.dp2646_1.jpeg

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we started with color swatches
Peruvian Retablo from Peaceable Kingdom

Partial Tree, RI Statehouse


I went to the RI Satehouse last Wednesday to do a bit of research for our roving watercolor class. Turns out they were putting up the tree, or had been.  I knew the tree was scheduled to be lit in the coming days but surprised me, somehow, to see the opened boxes and leaning ladders.  Thrilling to be in the grand rotunda with that incredible tree! Looking forward to going back with my students.

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Sketching workshop at Bryant

Photos and demo sketches from a workshop at Bryant U for a Creativity and the Arts course taught by Joan Zaretti.  The students were fabulous! We went over guidelines for drawing from art. (Like the thumbnail sketching tutorial here.) We worked from university portraits but also tackled Gericault’s Raft of the Medusa, Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People, as well as a Cezanne and a Monet from the RISD Museum collection.

I found the work of Suzanne Hodes in the Bryant art collection and had trouble pulling myself away.