A page from my sketchbook made while talking through several different ideas with a student (shades of green, light vs. darker value background, possible light source, how to deal with decorative strands of lights, and maintaining the white of the page) .

Ladd Observatory watercolor class notes

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Observatory sketch, watercolor class demo.dp2466_midline_curves copy.jpg

We began by finding the proportions of the structure (green box) and a plumb line (blue).  From there we found curves that described the form from our perspective (red).  We built an armature with that information and fit the details onto it.


Above I have desaturated the image and increased the contrast to show the value structure underlying the color.


Color swatches

Swatches of green + plant life color impressions

Color Impression: Hosta

Demos from this month’s Hands On Art at the RISD Museum for Third Thursday.  We painted in the Radeke Garden.  I will be there to make art in the galleries and garden in July and August as well, third Thursdays, 6-8PM.

Color Impression: Fern
Swatches of “Green”

yellow                yellow & green              yellow & blue            yellow & brown

green                    green & yellow             green & blue              green & brownrisd_6:15_blue:green_color_swatches.jpg

blue                           blue  & yellow           blue  & green              blue  & brown  

Closet sketches

I tape sketches like  these on to my closet calendar to plan in advance, for fewer decisions later. I find it a great relief knowing that I am already finished thinking about how to dress myself for the entire week to come.

Mixing greens


I forget how much time I have spent mixing colors and have to think hard about how to describe what I am doing. The goal of this exercise is to embrace the idea that all of the colors in the box can be used to make variations on “green”, or any other “color”.  And to be aware of the spectrum of colors within what might first appear to be one color.

Watercolor class exercise: we began with the light green from our box and mixed it with all the other colors in the box, one by one.

Then mixed our dark green with each color in the box.