wet blending a maple leaf

As summer winds down, many see their days beginning to free up and want to return to more watercolor painting.  Often the where to start and what am I going to do questions cause you to keep putting it off.

Instead, see if you can choose a simple subject and do a small sketch-painting to get you back to painting — each day or most days.


  • What is still blooming? Save memories of the end-of-summer flowers by drawing one each day on small watercolor paper  or good sketch paper and tint the drawings with color, leaving the light struck areas white paper and painting mainly in the shade or darker areas.
  • What is ripening on you windowsill? Some tomatoes? Pears? Do a small painting each day. One day in the sun. One day back lit. One day with wet blending – dropping the colors into a pre-moistened shape and mixing on the paper. One day glazing -modeling the local color from light to dark first, and adding shadow blues or violets after the first layer has dried. Do the same in the cast shadow.
  • What is on your breakfast table, or on the floor of you closet? Do a casual still-life of the clutter from breakfast, the top of the coffee table, two well-worn shoes. Do a line drawing first and then drop in color.

Like getting back playing an instrument or returning to golf or tennis, don’t expect to start off at the top of your game doing a big painting. Simple every day or most day paintings will get you swinging the paint brush again.


2 mangos and a pear, sunny day

Happy painting!


2 pears and a mango, cloudy day

©2018, Caroline Buchanan