img_1163As we head into winter we may feel limited for subject matter. But it is still there. Look around. There are subjects and projects everywhere. How about that branch out your window? Here is a big-leaf maple against the firs. This is always the last of our maples to lose its leaves in the fall.

There is always food in the kitchen. Below is  a close-up of a salad. Why not paint it?

  • img_2433_2_2wet a 1/4 or 1/2 sheet of watercolor paper, leaving the light areas free of color, brush in6 the yellows an6d oranges with free swirling strokes.
  • when the paper is dry, wet small areas to wet-blend purples, deep reds and greens
  • quit while it is still fresh and has the impression6 of sunlight


 Here is one of the photographs of the last stand of lily leaves. What a great subject to draw – a contour. drawing or a shaded drawing. Or just draw the dark shapes and let the leaves appear (no contour) .

Then paint it. Wet a sheet of Arches, drop in the light yellows and greens. After the paper is dry carve out the shapes of the leaves as you practice your negative painting. Rather than black, use deep greens and violets.

img_1162Why not take some photos of leaves on the ground? They are great subjects for negative painting practice.

  • Without drawing, wet your paper and brush in light bright colors, flowing into one another.
  • When the paper is dry use your photographs to suggest leaf shapes to draw. Draw them large with some overlaps, and then have fun creating the leaves with your negative painting.img_1288

How about painting stones? Even gravel has interesting shapes.

Crop, turn your pattern on its side, look for the best shapes.

Since winter is a time that limits our ability to seek out the grand vista, thinkimg_1288_2 small.

And near — the shoes in the closet, earrings and necklaces. A grouping of scarves.

Or tuck this idea away for later in the winter. Maybe just do a drawing a day.picture-2

As I have suggested other years, now is the time to buy amaryllis or narcissus. Do a drawing every day following their emergence from tight bulb to glorious blossoms. It is great fun – and not very time consuming; it is a  good way to stay in touch with your art during the busy holidays.

Have a grand and happy season.


P.S. Check some of the earlier November and December Technique Corner posts for holiday ideas.