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Note from the editor: Comments appear as an exact transcript from the EBSQ Live Session.

Here is the picture you will paint:

Below are the steps I took to create this painting. It is painted in watercolor on a half-sheet (15" by 22") of Arches cold-pressed 140 lb. paper.

The paper was first soaked in a tub of water and then placed flat and wet on a slightly larger piece of "gator-board" and stapled around the perimeter to hold it in place.

Gatorboard is similar to foamcore except it is 1 inch thick and it has a plastic coating rather than paper. It is used primarily by sign companies because it is light weight yet very strong.

It is difficult to find but it is reusable for years.

Cheap Joes is one supplier. Or to go directly to the gatorboard section:

Here is my palette of colors

Palette: My palette consists of about 19 transparent, semi-opaque and opaque colors, no black. I mix all my colors - I rarely if ever use paint straight from the tube. I prefer Winsor Newton Artist Quality Watercolors and Da Vinci Artist Quality Watercolors. I pay attention to the permanence rating and try to keep only permanent colors on my palette - except for Winsor Newton's Rose Madder Genuine because I just love this color.


The brushes I use for my paintings are as follows: "Jeanne Dobie Brush" Cheap Joe's Art Stuff, size 1 1/2", pure ox hair. This is great for large wash areas, it holds a ton of paint. Grumbacher Aquarelles, style 6142, sizes 1" and 3/4". These are great for smaller wash areas. Winsor Newton Series 7 Rounds, sizes 10, 8, 7, 4. I use these on the subject of the painting mostly. They are great for detail and because of their quality they hold a great deal of paint and yet are able to come to a very fine point, even in the larger sizes. They are very expensive, but are worth it because they are miles in front of the other brushes, in my opinion. An assortment of sponges - Elephant Ear, Silk Sponge, and Sea Sponge. I use these for everything from cleaning my palette to moistening areas of the paper. They are also useful to roll your brush on to get rid of excess water before applying paint. Q-Tips. These are a very useful tool when you are painting detail in a small area. They can take up small areas of paint, or smooth areas. I use a lot of these.

After you have prepared your paper by affixing it to gatorboard (also known as "stretching" the paper) and allowing it to dry completely, then start with a fairly detailed but lightly penciled drawing. Try not to erase- trace or project the image for best results- the tooth (texture) of the paper is delicate.

Mix a deep blue sky color. I mixed more than I thought I would need in a cup; then applied it very quickly with a large brush. I used a smaller brush to pull in color around the subject of the painting.

Now I can paint the sand. I use aureolin and cadmium red light, not mixed too thoroughly. I do this quickly too, and while it is wet, I tilt the painting to make the color run across it like sand sweeps the beach.

Mix a Cobalt Blue and Viridian ocean. Paint a clear light band across, but be sure the sand and sky are bone dry when you do this. If you leave white parts it gives the effect of glistening water. Also, a deep band of blue-green on the top will give the effect of deeper water in the distance.

Continually mixing different greens, I painted in the foliage. Sap Green and Viridian. Viridian and Cadmium Orange. Viridian or Sap Green with Aureolin. Be inventive, but limit mixtures to 3 or less colors.

Using various reds, oranges and yellows I mixed and painted the croton plant on the eft of the beach house. Croton is a beautiful plant that has hundreds of varieties and grows all throughout the Caribbean. I painted a purple to sienna wash up the trunk of the palm tree.

The details, the details. I mixed a silvery purple for the shadows to suggest the architecture on this little beach cottage. I continued painting foliage and other minor details.

I like it.

Time to sell it!

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