Draw A Bird, January 2023

Hi friends! I hope you had a lovely holiday season and a happy start to 2023! Have you taken down your decorations yet? We put up two Christmas trees and finally packed up the second one today, but already I miss the warm, cozy glow of the lights and twinkle of the ornaments. The nativity set is still up and might stay around for a little while. It is adorned with white lights and greenery, and it makes me happy to see it.

Being gifted some new-to-me types of professional watercolor paper for Christmas, it was exciting to have had a little time to play with them and learn their different characteristics. What a difference the paper makes!

Close up of texture on cold-pressed watercolor paper
Close up of texture on cold-pressed watercolor paper

The first was handmade Shizen cold-pressed, 140-lb. watercolor paper. To me, this very absorbent paper seemed more like a rough-pressed paper rather than cold pressed, but WOW, the paint settled into all the nooks and crannies and made such impressive effects. Because of the bumpy textures, indentations, tooth, and the way the light refracts on this paper, the final colors were more muted and definitely could handle a few more layers; however, this paper certainly accentuates granulating paints. That said, this paper would be perfect for landscapes, furry animals, and paintings with looser effects.

Flamingo on Cold-Pressed Watercolor Paper
Flamingo on Cold-Pressed Watercolor Paper

The second was a smooth handmade, 140-lb. hot pressed paper by Paul Rubens, and it contains a subtle glitter effect; if you know me, you’ll understand how happy glitter makes me! The glitter is embedded in the paper and does not rub off at all. I don’t use hot-pressed paper too often as I find it less forgiving and more suited for highly detailed paintings, but again the effects of this ultra-smooth paper were stunning and the colors more vibrant while using fewer layers of paint. This would be a great paper for ink, pen, illustrations, abstracts, and colored pencil.

Close up of texture and sparkles on hot-pressed watercolor paper
Close up of texture and sparkles on hot-pressed watercolor paper
Flamingo on Hot-Pressed Watercolor Paper
Flamingo on Hot-Pressed Watercolor Paper

I think the flamingo looks better on the hot-pressed paper but am looking forward to working with both papers in the upcoming months. Did you discover any fun artsy supplies recently? Thanks for stopping by!

Draw A Bird, July 2020, Plus the 1st Week’s Recap of World Watercolor Month

Hi friends. For this month’s Draw A Bird day, I painted an osprey portrait. When on vacation, we enjoy watching osprey fly over the ocean looking for big fish. Even better is when you see them flying away with their tasty meal (although a feel a little bad for the fish). We also like to see another type of osprey practicing maneuvers up and down the beach, as you will see in the last picture below.


Charlie, the founder of Doodlewash and World Watercolor Month (WWCM), has given us thought-provoking prompts this year for WWCM, and here are my interpretations for the first week. These paintings are not meant to be masterpieces. The point is to simply enjoy the process of painting and not worry about the end product so much.

Rejoice "The world rejoices in flowers"
Rejoice – “The world rejoices in flowers”
Texture - Rust
Texture – Rust
Playful - Jumping in the Surf
Playful – Jumping in the Surf
Quiet - Tea and Reading
Quiet – Tea and Reading
My Favorite Color - Blue
My Favorite Color – Blue
Flow - Shower
Flow – Shower
Free - Marines practice Osprey maneuvers over the beach we visit
Free – Marines practice Osprey maneuvers over the beach we visit

World Watercolor Month is an annual global charitable event featuring the ultimate challenge of 31 Watercolors in 31 days.   Artists around the globe come together to paint the world with beautiful watercolor and help raise awareness for arts education to get art supplies for kids who need them.  If you want to know more or help deserving children obtain art supplies, please check out the official WWCM website here. See you next week with a recap of week 2. Stay safe out there!