Deb Ward, GWS, OWS, PWS, WSI - WATERCOLOR/WATER MEDIA - My passion is teaching adult “beginners”. Weekly classes in my home; workshops; classes for Cincinnati Recreation Commission. My work is nationally recognized and published - see “Featured” on my sidebar. I’m a Signature Member of Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana state Watercolor Societies, Cincinnati Art Club, past-President of Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society. Contact info below under “Class Information”

Monday, May 2, 2016


Once again, it's time for a new computer.  My last arrived in 2009!  So I had grown complacent -  until I began receiving dire warnings about no longer receiving updates each time I went onto the internet.  So I called my very own Super Hero "Computer Man" to rescue me - and "migrate" my data!

I gave him carte blanche to buy a computer, monitor and software - and he suggested that I upgrade to the dreaded Windows 10.  (I suspect he's hoping that after this he will never  hear from me again . . . .)

He came and installed the set up in an afternoon.  I was impressed, since it would have taken me somewhere around a year of teeth gnashing, crying and pulling out hair to get this done!

He also suggested I purchase Office 2016 for Dummies (do you think he was actually making a statement about me???) and then I opted to also purchase Windows 10:  The Missing Manual by David Pogue since I thought it might be a good idea to be able to look up what's going on when I have stupid questions and not have to call Computer Man - after all, he might be out on an important computer-based call and not have time for me!  Plus, David Pogue used to be on the Martha Stewart show and has appeared on the Kelly Ripa show and knows all kinds of neat tech-y stuff that I don't understand.  Hey - if he's good enough for Martha and Kelly, he's good enough for me!

Old "stand by computer" on left, new monitor on desk and new computer on floor under desk.
Disregard all mess - I'm an artistic person, remember!
So, now I make small forays into the netherworld of Windows 10 while awaiting my shipment from Amazon.  So far I have not lost any documents (at least I don't think I have, but since I don't understand half of what I'm doing it's all a crap shoot!)

Collateral damage of the "great migration" has been the transfer of my photos - which were in alphabetized albums according to subject - which have migrated over in date order.  A pretty useless way for me to access them.  Crap.  (Am I allowed to say "crap" on the internet?).  Which means it will be taking me a while to re-create folders that make sense to me so that I can access my photos.

Which accounts for keeping my older computer "just in case".

I must say, when you look in my office it looks like a real techno-geek lives here - two computer set ups - 24 in. monitor - wow!  Unless you know me, in which case you know that I can't bear to let go of anything that I think might remotely be important to me in the future.  Then you will look at the double set up and knowingly shake your head and mumble something like "oh boy, here we go again".

Thursday, April 28, 2016


Shadows have been darkened, flowers completed.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


I usually paint with a friend on Thursdays, and thought I would try (emphasis on TRY) to get a Thursday painting ritual going, showing a work in progress and the finished progress, posting each Thursday.

The first of these paintings appears here.
Obviously, once again, I forgot to take a photo of the very beginning!  After the drawing was traced I added a very light red, yellow and blue, lightly began shadowing the sides of the vases and shadows on the fabric and began painting in the flowers.

Monday, April 11, 2016


Most people do not look forward to Monday, start of another work week.

Not me!

I LOVE Monday mornings - and here's why:

I have the best students in the world!  Somehow I have lucked out with a zany bunch of people who love to cook, bake and drink!

Spontaneous celebration breaks out with great regularity.

Consider last Monday - - -

One student arrived with a bag full of ingredients for Mimosas and Blood Marys!  How can you argue with that.  Here's the "bar" set up in the kitchen:

 and here they all are preparing to imbibe!

And "they" say that painting is a solitary process!

I'm already looking forward to next Monday!

Thursday, April 7, 2016


In my Cincinnati Recreation classes I have to have paintings that can be done by people with experience as well as those who have never picked up a paint brush before - so I have to come up with something that can be done by all.

Who doesn't love pears?

This first example (not my best, but I don't teach to get beautiful paintings, I just want to give students the idea how to do things) is mean to show how to paint realistically.  This one is obviously not complete, but enough was done so that the students "got the idea".  I spend most of my time going from student to student to give them guidance.

We first painted the pears wet in wet, then some glazing.  Then the background - we created wood.  They thought it was lots of fun.

Then for our next project I let them run wild - pretend to be a little kid again, do anything you want to a pear!

Some people were still intimidated and it took them a while to loosen up, others got crazy from the get go.

This exercise also lets those with less experience work with their brushes, paint, paper and water to experiment and learn in a playful manner.

This last photo was my "homework" for that class.  I created several different ideas, just to show what could be possible.

This week we will begin a new project - a rose.

Monday, April 4, 2016


The chair rail above and the chest below have been added.

More colors added to the main basket and a few tweaks here and there and the project is complete.

Thursday, March 31, 2016


Next we worked on the two baskets behind the main basket.  Neither are very detailed.

Then we began adding more color to the main basket, and more shadows below.  Obviously this step is not finished here.

Monday, March 28, 2016


Here's another class project.  The purpose of this was to show that when we look at a brown object - in this case a basket - it doesn't mean we get out our brown paint and use that.  There may be - or COULD be - a lot of other color in that object.

As usual, I neglected to get a photo of the beginning!  But I will tell you that it began with a wet paper and the primaries dropped into the water.  Use yellow where the sun hits, or where the light areas are, blues in shadows areas and the red randomly in the mid tones.  These colors should be very pale so that just a glow remains when it dries.

What you see here is actually the third layer.  After we let the first pale layer dry we brought in more color all over, then began bringing more color to the main basket.

Thursday, March 24, 2016


Then we added colors in mid-tones to finish the painting.

Obviously not my best!  But it was, again, a teaching tool about color - transparent versus opaque - so they could see why people sometimes get "mud" when they paint! . . . 

. . . and about values.  From across the room it reads as corn - no matter how bad it looks up close!

Monday, March 21, 2016


The class is learning about color and value.

We did one painting using all transparent paints, and then this painting using all opaque or semi-opaque paints - and only 3 colors - a yellow, red and blue.  This was also a study in values.

First we all took the same photo and created a simple value study.  This was done by placing tracing paper over the photo and darkening areas with a pencil.

After that we put down our lightest color, then our darkest colors.