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 and Indiana state Watercolor Societies, Cincinnati Art Club, past-President of Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society. Contact info below under “Class Information”

Friday, January 30, 2015


This last painting was created on Twinrocker Paper.

There is a story about this particular paper.  W a a a a a y back in the 1990's I visited the Twinrocker Paper Company with some other students from the watercolor classes I was taking.  The facility is located in Brookston, IN, just north of West Lafayette (home of Purdue University).

We all drove up together and had a tour of the facility which, as you can see from their website, you can still do today.  As I recall, it didn't cost us much, and we had lunch at a small diner just down the street.  I recall the most delicious soup and sandwich - maybe I was just famished, or it was truly delish!  Have no idea what the name of the place was, nor if it still exists.

Our tour was very informative as well as warm and moist!  It ended in a room filled with newly made paper!  All shapes, including circles and ovals, and all sizes.  I purchased about 5 pieces of full size paper and a couple of smaller ones.  When I got home I put them away since they were hand made and precious.  I decided to wait until I was a better painter before I used any of them.  They have resided inside the bag they came in until this year!

When I was looking for paper for this particular painting I finally decided that I was ready for the Twinrocker!  About time!!!

The paper is not competely flat as other w/c paper, and has more movement - little hills and valleys.  I'll be curious to see how, or if, it will flatten before I frame it.  It is also  about an inch smaller both width and height.

It handled very well as far as taking the paint - of course, this was acrylic versus watercolor, so I'll be curious and excited to try another "precious" sheet for a watercolor painting.

Monday, January 26, 2015


Here is the completed (I think!) painting of "Peekaboo Bear".

"Peekaboo Bear", Chroma Flow Acrylic on Twinrocker paper, full sheet.

Twinrocker is a hand made paper and is slightly smaller than regular paper.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

PEEKABOO BEAR - 4 (Chroma Flow Acrylics)

Step 8 - Here I have added a bit more to the yellow bear.

 Step 9 - Some shadowing begun on the blue bear.
 Step 10 - Blue bear darkened, eyes and nose added to yellow bear.

Monday, January 19, 2015

AcrylicWorks 2: Radical Breakthroughs

I received a surprise Saturday.

My friend Chris Beck emailed me to say she had seen a Northlight promotional email with my work featured.

When you enter most competitions your entry is an agreement for your work to be used in promotional materials.  (If you are like me, you sign the waiver so you can enter the competition, but never expect your work to actually be considered good enough to be used!)

Nevertheless - after receiving her email, I looked on my phone and, sure enough, there was my painting featured in the promo for the new AcrylicWorks 2:  Radical Breakthroughs book.

I immediately showed it to my husband, I was so excited!  In case you are interested - here it is!  (Scroll down to 3 - Still Lifes)
NEW in the North Light Shop: AcrylicWorks 2
AcrylicWorks 2: Radical Breakthroughs
Edited by Jamie Markle

What is considered a radical breakthrough in art?

The second edition in the AcrylicWorks series works to showcase radical breakthroughs from over 100 top contemporary acrylic artists - whether it's a unique use of color, a different approach or style, an unusual subject matter, the method of painting, composition, or creative brushstrokes. Discover insight from each artist on their work and learn something new, delight your eyes, and find inspiration to create your own radical breakthroughs.

Inside AcrylicWorks 2: Radical Breakthroughs you will find:
  • Artwork from 116 acrylic artists
  • 126 works paired with fresh from the studio insight from the artists themselves
  • A variety of subject matter including landscapes, people, still lifes, animals, and abstract art
Retail: $35.00
Your price: $24.92
Order Now

Download eBook
Take a look at several included works and hear from the artists:
Another Crossroads | Acrylic on panel | 30" × 80" diptych

"The process begins with a long hike, bottle of water, sketch pad and camera. All of my landscape work is derived from my experience in nature. I take many pictures, inspired notes and sketches. I combine these experiences in the studio and compose my work. Painting an idea can take on a life of its own, and I have found it is best to follow that muse rather than fight it." --Darien Bogart
DISCONNECT | Acrylic and Inktense pencils on canvas | 36" × 30"

"Viewing old photos opened the floodgates of memory for me. I started painting these figurative pieces, telling the stories of my difficult childhood. It was as though the paint could not hit the canvas fast enough. They became my healing journey, an absolution between me and my mother. The painting starts with a rough sketch of a pose and stylish clothing from one of the old photos. Symbolic items are added as the story grows." --Marla Thirsk
Poured Yupo Peony | Fluid acrylics with tape on Yupo | 13" × 19"

"Having been asked to do a demo pouring paint onto Yupo, I chose fluid acrylics rather than watercolors. I drew a peony, one of my favorite flowers, easy to draw and paint. To save white areas I used masking tape, then poured the first layer of paint. Additional pouring layers were created using blue painter's tape, which released easily, not pulling paint from the painting, and allowed paint to bleed underneath." --Deb Ward

Pima Cotton | Acrylic on PVC board | 11" × 15 1/2"

"I remember taking the photographic reference for Pima Cotton at a zoo. That in itself is unremarkable. It's the fact that this western cottontail was deftly hopping around feeding on grass under the hooves of a group of Burchell's zebras. As they walked around, the bunny seemed to want to stay in their shade in spite of being in peril of getting stepped on." --T.J. Lick
What Lies Beneath | Acrylic and heavy gel on canvas | 20" × 16"

"One of my most popular workshops is "Experimental Acrylic." What Lies Beneath began as a demo for my class using large swaths of thinned black paint to create a strong design. I allowed drips to form and the mostly rectilinear shapes were then filled with either heavy gel applied with a palette knife or brush, or thin glazes of transparent colors." --Kay Brathol-Hostvet
Learn more and claim your copy of AcrylicWorks 2 today!

3 - Still Life

Thursday, January 15, 2015

PEEKABOO BEAR - 3 (Chroma Flow Acrylics)

Step 5 - More color added to the red bear and the rug.

Step 6 - Now working on the light brown bear.

Step 7 - Here I've added the little brown bear and worked more on the other two bears.
This is really a fun painting - same techniques I usually use, just a very different subject!

Friday, January 9, 2015


At the end of each year I usually take a look back at what happened in the prior Art Year.

This past year my artwork was accepted into:
  • 121st Woman’s Art Club Juried Exhibit – The Anniversary Clock won the Winsor & Newton Award
  • Georgia Watercolor Society National Exhibit - Swirls
  • Hoosier Salon – Japanese Tea won the Outstanding Watercolor Award and sold that evening!
  • 46th Annual ViewPoint National Juried Exhibit – Swirls and Daisies on Daisies
  • The Artist’s Magazine 31st Annual Art Competition: Still Life/Interior (Finalist) “Oriental Roses (Acrylic), “Yin Yang Mums” (Watercolor)
  • Pennsylvania Watercolor Society’s 35th Annual International Juried Exhibition (received Signature) – Flights of Fancy
  • Watercolor Society of Indiana Annual Juried Show (received Signature) – Industrial Revolution
  • Two of my paintings have been published in the book Artistic Touch 6 – Red Paisley Scarf and Flights of Fancy
In addition, I held two workshops.

My plan for this year is to take time to simply produce more work, so I may not be entering as many shows this year.  It will depend on what I have available, and I’m not going to put myself under that “deadline” pressure.  We shall see!

My best wishes to all of you in your artistic endeavors this year.

Monday, January 5, 2015

PEEKABOO BEAR - 2 (Chroma Flow Acrylics)

Step 3 - Adding color around the bears (a little bit of negative painting) 

Step 4 - Adding more color to the background and rug.  Then I began painting the "peekaboo" bear!

Monday, December 29, 2014

PEEKABOO BEAR - 1 (Chroma Flow Acrylics)

Last fall when I went to the local antique fair one of the photos I took was a grouping of old teddy bears.

I decided this would make a fun painting and, since I needed to do some more work in acrylics for the Chroma paint trial, I decided to use the flow acrylics for this painting.

First step, as always, get that drawing onto the w/c paper.

Step 2 - wet the paper and add paint, allowing it to spread and flow.

Saturday, December 20, 2014


I've got a folder (somewhere on my desk) with copies of photos that I might like to paint one day.

Some of these photos are printed 4 or 6 to a page in thumbnail version so that I can keep checking on them and deciding if any are worthy of painting; some I've decided will probably become a painting at some time and so I've printed them 8.5x11.

Of course, when I decide to look through the folder, I usually cannot locate the folder.  (I would put up a photo of my desk but then either I would die of embarrassment or you all would die of shock, so I'm not going to do that!)

Once I do locate the folder and page through, I'm usually very under-whelmed by what I've previously selected to paint, so I go back to the computer to repeat this process.

(Are you beginning to get the "big picture" here?)

It doesn't help when you have a painting failure thrown into this mix.  As you know, a painting failure reflects a monstrous shadow on your soul and you just know you are never going to paint well again.  Ever.  So in order to make sure this occurs you just don't paint.  At all.  For a while.

Then, finally, the encouragement of friends and fellow artists gets the best of you and, once again, you decide that, well, maybe you can paint something.

This usually creates a need to go to your art books and magazines and pull a few off the shelf to thumb through.

Sitting with a cup of coffee and looking at pretty pictures will usually make me feel better.  Then I'll see a painting similar to one I've done (a successful one, that is) and then I begin to think "well, Deb, maybe you can paint . . . ."

With any luck I'll be sufficiently encouraged to . . . check out the folder, go through the computer . . . and start this whole procedure over again.

Such is the life of an "Artiste"!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Can you see the white one with his big orange beak!  (Top row on the right).  He's blinding in the sunlight!
Last Easter a friend purchased two ducklings and presented them to her great-niece.  Amazingly, her niece handed them back to her at the end of the day!  So they ended up coming back home with her.  And then, who knew, they ended up at our lake! 

(Gee, didn’t see that one coming!)

They were too funny – when placed in the water they flapped their wings and feet and ran so fast they actually did walk on water to get out of it!  They spent the first few days at their new home holed up under the rowboat!  Seems they finally decided they were ducks and I’d see them swimming around.  One was white, the other brown.

After a while I saw the white one frequently, not the brown one.  (Life in the country . . . )

Now that it’s fall, I see the white duck quite frequently swimming with the mallards that are passing through.  He (she?) doesn’t seem to befriend the mergansers, though.  Guess the mallards think it’s the King (or Queen) of ducks, judging by how much larger he (she?) is compared to them!

I’m hoping he (she?) makes it through the winter, but I do not have very high expectations.

Thought you might enjoy the photo!