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”

Sunday, October 31, 2010


The purpose of this exercise was for the students to build layers and shadows for deep, rich color.
All of the students did a great job!

As an aside - this Friday is the ViewPoint opening so, needless to say, I'll be more than a little busy all week, so I'll put up a post this weekend or beginning of next week, that will deal with the show.

Hope that those of you who live in the Greater Cincinnati area will be able to either attend the opening or visit the show while it hangs!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


The red rose is layers of the same colors as the coral rose (Quin. gold, Quin. coral and Quin. rose) with some Quin. red, Quin. magenta and ??? (I forget!!!). Again, indanthrone in the shadows.
The green in the stems is Quin. gold, sap green, indanthrone blue and various combinations of those colors.
I softened some areas when they were dry to fade some of the hard edges.

Monday, October 25, 2010


The coral rose has the most layers, beginning with some Quin. gold. I added Quin. coral, Quin. rose and then played with adding them as needed. I believe I used some indanthrone blue in the shadows.

Friday, October 22, 2010


These next few posts are some roses that I began painting as a class demonstration last spring. I had never fully completed them, and just recently took the time to do so.

My plan was to paint yellow and red, but then the class wanted pink and coral too! So, the first is a combo yellow/pink.

This rose has a base of Quin. gold, and then to the yellow side I added some hansa and cadmium yellow with green as the shadow. The pink side is some Quin. rose and a bit of blue, I think I used indanthrone blue, in the shadow.

Monday, October 18, 2010


On my recent cattle post, Christiane Kingsley noted she had never heard of Red Devon cattle.
Then, in my recent classes, we painted one of our cows, Erin. For some reason, the ladies were fascinated by her and wanted to know more about her and Red Devons in particular.

Red Devon cattle came over with the Pilgrims - you can eat them, milk them, use them for draft purposes (like ox) and tan their hide - all purpose cattle!

They also make great grassfed beef due to genetics (or so we are told!) They are also docile and a bit smaller than most cattle. I could go on and on – apparently they are the “wunderkattle” of the cattle world!!!

As far as docile – the 2 times they have gotten out of the electric fence they have stayed close by – including walking down the drive to the house! The other time my husband just let them stay where they were and moved the electric fence to re-enclose them, then moved them to another pasture!

Now, cattle have a “flight path” or "flight zone" - defined as a cattle's personal space. When you penetrate the flight zone, the animal moves. This distance that will vary from cow to cow. Our cows’ flight zone is “contact!!” My husband can walk right up to them, pet them, touch them, whatever! We went to a seminar to learn how to move the cows utilizing the flight zone – but I don’t think he will ever have to use that information! If he carries the bucket that he puts the alfalfa tablets in (like candy to our cows!) they just come running! My fear is that they will crush him while attempting to get to the bucket!

The only time we have had a problem (so far) is when he got 3 new cows and they got scared and took off. (Their journey from Tennessee being pulled in a trailer behind my son’s pickup, going 80 MPH down the highway MIGHT have had something to do with this sudden fear – I’m just sayin’). Mike and my son recovered 2 in a couple hours, but the other was gone a few days until the neighbor got her into his barn and they could retrieve her.

We are hoping next year for our first slaughter and will try the meat ourselves before we give it to any other “guinea pigs”! Our beef will be completely grassfed – absolutely no grain of any kind – and so far my husband is achieving his goal! I’ll keep you posted!!

(Of course, our farmer neighbors think he’s nuts!)
p.s. They may have reason to think he’s nuts other than this cattle thing, though!

Friday, October 15, 2010


Lisa Walsh is a wonderful painter, so eager to learn and then willing to teach us as she goes along – and she’s funny, too!

A recent post of hers (October 11, 2010) dealt with the issues of photo reference vs. reality and drawing vs. tracing. I’ve been seeing a lot of posts regarding these issues lately; seems there are 2 very unified sides.

Now, I don’t usually jump into the fray, but it bothers me that these issues keep coming up - so, here I go with my 2 cents worth!

Regarding using photos as reference and either tracing or projecting - it's quicker and easier to transfer, just be careful about what to leave out and what to put in. Unless you love drawing, just get those "main lines" true and fill in the gaps. I think you would be surprised at how many artists do this - and I think that if Leonardo and Michael(angelo) would have had digital cameras and projectors and printers they would have used them! (And you have probably heard of the "camera obscura"??) You will have more time for painting, which you love!

If you love drawing - DRAW!

Since I'm not a plein aire (fancy French for "outdoor" - where reside bugs, ants, bees, rain, heat, wind and pesky pestering people, to name but a few things) painter, photos pretty much are my references.

I agree, we could probably all benefit from some more drawing time; can't hurt! And I’m doing more value studies which, when I follow them (LOL!) definitely help my paintings.

Here's a quick tip - if you like to draw faces - while watching TV push the "pause" button and grab a pencil and paper and draw faces!   News anchors, your favorite actors, commercial actors, maybe even an animal or two!  You can make it a quick study or something more formal; it's a great learning experience.

As far as exact color rendition in a painting - depends on what you are going for - some things demand to be recreated exactly, some things don't.

Just look around - there are SO MANY ways to paint - from abstract to photorealistic - do what you enjoy!

My personal belief is this - in true artistic fashion - do what feels comfortable for YOU - forget what ever "they" say to do (or not to do).

If you feel like you have to follow a set of rules, that you are “cheating” if you don’t do certain things, you will cease to enjoy your painting time.

We all paint for a different reason – a hobby, to win awards, for therapy – so paint the way you want – draw, project, trace – paint abstract or photorealistic or anything in between!

Ignore those who look down their nose and say you are doing it wrong when you don’t do it their way – don’t let them kill your joy - to each their own!

Enjoy your own process and enjoy what you do.

Paint for YOU because you want to; have fun; use rules or throw them out the window.

If you are satisfied with your work; if it looks the way you intended for it to look; if it makes you smile or feel proud when you look at it, then, pretend you are a Nike™ commercial and “Just Do It!”.

And now, no doubt I will be bombarded with comments – hope most of them are “pro” rather than “con”.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Final rendition – certifiable for Christmas card!

Not sure how often I'd want to use this medium, but at least I'm not afraid of it any more!
Glass Ornaments, 8x10 watercolor board, Gouache

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I had trouble with the bottom ornament, not sure how to handle it and it began getting “dirty” since I got impatient (not like me!) and went into it again while wet. I used the hair dryer and touched it up.

Friday, October 8, 2010


Then working on the ornaments, one by one.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I had never painted with gouache, so here is my first foray into this medium – Gary Keimig look out (LOL!).
I think this will be fine for a possible family Christmas card (even though my husband’s critique was “what is it?” and then “it does nothing for me”). Hmmmmmmm . . . .

First step was the silver tray.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Opening:  November 5 - 6 to 9 p.m.
Location:  Cincinnati Art Club, 1021 Parkside Place, Mt. Adams (Cincinnati) Ohio

Around these parts, ViewPoint is considered a “big deal”, because, while it is a national show, it is local for us. We had a good number of entries from Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky – guess they figured that if they are accepted they can drive their painting here and don’t have to ship it.

ViewPoint is also an interesting show because it is so varied – we are not all watercolor, or pastel or oil – we accept most media, including sculpture.

The ViewPoint 2010 show has been selected by our juror, Nita Leland and she did a wonderful job! All of the acceptance and (sadly) rejection letters are in the mail, about to make some folks happy and some sad. But, that’s life and art shows!!

I’ll be looking forward to seeing all of the paintings come in by the end of the month, and then will look forward to finding out who will receive awards (that’s exciting!). And then I’ll look forward to the opening night. And then, I’ll look forward to a little relaxing!

Good luck to all of you who entered and were accepted!