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, October 31, 2011


While you enjoy looking at all of the paintings on the blogs noted below – I’ll be having fun accepting the dropped off paintings for the ViewPoint show at the Cincinnati Art Club!
Our shipped works have already arrived and now I get to see all of the works “up close and personal”. Show opens Friday evening and we are expecting a large crowd – join us if you are in the area – Friday, November 4 from 6-9, valet parking available and awards presented – 1021 Parkside Place (corner of Parkside and Martin Drive in Mt. Adams).

From the sublime to the ridiculous!

Chris Beck asked me to participate in a Halloween challenge, so how could I say no?
In defense of my terribly juvenile painting, I went with the idea that Halloween is for kids and on Halloween we all become kids. Put on a silly costume and you do instantly lose your inhibitions and become quite child like!
For years I would dress up like a witch and sit at the end of our driveway (which is more than a mile long, so we did not get trick-or-treaters at the house!) to pass out candy – dressed like a witch.
I’ve been out there in sweltering late season heat and frozen with snow on the ground! I’ve scared more than a few kids, chased some of the “non-believers” around their cars until they became believers, stopped traffic, had my photo taken, flirted with and dissed strange men and generally had a blast! The adults enjoyed it as much as or more than the kids! I even scared myself on a few occasions – you never know what could be lurking in the brush, and when it gets real quiet, no kids or cars around and it’s you all alone, there are certainly lots of sounds to be heard that can be attributed to any kind of strange beast (it is, after all, Halloween!).

Two incidents sadly put a stop to all of this fun. One year a girl on a 4-wheeler thought it would be fun to run me down and grab my hat. (Trust me, it was not). Then the next year a trailer loaded with thieving kids and their drunken parents (most of whom were related to the aforementioned girl) sealed the deal. I decided that it was not a good idea for a lone woman to be out alone after dark.

But it was fun while it lasted and I know I made an impression on many of our neighbors (including a very lasting impression on the drunks, unless they don’t remember it!)

So – enjoy my pitiful rendition of Halloween here, then go see some cool paintings at these other sites:
Challenge organizers:
Chris Beck:
Pablo Villicana Lara:

Participating artists:
Janet Belich:
Debbie Cannatella:
R. Garriott:
Jeanette Jobson:
Ron Morrison:
Diahn Ott:
Suzy Pal Powell:
Terry Rafferty:
Kay Smith:
Brenda York:

Friday, October 28, 2011


I’ve tried to keep the roses a bit lighter as they go up the page; I can always darken them later.
I also brought more blues into the teapot.

Now I have to consider the background colors.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Now it’s on to the roses and orb. This is slow going!
I worked on some of the roses and then the orb, which I think is finished – all of this minus shadows at this point.
However, I m afraid I’ve overdone the roses. Once again, all my tight, sharp lines – I’m going to try really, really hard to loosen up on the upper roses, if I can.
While wondering what color to use as the shadow, I accidentally got some violet into the pink – a tiny blob of cobalt blue violet was on the palette.
Serendipity! I had my shadow color!

Score: Painting 2, Deb 2

Thursday, October 20, 2011


However, I’m not in love with the Daniel Smith Genuine Lapis Lazuli. It was a lovely dusty blue the first evening, but overnight it morphed into some gray-ish blue-ish gunk. All I can think is that the gum Arabic has separated from the color, since when I squeeze it out it’s an ugly gray with a lovely blue streak. I have “kneaded” the tube until my hands hurt, to no avail. So, I’m pulling out the blue as best I can and later wiping away the very sticky gunk.

So when you look at this photo you will see the 2 colors from the same tube of paint! I double and triple checked that I hadn’t picked up the wrong tube, but there’s no way I did – it just kind of changed colors overnight.

After kneading the tube and then squeezing it out and separating the color from the gunk, it looks almost the same as the first night’s painting, but not quite. Who knew!????

And, to add insult to injury, one of my Daniel Smith tubes is solid as a rock – Genuine Smalt. I will probably cut that one open and use it like a pan. It may (or may not) be in this painting, since it’s a vibrant blue, maybe too vibrant for this one. And it does not resemble my free tube of Smalt from Winsor & Newton – not at all!

No wonder “they” say watercolor is the hardest medium to learn!

Score: Painting 2, Deb 1

Sunday, October 16, 2011


After getting some color onto the roses I switched over to the teapot and the new Silver Black Velvet round – wow, a big difference! After all my whining in the previous posts, I think I’m falling in love – with a brush! It is small and pointy and I am able to paint in the small spaces of blue on the teapot handily. It’s also great on the rose leaves which I’ve started.

Score one for me: Painting 1, Deb 1

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Since this paper is so soft, I decided to use some new brushes that I’ve been hoarding! I’ve got 2 brand new Winsor Newton – a #6 pointed round and a #8 round - plus a brand new Silver Black Velvet #6 round and an older Silver Black Velvet ¾ in. flat – all of which are quite soft.

I put all of my brand new brushes into clean water to dissolve the sizing on them and began painting in some cobalt with another old soft 2 in. flat – I think that it might be a Stephen Quiller, but the paint has chipped off.

In the meantime I made a swatch of colors I planned on using to decide on my pinks and blues. Several of the tubes refused to open! One was completely hard – a Daniel Smith color - which surprises me. Anyway, after holding a couple of the tubes under hot running water, I was able to unscrew the caps and try out the colors.

Finally it was time to begin painting with the new brushes!

And – the War began.

I always tell people not to fight everything, just one thing at a time. But, it would appear that in this painting I’m going to be fighting the paper (tooooooo soft), the brushes and the paint!

It would appear that these WN tiny pointed brushes morph into gigantic brushes when water is added. They made me think of those sponges you can buy that are shrunk up all tiny and hard but when you put them into water they expand and expand until you think they will fill the kitchen sink! The #8 round got at least 3X it’s original size! And, since all of the brushes are new they have a different feel so I’ve got to get used to that, too.

And I’m using different colors of paint that I’m not used to.

So I’m putting down the water which immediately wants to sink into the soft paper (did I mention that the paper is really, really soft?) with a very soft brush that I’m not used to which is holding and depositing more water than I’m used to and, even using the color swatch, paint that is morphing into a different color as it hits the paper - this one is really going to be a challenge.

So, right now, it’s Painting 1, Deb 0.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


After I had retraced all of my lines very lightly with a mechanical pencil I was ready to miskit some areas. However, as soon as I touched the miskit to the paper I knew I was in trouble; it sank into the paper. I immediately stopped and made a tiny test area on the outer edge of the paper to see how this would look. The miskit pulled up the paper on the test strip. I was in a panic and almost felt sick, having already spent so much time on this painting. I waited until the miskit was good and dry and then very, very carefully chipped away at it with a miskit eraser (rubber cement pickup). It came off pretty good, but, of course, there was one area where it pulled up the paper. Right in the middle of the orb.

(Please refer back to a recent post to see the word that formed on my lips!)

Well, I decided that if that was the only bad area I could probably proceed – WITH CAUTION! I’ve seen framed paintings with scrub outs and even small holes in them, so if “they” can do it, so can I!

Monday, October 3, 2011


Can you say PINK!

This photo wowed me (and my daughter!) so I decided to go for it.

Because I thought that this painting called for so many colors of pink, I decided to use watercolor for this one, since I have a lot of pinks in watercolor.

Once again, the painting was started from the photo and then redrawn. I decided to use some Fabriano paper I have had for a long time. In checking, this was the only piece like this I had, 300# with “Fabriano” embossed on it, but it doesn’t resemble any of the other Fabriano I have. It’s not Artistico, maybe it’s Uno which I don’t think they make any more?? Anyway, it’s a mystery and it’s very soft.