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”

Thursday, October 24, 2013


I began to paint the spikes using watercolor (a blend of dark blue and dark brown for the black and quin. rose for the pink) and tried to lose the whites along some of the edges of the leaves.  I used a mix of sap green, hooker green and some turquoise to mix a green that approximated the color of the ink.  I also decided that some of those lines I had miskited in on the leaves were too stark and had to go, so I began softening some of those areas with the Magic Eraser (as Barb did) and adding some yellows to lighten some areas, and some green to darken some of the lines.

Working leaf by leaf and making adjustments darker or lighter, I worked around the agave.  I decided the white highlights on the leaves were too stark and used a thin watery mix of my greens to dumb them down.  I also darkened some of the area behind the leaves.

I consider this one complete, and a satisfactory rendition of Barb’s technique.  I don’t think it’s nearly as good as the original w/c agave – photo below (which I hope I locate again some day).

It was fun to pour since I haven’t done that in a while.  Now I’m going to pour a peony using the inks and see how that one goes – just going to do it the way I would normally. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Once that had dried, I decided to add some of those lines that appear on the agave leaves and miskited those in.  Then I added another layer of greens, slightly darker in some areas.

Since it would be a while before I got back to the painting, in order to keep the ink from drying out, I poured it into some small bottles with lids.

At this point in her painting, Barb began painting in watercolor.  However, I just couldn’t let that ink go to waste, so I painted a layer of ink at this point, using it just like I would watercolor.  When that layer dried I removed the miskit.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Several years ago I had painted an agave in watercolor.  It was poured, everyone loved it (including me!) but now . . . . I cannot find it – anywhere.  So far this is the only painting I have lost and considering what a mess my house is, that’s an amazing feat.

So, now I’ve painted another one, using the same photo, and attempted Barb Sailor’s  technique.  I’m used to using fluid acrylic, but Barb thinks that acrylic inks have more punch, and judging by the resounding colors in her paintings, she is probably correct.  The only inks I have are the Ph. Martin Bombay India inks which I had used previously on the glass bottles.

First I used the tracing I had from my original painting and traced it onto a half sheet of watercolor paper (Arches 140#).  Barb used miskit to outline each leaf and any additional whites she wanted to retain. 

She uses Pebeo Drawing Gum which is what I usually use; if I run out I’ll buy Winsor Newton and prefer the original yellow over the white which dries “invisible”.  I’ve only had a problem one time with the Pebeo going bad – it will last a long time if I make sure it has a tight seal.  I’ve found that the WN white goes bad quickly – as a matter of fact, any of the white miskits seem to do that - I don’t know why.  The WN yellow seems to last but not as long as the Pebeo.  Also, the Pebeo has a depression in the cap that you can pour your miskit into.  Since I’m not able to buy Pebeo locally I order it from either Jerry’s, ASW or Cheap Joe.

Once the miskit had dried I poured some green inks into some small plastic cups and added some water.  I added some turquoise to one of the greens, and also poured some blue into a cup.  I already had my pre-mixed yellow green – if you will recall my fiasco with the inks a while back!  

Then I wet the paper by spraying it – Barb used a brush.  Using my greens in a pipette I dripped the greens around the paper trying to keep the colors contained by the miskit like Barb did.  I was not very successful with that!

Monday, October 14, 2013


Flights of Fancy
The WSI annual juried show is hanging at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, 4000 Michigan Road, Indianapolis, IN – a gorgeous facility, light filled, magnificent paintings. Mike and I drove up Sunday and had lunch (a “Monet Salad” – even though Matisse is the featured exhibit!!!!) in the IMA café before taking a look at the show before the awards ceremony. I think it’s so much better to really view a show when no one is there!

Then it was to the lecture hall where the awards ceremony took place. New signature members were introduced first, then award winners. As our name was called we went up onto the stage while our painting was displayed on the theater screen – my painting looked great in HUGE mode!!! We were given our awards and read what Pat Dews had to say about our paintings, then we waited off to the side – after all awards were handed out we had our group photo taken – the worst part of any awards ceremony – I always get pushed to the front since I’m short – and I always take the worst photos. Oh well . . .

Then we headed upstairs to the exhibit. Since we’d already seen it I just wanted to go back up and take another look at the winners in person, and chatted with a few people. Then it was time to return home – and we didn’t get lost – (I always get lost in Indy) – except for going the wrong way in the parking lot!!! In all fairness, it wasn’t just me, there were other people backing up and turning around, too!!!

My painting “Flights of Fancy” will hang from October 13 until December 1 at the IMA – second floor – turn left and enter the tall glass doors, then turn right and walk to the end of the hall – past the Matisse exhibit (‘cause, gee, who’d want to look at HIS paintings when there are fabulous watercolors at the end of the hall –LOL) – look for the sign on the right hand side and there are all of the pictures lining the end hallway.

Mine is second from right.

I’m hanging in a MUSEUM! Next to Matisse and not far from paintings by Georgia O’Keefe and Norman Rockwell! I’m so impressed (LOL!).

Oh yes – here is what Pat Dews had to say about my painting: “This painting is impeccable in its skill and contains outstanding paint quality.  It is a very strong painting with excellent composition and movement."

Here are some of the other paintings which Mike and I liked - before we saw the winners!   And guess what - we picked several of them, too!  (These photos aren't great due to glare on them).

The Time Keeper, Teresa Altemeyer
Wilbur Meese Memorial Award - top winner. 
Obviously I liked it before I knew it was a winner since all photos were taken before the awards ceremony!

Girls - South Kenya Tribe, Jean A. Smith

La Cathedrale de Sainte Anne A Sens, Robert L. Bratton

Breaking Point, Robert A. Meyers
Founders Award

Historic Reflections, Cheryle Lowe
WSI Past Presidents Award
This one is amazing!

Polished Gems, J. Anna Roberts
Another amazing one - but, sadly, not an award winner.

Mykonos Moment, Paula Dearringer
Floyd Hopper Award

Maine Course, Jeanne McLeish

Spotted Turtle Composition, Brian Gordy
Hoosier Award of Excellence

Prairie Hunter - Cheetah, Dorothy Chase

Thursday, October 10, 2013


I received the 3rd Place Award in the current Georgia Watercolor Society's Annual Juried Members Show!

My painting was "Red Zinger".

Monday, October 7, 2013


Here is one of the paintings Tina brought to show us her floral work
Here are paintings from the other artists.
Set up and completed painting

Here is the set up . . . .

Here is the completed painting

This woman did great work - she is a colored pencil artist - can you tell!

Drawing and painting in progress.

Set up and painting in progress.

This painting utilized the set up above.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Tina gave a demo painting a ginger jar with flowers.

At the end of the demo, one of the students asked if she could finish the painting Tina had started, and Tina told her to have at it!