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”

Friday, November 29, 2013


On October 25-27 the GCWS had a 3-day portrait workshop with Fran Mangino.

I did awful!  But it has spurred me to take some drawing classes, so that’s a good thing. 

Fran was a task master.  I’m sure that I learned more than I think I did, and that many of the comments are stored away in a compartment in my head; they will pop out at the appropriate time.  I don’t think I’ll ever be a portrait painter, even though I have done at least one that I’m happy with (my son-in-law).

While I meant to get lots of photos – of course – I only got a few!  Too much pressure!!!  And, since I was the hostess I felt obligated to make sure we had snacks, etc. in the a.m. and p.m. and did some light clean up each day.  However, here are what I was able to get.

I think these will be self-explanatory - as Fran moved through the process.

And - here is my painting - probably not complete but as done as it's gonna get!  I would like to do this one over at some point.

As usual, my good friend Rhonda, took some great photos and has lots of information on her blog.  If you would like to see information about the workshop, here are her links.

Monday, November 25, 2013


Here are a few of my students’ paintings – as I said before, I did forget to take photos as we went along, and by the time I remembered, only a couple of the students had their paintings with them – and one has already been framed and given away!

So – here are a the photos I did get (I think I got them right!)

Student #1

Student #2

 Student #3

Student #4

Student #5

I think they all did pretty good, don’t you!

Friday, November 22, 2013


We miskited the white holes in the strainer and counter area and anyplace that looked truly white.  I’m not a believer in leaving some white in your watercolor painting; if I don’t really see white, then I don’t leave it, simple as that.

We did miskit on the tomato highlights, but not the grapes.

I tried to remember to take photos during the process, but did forget and skipped some stages.
Here are the photos I did get:
Miskit applied, grapes started.

Grapes more complete, with pinks added, one/two layers of paint on tomatoes.

More layers on tomatoes.
Tomatoes complete, tomato reflections added, gray on counter top added.
"Marbelized" countertop completed, darks begun on strainer.
Shadows in lace, strainer complete, background complete, ready for deeper shadows.

Here is the photo next to my completed painting:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


When I went to the AWS show last summer there was a beautiful Sue Archer painting of a silver object with grapes and apples.  When I showed it to my students they “oohed and ahhed”.  When I told them they could paint that painting they all said “NOOOOOOO”.  So, to prove them wrong, I made a class project a similar painting.

I had discarded my stainless colander (what was I thinking, it would have been perfect for set ups) but had a stainless strainer basket.  I used that for the silver object, added grapes and tomatoes since we had already painted apples.  If the tomatoes look a bit small – they are the Compari vine grown tomatoes which are smaller than regular tomatoes, and the grapes were those big, juicy ones!  Anyway, I also decided to add a tiny bit of lace to the mix.

Here is the Sue Archer painting this painting is based on:

Here is the set up photo that we used for the painting.

Friday, November 15, 2013

5th Annual Watermedia Showcase

Today I’m sharing an exciting honor that I just learned about.

My painting Ying Yang Mums - the painting featured at the top of my blog (also in the 2012 NWS show) - was accepted into the Watermedia Showcase – I’m thrilled!

Until I saw my name “in print” on the internet site – see the “blurb” below – I didn’t really believe it.  I cannot believe that my painting placed, while paintings from some amazing and well known artists received honorable mentions.


I intend to enjoy my time in the spot light – you know how that light can fade quickly! 

From the Watercolor Artist Website:
The recipe for a good painting can be boiled down to seven basic elements: line, shape, form, space, color, value and texture. But a great painting possesses something else as well—an additional ingredient that draws us in again and again and continually offers up new discoveries to ponder and appreciate, something beyond a display of technical prowess. Just what that extra special quality is can be difficult to pinpoint, but the artists who took prizes in this year’s Watermedia Showcase have got it in spades.
Today, I’m happy to announce the names of this year’s winners!
Best in Show
Joseph Alleman
2nd Place
Xi Guo
3rd Place
Laurin McCracken
4th Place
Deb Ward

Honorable Mentions
Deborah Chabrian
Jill Krasner
Denny Bond
Johne Richardson
Mark McDermott
Keiko Tanabe
Laurie Goldstein-Warren
Chinmaya Panda
Ali Cavanaugh
Yuki Hall
In the coming weeks, my Watercolor Artist teammates and I will be working to put together the showcase issue (April 2014), which includes reproductions of all 14 exceptional watercolors as well as profiles of the prizewinning artists. The  issue will hit newsstands next year in mid-February, but subscribers will get the first peek around the first week of the month. (If you’re not already a Watercolor Artist subscriber, click here to subscribe today, and make sure you don’t miss this issue).
It was a highly competitive year, with an abundance of wonderful watercolor work. Congratulations to all who won this year, and best of luck to all those who enter next year’s competition!
—Kelly Kane, Editor-in-Chief

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


I then began painting the background and adding more detail to the petals.  I started this process using the inks I still had mixed up – at this point Barb would have been using her watercolors.

When I thought I had poured enough color in the whole flower, I removed all of the tape and miskit.

Then, using watercolor, I added some darks in the center and more detail to the petals – and I’m calling this one DONE!

Saturday, November 9, 2013


I continued adding tape, then pouring paint in this progression for the peony.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Here is another poured painting, using inks.  However, I used my usual technique rather than following Barb Sailor’s complete process.

Since I have painted this peony on more than one occasion, I have my original drawing.  I made a copy and enlarged it to half sheet size and then used my window as a light box to trace the drawing onto my paper (Arches 140#).

Then I used masking tape on the edges of some of the petals to keep some whites – I’m sure that most of them will be painted over, but I wanted that option - especially since I’m not sure just how dark I might get the inks.  I also used miskit in the center of the flower for the stamens (I think I’ve got that right!)

I then poured pink ink over the painting.