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, September 7, 2017


After removing the miskit and scrubbing in a few spots, I think the painting is finished.

Fiesta, 22x30, Watercolor, Arches 300# CP

Thursday, August 31, 2017


Remember that teal blue bowl in the center of the page from the prior post?  Note that it is now cobalt blue.  Since I wasn't sure, when starting, what color that bowl should be, I began with a light glaze of the cobalt teal, ensuring that I could easily change colors if necessary.  

This was an easy fix - some are harder - but you CAN make changes in watercolor, contrary to what you have probably been told!

There are several glazes of color on the dinnerware.  I deepened some of the shadows on the dinnerware and then it was time for the shadows on the background.

The shadows were added, making sure that I used just a touch of the color of each saucer and cup in the shadow.  Then I "lived with it" for a while before deciding if it was finished.

There are still some small bits of miskit on the painting at this point - something which I had forgotten about.  Having been on for so long, some of the miskit was difficult to pull off - to be honest, some may still be on there!  In a few spots I used an Xacto knife to cut off the miskit.

Thursday, August 24, 2017


My next project was started during my annual art retreat back in June.  The subject is fiestaware (at least I think that's what it is) and the photo was taken during a visit to the local antique mall/outdoor show that occurs from May - October at the local antique fair.  The simple arrangement and colors are what attracted me - so I decided early on that there will be no background.

The dinnerware was drawn onto a full sheet of Arches 300# w/c paper and then I began glazing the colors.  

The first photo was taken after the painting was underway - apparently, once again, I forgot to take photos as I went along!  Well, this time who can blame me - it was, after all, our annual art retreat so there was talking, laughter, show and tell, gift giving, eating and - oh yes - a little painting, too!  In other words, I was too busy to "work"!

I began glazing the colors and you will note that the small bowl in the center, below the tan bowl, is cobalt teal.  Remember this . . . .

 I couldn't decide what color to make that front cup and saucer, but finally opted for cobalt blue and french ultramarine.

Monday, July 3, 2017


I made some scarves (with a slightly modified pattern).  Again, I chose a color that reminded me of each of them and my friends all agreed that the scarf they received was truly "their color".

Last, but certainly not least, came the gift I was most excited about.

My son does wonderful woodworking so I asked him to make these beautiful trays for me to give as gifts.  The bonus was that he made one for me - free of charge!

Once again, the time passed too quickly, but we chose our dates for next year and will all look forward to our time together then.

Thursday, June 29, 2017


Here are a couple more treats for my friends.

I found the cute pattern for cup shaped coasters, and then had to make "saucers" also.  I assigned a color to each friend!  Now they have 8 coasters!

Then I couldn't find boxes to fit the coasters, so I made some myself from watercolor paper!  You can see one box with the coasters nestled inside (below).  Originally I tried to make origami boxes, but got my measurements off, so that was a complete disaster.

I then cut simple boxes and taped them together.  Well, you can't have plain white boxes, now, can you??  So then I decoupaged initials and something that made me think of each of them.  Maybe they will use those boxes to store the coasters and think of me this year!

Then, to keep with my original origami idea, I make some little origami cranes.

If you are able to make them without watching the YouTube video - you are a total genius in my book!

Monday, June 26, 2017


Of course presents were exchanged.

Since I have been heavily into crochet, most of mine were crocheted objects, but not all.

Here are baskets I made - different sizes and shapes - one for each of my friends.  Some began using the baskets right away - filling them with pastel pencils or pens - or their drink glass!  I told my friends to use them until they "dissolve"!  I'm still new at this and not sure I always finish off the way I'm supposed to.

Another gift was a neat journal I found last year just after that retreat.  I'm just proud of myself that I was able to keep track of them and not lose them over the course of the year!  The one below is one I kept for myself; the others all had different designs.  These are nice because they have a zipper where you can store your pens.

Thursday, June 22, 2017


It's that time of year again - time for our annual art retreat!

Here is SOME of what I took - which does not include more bedding
my duffle  bag, two coolers and some food!
This year the retreat was only one hour away - hooray - but also meant I had to drive ALL THAT WAY by myself!  Haha!

Thursday, June 15, 2017


Here are the patio chairs again!  (Final time, I promise!)

I left this painting at this stage to show my classes how important value is.

We joked that only "Flat Stanley" could sit on the chair on the left - but the chair on the right now has depth - we could sit down on that chair!

So many struggle with value.  This picture shows a dramatic "before" and "after" on how to use value easily and effectively.

Thursday, June 8, 2017


More photos of the continuing process . . . .

I think it's finished - it's in the "live with it" stage now!

Thursday, June 1, 2017


At about this point in the development of the painting, I was asked to give a presentation to the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society.  I stopped here for a couple of weeks so that I could make this painting my demo.  (Click to go to the article)
At the GCWS meeting, I showed them how I did the colors on the dish towel, and how to paint the egg realistically.  I also added some color to the letters.

Then it's just a matter of moving on through the painting, inch by inch!

Thursday, May 25, 2017


After some deliberation, I decided to paint this one using fluid acrylics.

I put a thin line of miskit around the edges of the eggs.  I like Pebeo Drawing Gum, which is the gray line you see in the photo.  Then I put down a piece of blue painter's tape along the edge of the carton and began painting

I used a piece of sponge to get the stippling effect on the dish towel.
Now it's time for some real fun - C O L O R.  And, for me, the added fun of the preciseness of the letters!

It was also fun to mix colors to get as exact a representation of the actual colors on the carton as possible.

Thursday, May 18, 2017


One day at my local Kroger store, I spotted this carton of eggs in the cooler.  It screamed to be painted - so I had to buy it.

When I got home I placed the carton and some eggs on a dishtowel and took numerous photos and chose this one.

Once again, I ran the photo through my camera program for a line drawing which I traced onto my watercolor paper.
Then, once again, it took a lot more time to draw in more specifics before I was ready to paint.

After more drawing, from the photo, the painting is finally ready to begin.
BTW - the eggs are delicious!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017


My friend's daughter and new baby came to visit her.  So  how could I not go to see the new baby! And of course, another gift would be in order!

As I've mentioned before, I am all about the crochet right now.  So I looked through patterns that come to me via email, and I found one for little sandals.

These were just too cute not to make!!  I did make a couple of slight modifications.  I made the tie straps longer for ease of tying a little bow.  Then, the pattern called for wrapping the toe area several times, but I just used a piece of yarn, wrapped it a couple times and tied a bow.

I've got so many skeins of yarn now, in various stages of use, so I want to use up as much as I can. Since the pattern called for a double sole - yikes, the child will not be walking for months, but these soles are rugged!!! - I used yellow on the bottom and pink on top.  That way I could easily use the multi-colored yarn for the rest of the shoe and it would all coordinate.  May as well teach her about coordinating outfits early on!

Here they are - and they almost fit her little tiny feet!  In another month or so they should be right on - just in time for the summer fashion season!

The pattern for these sandals can be found at

Thursday, April 27, 2017


Shadows were added, more definition between bricks and darks inside chair backs.

The greens of the grasses and leaves started.  The chair shadows have also been darkened.
Some definition to the background foliage has begun.

Thursday, April 20, 2017


Next comes a series of layers.  It is very important to let the painting dry completely between washes.

Next I began to show the bricks with quick swipes of color.
Then more definition of the bricks and beginning to add the shadows and grass areas.

Thursday, April 13, 2017


After the drawing was finished I did pour red/yellow/blue onto the paper and let it run together.

Then I began painting around the chairs - negative painting - with an under coat the color of the bricks.

Thursday, April 6, 2017


Several  years ago I took some photos of wrought iron patio chairs at a local herb farm.  

Originally I thought I would pour this photo, but after looking it over again I decided direct painting was the way to go!

I printed out the photo in line work and enlarged it.  Even so, there is still a lot of drawing in that needs to take place before painting can begin.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


A friend who paints with me regularly was making fun of my very slow progress on these leaves . . . until . . .  she began a painting of a cactus.

Ah ha - - - she found out that, even though you set out to work in one area, you notice something that bothers you in another area, so you go over there to paint, then you realize you didn't paint the area  you thought you should paint, so you go back there, until you realize another area on the other side of the painting needs help . . . . well, you get the idea!

And, sometimes, you see a spot that needs "help", you get paint on your brush - and then find yourself sitting with your brush mid-air, having no idea where you are supposed to put the paint that is on your brush!!!

It's not as cut and dried as it looks!!!  Haha.

I think it may be done - or else I'm just done looking at it!

Thursday, March 16, 2017


Gradually  more color is added to show placement of the leaves - above and below each other.

Thursday, March 9, 2017


Moving slowly around the painting, I'm gradually adding color to the leaves.

Thursday, March 2, 2017


This painting is from a photo taken a few years ago out my living room window.  The sun was hitting the branches of the oak tree, making them glow.  Not sure I will be able to capture that completely, but here goes!

First I traced the photo (I know, cheating . . . ) but - then it took me several hours to carefully compare the photo to the tracing, adding and erasing lines as necessary, until I had all of the leaves.

Then I added the blue sky and greens of possible leaves in the background.

And, by the way, the paper used here is a print paper, not technically a watercolor paper.  It has the properties of hot press w/c paper, and is acid free.  Sometimes I like to use different papers, just to try them out.

Thursday, February 23, 2017


This car is out of the garage and ready for the open road - finally!

I'm satisfied with it, although it is not my best work.  It conveys the reflections I was going for, so I accomplished my goal.