March 30, 2017

Learn to paint the landscape loosely - it is the last Landscape class and I wanted to really shake the stiffness out of my students. I decided to have them do timed paintings of no more than 20 minutes. I used bright photos of landscapes and instructed them to paint only large masses of color and value. No detail or drawing was allowed. These are the photos I chose.

These are the results of the students' paintings.

 Observations: I was amazed at how good these paintings were. By painting the shapes and values only, a much more exciting expressive painting becomes possible.

March 28, 2017

How to paint a Furry Cat in Watercolor    

  1. Draw a rectangle on drawing paper.Use negative space (the space that is not the cat, ie. background shapes) to help place him into the rectangle.


2. Transfer to arches 140lb. watercolor paper by placing drawing on window letting light shine through to watercolor paper.

3. Place liquid mask in eyes to keep white

4.Mix 3 colors (Ultramarine blue, Alizarin Crimson, Aureolin Yellow)

5.Test colors first on separate watercolor paper and practice mixing until you have all the colors of the cat.

6.Wet paper beyond area you will be painting with big brush.

7. Paint cat with DRY brush of pure pigment little water, strong dark colors to get fuzzy effect.

8. Continue to form darks and lights on cat.

9. Let dry.

Demo of wet on wet to achieve fuzzy effect.

 Students 1st wash

10. Details in face only

11. Remove liquid mask with rubber remover.

12. Paint iris first in two values.

13. While wet, paint pupil and eyeliner with dry dark paint. 14. 14. Make sur...

March 25, 2017

Paint the Horse in Watercolor-

 This horse was painted from photograph

found on the internet. I started with good drawing. The eyes and the nose were hard to see, so I got some clear photos of horse's eyes and nose from the internet and practiced drawing and painting until I understood the anatomy better. Below is a sample of my practice.

Next I practiced the mane to see how I would handle the soft wavy fur. I used a lot of water on a tilt to accomplish the look. One of my students filmed me while I painted (see below). 

Once I had the problems resolved I started to paint. I start mostly wet on wet working the background and foreground at the same time allowing the two to be married. I try to work the whole picture, not completing one area more than another. The detail should be reserved for the face only in order to draw the eye there. See video for live demonstration.

March 23, 2017

Practice 10 minute paintings - This week my students painted 10 minute watercolors at the Vero Beach Museum.  Each student was given a colorful photo of  a bird with a brief time to sketch  onto the watercolor paper and mix colors. When ready, I set the timer for 10 minutes and said “Go!”.  Paint brushes were frantically swashing to cover the stark white bumpy paper before the bell rang. Losing edges  and getting the paint dark enough were common frustrations. Working within such a short time constraint, the students were able to resist overworking the painting.  With no time for fussing, the result was a more expressive and fresh painting. Below are some examples of bird perfection. Do try this at home.

Student Work

March 23, 2017

Tricks and tips to improve your watercolor painting.

March 22, 2017

Painting cabbage in watercolor - I have always wanted to teach my students how to paint cabbage. Cabbage is very challenging because it requires knowledge of values. Values are the darks and lights which form the object the artist wishes to paint. If the values on the cabbage are executed properly, the artist will not need to rely on line to define this lovely vegetable. Since this particular watercolor class is called “Loose and Free",  I had the students spray their paper with water first and then paint.  Below is the reaction of one of my students after I gave the instruction to wet the paper first. 

 Student Work

March 15, 2017

Make Horse Sculptures from Wire - We are having an exhibit at the Vero Beach Museum of Art on Deborah Butterfield. It is a fantastic display of horses, larger than life made with metal scrap pieces and some bronze that resembles found wood pieces. The students were amazed at the way she assembled these pieces to make such beautiful sculptures.


  • Aluminum Wire

  • Needle Nose Pliers with Cutter

  • Horse Skeleton Template

  • Block of wood 10" x 4"

  • Wood Stain

  • Sander

  • Drill


  1. Cut 3 lengths of wire 24" long

  2. Place one of the wires over the skeleton of the horse and form the head. 

  3. Twist wire to close head

  4. Form torso and bend tail

  5. Bend second wire in half and attach to torso where back legs attach

  6. Make a loop at each joint in horse leg (refer often to template)You should have two legs using the one wire.

  7. Attach third wire to front of torso where front legs begin on template.

  8. Loop at each joint. (the legs should be s...

March 8, 2017

Magritte inspired art project.


Magritte was a surrealist who was best known for his witty and thought-provoking images and his use of simple graphics and everyday imagery.This project is perfect for kids and teens. It did not go well with people with Alzheimer's, I think they are kind of living in a surreal world and this confusing to them.  I used the artist Magritte as my muse. His paintings are very intriguing and spark some interesting discussion. I got this lesson off of Pinterest. This is a great site for ideas. 


  • 2 Sheets of watercolor paper on the vertical

  • brushes

  • watercolors

  • tempura paint (white sky blue, black)

  • wet paper towel roll for clouds (Viva Towels are the best).

  • water container

  • tape

  • scissors

  • glue

  • marker

  • bird template

  • Magritte art samples

  • Magritte bio


On one sheet of watercolor paper, trace a bird with black marker.

Sign name on same side as tracing

Flip over

Paint whole sheet in...

March 6, 2017

Calligraphy Lesson for All Ages 

My good friend Carla came to my Intergenerational class to teach the art of Calligraphy. The seniors and teens loved it and did such a fantastic job. I decided to post this lesson so that I wouldn't forget how it was done.

Calligraphy Lesson


Two pencils taped together


Black fine permanent marker

Black Medium nib permanent marker


Colored Pencils

Bristol paper

Colored paper

glue sticks

Template of letters

Examples of Calligraphy


Practice copying a letter with the pencils

Keep the heel of your hand on the table at all times while resting the pencil in the cradle of your hand between your thumb and index finger.

Once you are confident, make a bigger letter of your choosing. 

Make a border on your bristol paper with tape.

Draw letter inside border.

Design the letter making improvements and decorative flourishes.

Color and mount on colored paper.


 Student Work

March 5, 2017

Rainbow Graphic Art Project for Kids 

I love this project. This is a fun colorful project to do at the beginning of spring.It is a great one to do with people that have limited mobility or Alzheimer's. Color has a miraculous cheering ability. Dick Blick's Liquid watercolors are so bright and pretty, a joy to work with. Be prepared for a lot of ooooh's, and ahhhhh's. .


  • Watercolor paper

  • Brushes #12

  • Liquid watercolors (Dick Blick)

  • Red, orange, yellow, blue, green, purple

  • Water container

  • Black construction paper larger than the watercolor paper

  • Scissors

  • Black Marker

  • Glue Sticks


  1. One watercolor paper draw a pattern across the paper vertically

  2. Put name on paper

  3. Flip over the paper and turn it horizontal.

  4. Make colored stripes in the order of the rainbow about 1 1/2 " thick.

  5. Set aside to dry

  6. Clean table

  7. Have students finish the sentence "Rainbows ......"

  8. Write their quotes and sign their name o...

March 1, 2017

Andy Warhol Hand Prints

Art Project-

Andy Warhol was a pop artist. He came up with the concept of using mass-produced commercial goods in his art. He called it Pop Art. Pop art is art based on modern popular culture and the mass media, especially as a critical or ironic comment on traditional fine art values.He would use commercial images and reproduce them over and over. One early example of this was a series on Campbell's Soup cans. In one painting he had two hundred Campbell's soup cans repeated over and over. Andy often used silkscreen and lithography to create his pictures.

Famous People Andy also used pictures of famous people. He would repeat the same portrait over and over, but use different colors and effects in each picture. Some of the celebrities he had as subjects include Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. 

Andy soon became a very famous celebrity himself. He opened a new studio called "The Factory". He not only worked on his art there, but had large parties with wealt...

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©2017 Watercolor painting in Vero Kim Weissenborn - Florida