Sets of paint – I just love all the colors!  First picture shows the original Sennelier set of 8 half pans and the expanded set of 12 half pans that I upgraded to.  I use it for any traveling/outdoor painting.  Next picture shows my Cotman sketcher’s pocket set of 16 half pans – this was my first set and it served me well the first year – now my son is using it for his set.  Lastly the Lukas set with 48 half pans that I use for everything.  I’ve had the set for two years now and I love it!  So far, the only color I’ve had to refill is the sap green that I added.  I replaced the phthalo green with sap green because I like the yellow greens better for botanical painting.


Studio Set-up


This is how my desk usually looks when I’m painting.  This is the way I like to have my water, paints, and brushes set-up.  I may reference pictures of real flowers/animals/etc. – so my phone is handy for looking those up.  I have errasors, pens, pencils, paper towel, etc. in the assorted containers.


And, this is the rest of my “studio” space – my bedroom ; )  I have an ironing station because I do all of My Babes shirts and pants – he likes to dress professionally for work!  We spend time up here in the evenings after the boys go to bed.  He reads the news or listens to Old Time radio in bed, while I draw, paint, journal, etc. at my desk.



The best feature of this room is our his and hers clossets!  He installed those organizer shelves/racks so all our clothes can hang or be folded neatly – so great to have plenty of space for my wardrobe and I don’t have to share it with anyone ; )

White Watercolor


I played around with whites today.  I finally got the Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bleed Proof White that I’d heard works so well.  I’d been using opaque white gouache for adding finishing details and highlights to my illustrations, but sometimes it took many layers to get the opacity I wanted.  This bleed proof white is just what I needed!

New Travel Palette!


Do you remember *way* back to the sample of watercolors I got from Sennelier?  I squeezed all the paint in those sample tubes into some half pans so that not a drop would be wasted ; )  The paints were perfect primaries for mixing and I had fun playing around with the sample colors.


Then, my Aunt gave me the Aqua-mini from Sennelier and I’ve used it since as my travel palette – compact and equipped with a little brush – perfect for little sketchbook paintings.  My only complaint was that there wasn’t much space for mixing colors or making washes…so I put a MEEDEN paint box on my wishlist that would fit 12 half pans!


Now I have all my Sennelier half pans in one set together – and still in a small enough tin to take anywhere/anytime!  It has plenty of spaces for mixing colors and I keep my travel brushes inside too.  I’m so ready for spring and getting outside to paint again now!

New Tool!



I’ve finally bought a light box!  It’s super thin, so I can fit it between pages in my sketchbooks if I need to, and it has 3 brightness settings (low and medium shown above) for different papers…it’s awesome!  I don’t have to draw up against a window to get light any more ; )  And, it’s just in time for a big project I have to do this month!  YAY!



I’m trying out this little desk – unobtrusively tucked into the dining room!  We have a big dining room table and we entertain a lot of family and friends, so I needed something simple and compact.  I made this little “shelf-desk” out of plywood and 1×4″ boards.  It just sits on top of an existing table I’d had my plants on this past winter.  I still have my desk, HERE, that I love and use mostly in the evenings – but I wanted to utilize this beautiful light that comes in the window!  And, it’s nice to be close to everything happening at home during the day ; )

So, I have a daytime desk tucked into life downstairs…on a trial basis – oh, but I love that light!


New Tool



I got a new little tool this week!  It’s a lovely, smooth, brass Midori pencil case.  I go it because I thought it would be a great way to use up all our short pencils – The boys use so many pencils for school and I didn’t like throwing away all the pencil stubs!





Two days a week I wait while my oldest son does tutoring at the Dyslexia Center, then I also have half an hour while the boys are at their guitar and piano lessons…so, three afternoons a week I have “enforced productive creative time”.  I have a watercolor journal and slim tin for all my pencils/pens – they fit in my purse and go with me everywhere.  I can doodle, draw, or sketch while I’m waiting at my appointments.  Here’s just a couple pages from this month:


I usually wait till I get home to do the painting – but If I want to I do have a compact little travel set I could bring along ; )


I’m really enjoying this little journal – it’s a great size for travel, it opens nice and flat, good quality paper, and lovely cover – you can get one HERE.  The last page I did yesterday and I’ll paint tonight after the family’s in bed for the night.