Watercolor Washes that WOW!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Hi Everyone,

I love being part of different creative communities, and as a lettering artist, one of my favorite communities is my local calligraphy guild, the Scribes of Central FloridaSome Florida scribes who live more than an hour from where our guild meets recently founded the Ocala Calligraphy Guild, and I was honored to be asked to come give a workshop for the new society. What a delightful group of people!

The best part was getting to visit with members of the Zenspirations Color, Create, Pattern, Play FB Group. In the photo below, from left to right are: Genna Wangsness, Gail Beck, me, and my friend of 20+ years, guild president Alison Clement.

For those who would like a ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse at what we did in the workshop, here are some photos. I started by showing participants how to create an ombre wash, and then how to seamlessly blend two colors together to make a gradient wash.

We practiced these techniques in straight lines as well as in circles.

Next, I gave everyone a ‘Live in Color’ chart, printed on watercolor paper, and let them make their own color reference guides with the complete set of 48 colors of the Koi Coloring brushes. It’s a great way to practice creating small areas of ombre washes, and having a color chart helps you select the brush color you want.

Here’s a close up of what the squares look like when painted:

After practicing washes for a while, we moved on to painting flowers. Although I gave everyone the same flower, they all created their own uniquely colored bloom.

Here are a couple of closeups. I like the patterns added to this one:

And the extra petals this artist added are awesome!

After flowers came a lunch break, and then I showed everyone how to create a rainbow halo around their favorite butterfly. After the demo everyone got to work:

Here is a close up of Alison painting the rainbow halo around her butterfly.Here is a close up of Gail Beck’s finished butterfly.

I also showed everyone how to letter with the Koi Coloring Brushes… but there wasn’t time for people to really practice. Click here to see a short video of my writing a rainbow word using the Koi Coloring Brushes.

Before closing tonight, I wanted to share the birthday cards I made to help members of the Zenspirations® community celebrate their special days. This one is for my friend Nadine Schwartz, who celebrated her birthday April 3rd. Nadine likes Dangles, so I made her a Dangle birthday card:

Carol Friese, who’s birthday is Tuesday, April 4th, loves to color, so I made her a colorful card:

And Cassie Yde, who will celebrate her birthday on Saturday, is a television producer, so I tried to make her card look like an old-fashioned TV.

Hope you all have wonderful birthdays!

Last week I made get well cards for Valencia Pernell and Terri Brown, two core members of our group. Valencia had spinal surgery last week, and Terri needs surgery to put a pin in her broken foot. I’m sure they would be grateful for your prayers– and that a colorful get well message would help cheer them up and speed their recovery.  I’m going to create a folder in our FB group where you can post your Get Well Wishes. Feel free to include supportive and encouraging cards you are working on. We all benefit from sharing ideas.

I’m still tabulating the votes on how we should celebrate the 3 year ‘Blog-versary’. If you didn’t get a chance to share your thoughts yet, you can leave a comment on last week’s blog.

Stay Zenspired,



12 thoughts on “Watercolor Washes that WOW!”

  1. Hi Joanne!
    I am in love with all those colors!!! I’ll be practicing alot in the next several weeks while my foot heals! Thanks for your encouraging words and prayers, they are always appreciated!

    Love and hugs,

  2. I love that you featured the workshop you did for our guild in your blog! You got great pictures. Thank you again for making the trip up to Ocala to do the workshop! I’ve received many comments about how much everyone enjoyed it. Hope to see you again soon! ❤

  3. Dear Joanne,
    Thank you so much for sharing all of these wonderful ideas and giving photos and all. It helps to bridge the miles between us (since I can’t attend your workshops) and gives a better of idea of what can be done. I definitely want to try these ideas on my own AND with my art students. I know they will benefit greatly. The Color Charts are a fabulous idea for any art student!! All of your art videos are a wonderful, generous way of teaching us, as well. Thank you!! Also, your birthday cards and get well cards are such a blessing! I’ve always made cards for people since I was a little kid. And I’ve been trying to help my art students make cards for many occasions during the year. Sharing love, sympathy, encouragement and appreciation using our own unique talents and gifts is invaluable.
    Thanks again for all you’re doing! You’re such a joy and and inspiration!!

  4. As always, THANK YOU for sharing so much color….It has to be a HAPPY place with so much color!!!!!

  5. what lovely cards. My birthday is tomorrow on the 5th, so I will pretend that the card like Nadine’s reads Nancy.

  6. I’d love to take a watercolor class with you! if you ever come north towards maine . . . . . . these look great!

  7. As always, you never disappoint. What a wonderful, cheerful, and lovely colorful post!
    I bet everyone had an awesome time with you. I’m gonna have to plan a road trip to FL this year. I would love to attend one of your events. Huge Hugs to you my friend,

  8. I love seeing what your group did with the Koi watercolor markers! Such bright and beautiful colors, just make me feel happy! I definitely plan to practice these techniques and I’m looking forward to trying the rainbow halo effect…..so creative and colorful.
    Thank you for your generosity, in ALL things! You are a treasure to all of us….
    Sending love and blessings!
    Mary Anne

    P.S. You and Sam are in my prayers, as you head to CO and I’m praying the scary weather is done by then!!

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