Mystery Technique

Mystery Technique #63



What’s the connection between this month’s technique and Mystery Technique #62? You can find out next month if you’ve signed up for email updates!




I started by applying white fluid acrylic paint to wet watercolor paper. Next I pressed part of a thin plastic bag onto the wet surface, manipulating the wrinkles in the plastic to make varied shapes. After the paint dried, I peeled off the plastic and glazed it with thin wet-in-wet watercolor washes. While the watercolor soaked into the white paper, it only stained the top of the white acrylic shapes, making it easy to lift and manipulate with a wet brush.

Announcements Classes/Workshops

Watercolor Workshop at Owl’s Hill and More!



It’s a beautiful time of year to visit Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary, and I’ve got a watercolor workshop there this Saturday!

Find out all the details here:







And on November 18, I’ll be at Plaza Artist Materials for a Natural Abstractions workshop. Learn more here:



Happy Painting!

Mystery Technique

Mystery Technique #62



Curious to know how this was done? You can find out about the special techniques I used if you’ve signed up for email updates; I’ll reveal the details next month!





These are 4 different views of a volvelle demo I made for a workshop I taught last month. A volvelle allows you to add a surprise twist to your story by slowly dissolving one picture into another, and it’s all made out of paper! Interested in making your own? Helen Hiebert’s Playing with Pop-Ups has templates and excellent directions. You can find animated versions of 2 volvelles from a wonderful pop-up book about Leonardo da Vinci here: read more »

Mystery Technique

Mystery Technique #61










Curious about these images? Watch for the explanation next month!



This is part of an experiment in various ways to “save” a circle before painting over it. I began by cutting a few circles out of clear contact paper, sticking them on hot press watercolor paper, and then rubbing them with my burnishing tool to keep paint from seeping under the edges. I painted the other circles with either a thin layer of permanent masking fluid, white acrylic ink, or yellow acrylic. After these dried, I got the paper wet and painted it with blue and green watercolor. I alternated layers of blues and greens with ribbon-like shapes of diluted yellow and white; removing the contact paper halfway through the process varied the depth of the circles. I used some of Daniel Smith’s PRIMATEK Green and Blue Apatite in the final layers for some texture and added shading to some of the circles for a little more dimension.



Announcements Classes/Workshops Exhibitions & Events

Workshops at Owl’s Hill, Watkins & More!




I’m delighted to announce that Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary is hosting one of my Art & Nature workshops on September 23! You’ll have the chance to make and decorate your own nature journal, go on a special kind of hike, and take a turn with The Box of Wonders; find out the details here:

My volvelle workshop at the Main Library is full, and you’ll have to wait until October for my Plaza workshops; but there’s still room in my 9-week Mixed Media class at Watkins on Wednesday nights! I’ll also be teaching a 2-day Natural Abstractions workshop on September 30 and October 1. Learn more about both here:

I got great feedback about my Installations at the Richland Park Library Branch, so it was sad to see them come down this week; there’s still time to see the ones at the Bellevue Branch, though!