Stephanie Bower

Stephanie Bower | Architectural Illustration: | Sketching Workshops: | Sketches: & | Urban Sketchers Blog Correspondent | Signature member of the Northwest Watercolor Society

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Little Experiments

Painting in the studio setting is great practice, a way to figure out things that I'll eventually using in on location sketching.  

At this weekend's Northwest Watercolor Society retreat, Paint Out, on Samish Island WA, I spent the better part of two days experimenting with new colors and techniques, way out of my comfort zone.  Inspired by Shari Blaukopf's beautiful painting style, I used a lot of cerulean blue together with pyrrole orange--together, they make a beautiful neutral gray that glows when these two granulating colors dry into the nooks and crannies of the 140 lb. Arches watercolor paper.

So after some truly awful paintings of skies, oranges in still life, I went back to the landscape paintings of beautiful Washington state that I love to do...pretty much at the end of the weekend.  These are inspired by photos I take from moving cars, buses, and trains...lots of foreground with a focus on the tiny ribbon of activity near the horizon.  This beautiful state is the Nation's best kept secret!!

Beautiful Central Washington Fields
This image is a small 6" x 6", painted on Arches 140lb. Bright White CP, in only cerulean blue, pyrrole orange, quinacridone gold, and a bit of ultramarine and cobalt blues.


  1. It's a little gem. So different from what you usually do, but so much "you" just the same. I love the glow of that foreground which takes up more than half the space. You should do more painting.

    1. I always struggle between what is observed on site, or in the field.. and what is painted from my reference photos. My styles seem very different to me - time versus limited time. Each has its place, and it is only my own inner critic I have to silence. I love your "hand" or "style" or whatever one might call it, in either circumstance. :)

    2. ps my comment applies to both Shari and Stephanie... haha blogspot sometimes messes with me!