Creating visuals to accompany text is at the heart of illustration. I love when multiple mediums come together to give an impression. When words of a quote are paired with a scene it can create even more resonance and impact.

This project was painted for my best friend, a soon-to-be counselor, for her future office. It was so fun to pick the colors for this piece that not only captured the scene but also fit with her style and office palette.

The granulation in the sky is my favorite. It’s a combination of Vivianite and Azurite, both Poems About You handmade mineral watercolors, with the addition of Maya blue by Ruby Mountain Paint Co.

The finished piece was matted which gives some weight to the white space.

Illustration on White, 5×7″ (paper size left at 8×10″)
White mat add on
Paper: Arches Cold Press
Paint: Winsor & Newton professional, Poems About You mineral, Ruby Mountain Paint Co.

It’s not every day you get to paint an idyllic vineyard wedding venue in watercolor and ink as a matching set! I pretty much swooned as soon as I heard the words ‘neutral sage greens’ and got a peek at the reference photos.

To celebrate their 10th anniversary, my client commissioned this beautiful set featuring two scenes from their wedding venue. I just love the idea and might copy it for myself! (Matt and I will celebrate 10 years in 2022!)

The biggest feature of this arbor is the depth of the vines twisted about. I realized it was going to be too overwhelming to tackle with paint first since both shapes and colors were working together to build this depth. Instead, I focused on outlines first to get my shapes in order – detail in the foreground and the bunches of leaves in the background. Once I got the ink set I could bring in my color and focus on the way the light danced around and created depth.

Before even starting on this first piece though, I did focus just on color. I maybe used this commission as an excuse to buy and try a few more greens…Good thing because I ended up settling on oxide of chromium from Windsor & Newton watercolors for my green. Here are the leaders of my final palette!

In addition to those four main colors, I used some naples yellow and yellow orchre to tone my green a bit and brought paynes grey in for some shadows. (All Windsor & Newton Professional Watercolors)

My mixing chart for figuring out just the right green might have gotten a bit out of control…pictured above is one of my TWO full sketchbook pages filled with green/yellow watercolor mixing charts!

After finishing up the arbor, I started painting number two without skipping a beat. This scene included the winery in the background and had a terrific view down the vineyard.

Making this matching pair was such a joy. I had lots of fun creating a cohesive palette and painting such luscious romantic views. Seeing the two paintings side by side was incredibly satisfying!

Full Background Illustration (ragged edge), 8×10″
Paper: Arches cold-press watercolor paper
Paint: Winsor & Newton Professional, Daniel Smith Artist, Ruby Mountain Paint Co.