Sunday, February 1, 2015

MONTHLY RECAP for January -- What I've Been Up To

The first month of 2015 was a surprisingly productive and creative month for me.  I spent most of January planning the year -- for me personally, as well as for my business.  I also put together my annual family photo projects, including a wall montage and an album.

I finished three paintings in January -- one portrait and two paintings from my October trip to Italy.

"Wading Egret in the Arno River", 22" x 30" watercolor by Pat Howard

I'm happy with this painting, and I think I may enter it in a few exhibitions this year, rather than putting it in the gallery right away.  We'll see . . . you never know what the jurors will like.

And my 2nd Italy painting . . . 

"Rooftops of Riomaggiore", 22" x 30" watercolor by Pat Howard

Finally, my latest portrait commission . . . 

In February, I have another portrait commission to paint, and I have plans for two more Italy paintings and a big floral bouquet painting, since I haven't painted one of those in awhile. 

I will also be conducting a beginner's workshop, here at my house/studio in Durango, on the 17th & 18th.  And, my upcoming California workshop in Long Beach is filling up, so I will be preparing for that, too.

For the blog, I'm excited about my Women Artists project that I started in January, and will be continuing with that.  The featured artist for February is Anne Francis Byrne, a watercolor painter from the 18th century.  


  1. Love your paintings, so full of light! Italy is a particular favourite of mine.

  2. Hello, Pat, from Poland. For almost a year I have been reading your blog regularly and doing various exercises to improve my skills in watercolour. I also sometimes invite my friends from U3A to join me and we do exercises together ( with me translating). We particularly liked negative painting with trees, some girls did your tulips, lilies and irises. It was great. Now we look forward to your lectures about women painting. And we have a request. Would you consider giving a small photo instruction how to paint faces and hair. The portrait of the lady above inspired us to try to portrait each other, but we feel we need some help.

    1. Hello, Bozena! Thank you so much for your comments -- I'm glad you are enjoying the blog, and even using it when you paint with your friends. I'm also happy to see that you are liking my new year-long project, with the women artists. Now, for your request -- I have been thinking about creating and posting a portrait tutorial. But, to be honest, I haven't figured out a way to do it in a simple, straightforward, easy-to-understand-and-follow way. I paint many portrait commissions (especially of children), but I don't want to use those for the tutorials, since they were private commissions. What I can do, however, is to show examples of the process (since I do take photos along the way), with color suggestions -- but, it won't be a step-by-step project, per se. Maybe that will help.

    2. Hello, Pat! Thank you for your response. I'm happy that you have been thinking about posting a portrait tutorial. I know that it is not easy to create it in a simple way, since there are so many points to cover. I have watched several tutorials on the web, but there are some things I would like to learn particularly from you. Firstly, your very smooth washes, that create skin of a peach really, so important mainly in a portrait of a child. How do you control your washes from the begining that you don't have too many brush marks on your painting? And secondly, your hair. Did you use masking fluid before painting the curly hair of the little girl and the hair of the lady above? These are the main questions I have and if you liked to answer them in your future tutorial, I would be extremely greatful.