The Gardener | new watercolour for April art auction!

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In just one day I will be auctioning off my latest piece! *yaaay*

I am very excited about this painting not only because I absolutely love the way it turned out (it’s okay to toot your own horn once in a while!) but also due to the fact that I used some new techniques…

Almost all of the colours in this painting were mixed from two sets of Daniel Smith primary colours: one warm and one cool set. I used a couple of Golden QoR as well. Mixing most of the colours like this taught me patience and I was able to create more subtle tones. It was challenging and freeing!

You can see pictured below my two sets of primaries in my tin at the top left and a few other neutral Daniel Smith colours at the end. The bottom row has six Qor colours of which I used only two mixed with the DS colours at times. I wonder if I will ever fill out my palette! I did a lot of research on watercolour tube companies before creating this palette and found that I really love what I chose. I didn’t want to jump on the DS bandwagon without trying a bit first and doing some research. It certainly paid off. ❤ In the top right you can see a bit of the colour swatch chart I created from these colours. It’s beautiful in it’s own right and made colour mixing come to life for me! The rock? Well, it’s handy to hold papers and I just love rocks/minerals. They are all over this house. 🙂

I wasn’t happy with the way my trees were looking so I decided on another approach. I methodically ripped watercolour paper to create the treetops and painted them while leaving the ripped areas white. I loved the way it looked so I decided to balance this element out by doing the same with my soil and new seedlings along the bottom.
I decided to use the salt technique on the trees and soil only. It gives them texture without overwhelming the piece which I find can happen if salt is used too liberally (personally speaking). I was unsure at first as to how I was going to make these paper piece look like trees and then I decided to make each one a big leaf. I love them! It also created another unifying element with the leaves in other parts of the piece. OH gosh. I just love the salt effect here. It brings the subtle textures of soil to life without making a painted mess of it all. And I just love seedlings! I get so excited when planting time comes to my own garden and those first little seedlings and the one true leaf comes to life! Such wonder!The painting was coming together but was still in its ‘ugly phase’. Juliette Crane speaks about the painting process and how one piece is made up of years of practice and experience in one of her Instagram posts. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Thanks, Juliette! 😉

Sometimes when I look at a finished painting, I forget just went into making it work. It’s easy to assume it just fell right into place. It’s also easy to forget that it took painting hundreds of other pieces first to even get to being able to create that finished painting. I started taking photos of my paintings in progress to remind myself that every painting has an ugly stage (or at least a phase where I feel I can’t possibly make it work). And every painting is not just about that one I am creating in that moment, but it encompasses my entire journey.

Often-times I am tempted to throw out a piece somewhere in the middle of the process because I think it looks just awful but I have learned though much experience and self-restraint to ‘just keep swimming’. Thanks for that, Dory. *fist/fin pump*

Here she is almost finished! I decided to use matte medium to ‘glue’ the paper pieces in place. I haven’t used matte medium on watercolour pieces before so I tested it first with the hope that it would work as well as I expected. I didn’t want to use cheap glue or a glue stick. I wanted to use something that wouldn’t degrade overtime or is meant for this purpose. I love the way it held the paper down and didn’t bleed through.

On to pencil detail. This is my most favourites part of the process hands-down! The piece just comes to life and I get so excited watching this happen!!  The Gardener

9″x12″ on 140 lb watercolour paper

This one is going to be hard to let go (*insert bittersweet teardrop*) but my pieces always end up finding the most loving homes and for that I am so very thankful! In truth, these pieces wouldn’t mean so much to me if they were tucked away in a portfolio case or drawer somewhere in my house. I think, for me, part of the joy of creating them is in the knowing that I can share them. ❤

The Gardener will be available tomorrow to purchase on the Soul Sisters United Art Collective Facebook group. The auction runs from 12EST until 6EST on Tuesday. Hope to see you there!

Happy creating!!

Moongirl ❤ ❤ ❤



  1. This piece is wonderful! Interesting and fun to read how it came to life. I also forget how I go about pieces, especially if they are multimedia. Wishing you a wonderful auction!

    • Thanks, Tammy! I tend to take pictures of my work as I go along because it helps me look at it more critically. And in the end, it’s nice to see how it all came together. 🙂

  2. Only one word will suffice…..AWESOME!!!!! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

    • Haha, thank you so very much, Robin!! ❤ 🙂

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