Calico Art - Carol Vaage

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Tree Study 2013

In the fall of 2013, I joined SWESA, the Southwest Edmonton Seniors Association. They have a Friday morning art group where anyone wishing to do art in the company of others could join in.

My first project was to experiment with watercolours - to see what I could create with them - what effects colours would make on the same design. Using an image from Pinterest (unable to source as I can no longer find it), I copied the tree design and used different colours. You can see how the colours create mood. The backgrounds can be muted or become the highlight of the  paintings. This exercise helped me fall in love with watercolour painting and its possibilities for expression. Colour alone can define an artist.






Beginner Drawing - Susanne Lamoureux ELLA 2013

ELLA stands for Edmonton Lifelong Learners Association, which operates 3 weeks of courses for 55+ at the University.

My first year of attending, I took Susanne's course for beginning drawing. At this time, I had zero confidence in my abilities to draw other than a stick figure. However, Susanne taught me to see. To see shapes and lines, to take one step at a time. She was excellent at teaching techniques and using drawing materials, like pencils, fine line black markers, graphite, and charcoal. We actually worked on complex pieces and chose our own final projects.

The face is drawn using a photograph. We used measurements to capture the placement of eyes, lines, and shapes.


This African Tree is my final project. For this, we used graphite powder and erasers to create the image.


Graded Wash - Kathryn Hines


2013 - This was my first watercolour course - Watercolour Sketch Book

One of the best things I ever learned in a course, with Kathryn Hines as instructor, was how to do a graded wash.


  • Good quality paper - 300 lb. (140 dries too quickly for this method)
  • A substantive puddle of water and pigment (enough to do your entire sheet of paper +)
  • A squirrel mop brush, or sable brush that holds a large volume of paint
  • Courage!


  • First, prepare your paper. If it's in a block, it's ready to go. Otherwise, tape the edges on a cardboard or coroplast board.
  • Slightly incline the top. I usually place the top on a roll of masking tape.
  • Using your mop brush, soak up the pigment colour, and lay a row of round, wet puddle line across the top.
  • Bring more pigment up and gently stroke the bottom of the puddle row, but lowering it down a bit.
  • Keep going from left to right, never letting the puddle row thin to nothing.
  • Continue to the bottom of the page.


The image on the left is a cobalt blue graded wash on an 10x14" 300 lb arches paper.

The image on the right is a graded wash introducing a second colour part way down - 8 x 10: 300 lb arches. Note that these were completed vertically.

The colour combos are:

top: cerulean blue to lemon yellow

2nd row: cobalt blue to permanent rose

3rd row: cobalt blue to new gamboge

Bottom row: cobalt blue to cadmium red.




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