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I haven’t had any turkeys visiting me this winter. Last winter there were three groups that came fairly regularly. Occasionally they all would be here at the same time. This is one of the turkeys of a group of three that visited the most often and continued into the spring and early summer. The first time I saw the group it consisted of 3 adult males. During the winter one of the males was replaced by a female. The other two groups were larger and consisted of juveniles. One group was usually all male (8-10) and the other a mixture (11-13).  I think there was some movement between the 2 groups.
watercolour portrait of a wild turkeyThe group of three came so often that they learned not to be afraid of me and I learned to distinguish between the two males. This is Harry.




Snowy Hillside

Snow scenes are another thing I need to practice. This watercolour is from a photo I took a few weeks ago on my afternoon walk.

I usually leave too much white. In this one I could have left a bit more white but I  think it does look like snow.


Sometimes one scene can provide inspiration for multiple paintings.

Sometimes it takes multiple tries until what you have on paper feels right.

These 4 watercolours are from the same photograph that was taken in the Languedoc region of France several years ago.

This one was painted about a year ago and most resembles the photograph.

Trying to be looser,  this one was painted 2 weeks ago.

This one was painted last week.

I finished  this one yesterday.

I like something about each one but I think I’ll have to do it again because none are quite “there ” yet.

With this photograph it will take multiple attempts to get it the way I want.  However, I can now see at least  two different directions I could go in and so maybe it will turn out that the photograph will be the inspiration of multiple paintings.


Costa Rica – Landscape

This watercolour was done from a photograph taken several years ago on a trip to Costa Rica. I’ve had the photograph in my  file to paint for quite a while but couldn’t figure out exactly how to do it.  That was when I was copying the photographs more or less exactly.  Now that I’m taking a looser more interpretive approach  I found it a little easier.


Riotous Colour

I started this watercolour with a wet in wet under painting having no idea where I was going to go with it.  I then searched through my photographs looking for some ideas that would fit.  I chose a photo taken from the window of my motel room on the way back from my trip to Nova Scotia.  It was October and the colours of the trees were brilliant.

I had taken the picture when I arrived. The next day was dark and I encountered heavy rain from Montmagny (east of Quebec City) through to Montreal.  Until then I had only encountered one rain shower which occurred on the second day of my trip so I was very lucky.


Down the Back Road

This watercolour painting is loosely based on  a photograph I took while driving down a back road near my cottage.

I’ve been trying to not copy everything I see especially when I work from photographs.  In this painting I started with a loose wet in wet wash then added the details.  It has the same “feel” as the photograph and what I remember of the scene but it’s definitely not a copy.


Autumn Birches

Some of the trees have lost most of their leaves but the poplars still have some green leaves among the  yellow.   I chose to do a sketch of  some birches beside my driveway.  They have lost virtually all their leaves.  I used coloured pencils for the birch tree trunks and watercolours for the rest .  The yellow and green on the right side are from the poplars that are outside the picture.


View of the Lake

During the summer I can’t see the lake from my cottage.  There are too many trees in between.
This week enough of the leaves have fallen that it is now visible.   I only get a glimpse.

I painted this sketch from my deck.  I left out a few large trees so my actual view is less than what is in the sketch.

As you can see in the sketch the sumac behind my cottage are still brightly coloured and have lots of leaves.  Many of the other ones around the property are much farther along having lost their brilliance and many leaves.


Autumn Colours

I recently drove to Nova Scotia to visit friends.  I took my time and my sketchbook.

The trees were just beginning to turn in Quebec at the end of September when I stopped at a rest stop along the Saint Lawrence River in Village-des-Aulnaies.


The previous day was very hot but this day it was cold and threatening rain.  I had just blocked in the church in pencil when it started to rain.  I added the watercolour after I got home.


In Calabogie the pine needles have fallen but most of the leaves are still on the trees.  I took a break from raking  to do a quick watercolour sketch of the trees beside my driveway.

Autumn Colours Calabogie

There is still some trees that haven’t turned yet.


Sketching in an Inexpensive Sketchbook

I started a new sketchbook at the beginning of July.  Most of the sketches so far have been drawn in ink and the watercolour was added after.  The paper isn’t made for watercolour and I had to experiment with how to apply the paint so that it didn’t look like just a bunch of coloured blotches.  I found that wetting the paper first and painting wet on wet worked best. However it was hard to get intense colour and the pages warped.

Cedar and Black Walnut (I think) Trees at Barnet Park

Trees Growing  Around Abandoned Truck in Calabogie



I painted the truck and trees first and then added the pen after.

Madawaska River from Bridge on K&P Trail in Calabogie

I then covered some of the pages (one side only) with Golden Absorbent Ground (White).  I used one of the pages to paint an impression of one of the views from my daily walk.

View from Tatty Hill Road

The paper handled the watercolour much better and didn’t warp.

Cottage in Calabogie



I started the next one with pen and added watercolour after.  Although I did spend a lot of time measuring, the proportions didn’t work out right, but I can try it again later.




I like the size and format of this sketchbook so I have covered several pages with Absorbent Ground in preparation for more watercolour sketches.

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