Birdwatching from a Taxi

Our virtual art club used a to visit a birdfeeder in Akron, Ohio, USA. Quck sketches and painting on 6″ x 9″ Bee cotton paper with Mission Gold Watercolors.

Animals and birds would come and go quickly, so we used our quick-draw skills from those 10 second, and 20-second figure drawing practices. If you can draw slow, you can draw fast (TY TwoSet Violin). Some half finished sketches were finished on the second or third try (TY  John Muir Laws), and we had a peaceful time studying nature. I think it would be worth going back for a larger more careful painting.

Let me know if you take a Webcam taxi somewhere. I will most likely visit there too.

I sketched with colored pencils to help my memory when painting.

I drew Cumber-Batches

Disclaimer: This was the 8th drawing.

I tried “Sherlock Drawing Tutorial” with Art Prof Clara Lieu on YouTube. It takes 2 1/2 hours, but the tips are helpful. Each time I tried a new part of her approach it really threw me off, so I tried different media and smaller paper. Eventually, I sort of got it.

Switched to watercolor.

The last 3 are 20 minutes each.

Trying something new (methods, materials, mindset) always makes me feel like an awkward beginner again, but learning new things helps me grow.

Eventually, something amazing falls off my brush and the negative voice nags me with disbelief I did it, then the God voice that loves me says nothing is a waste of time.

Someday, I will stop hearing unbelief first, maybe stop hearing it at all.

In the meantime, look for things worth filling days and making memories.

Old blocks, Young Friends

Inspiration photo by Susan Holt on

We continue to study patterns in wood grain. We each interpreted the letters and cubes of wood blocks stacked at various angles.

I used black outlines to show angles to the class, and completed the illustration with watercolors. The featured student, Patty, completed her illustration with black marker and pencil.

You may enjoy drawing one or more cubic objects for fun.

Wildlife Still Life – Deer

Statues by Forest Hart provide multiple opportunities to practice painting wildlife as a still life. The living models may not stand still for long.

360* video of this statue

Forest Hart’s statues of these startled deer, a running bear, and a loping moose can be found on the lawns of the Unity Historical Society in Unity, Maine.

With Waves Like Water

This week we are studying textures, beginning with waves like water. We are studying background colors and patterns (blurred-wet in wet) and foreground colors and patterns (sharp-wet on dry or drybrush).

6x9 inch Watercolor painting of a water droplet based on a photo by Rony Michaud at on Aquabee watercolor 140 lb paper by Bee.
Photo  of a water droplet by Rony Michaud at
Inspiration photo by Rony Michaud at

We also are making comparisons to: cloth – hair – woodgrain.

Many ‘Thanks’ to Lindsay Weirich at The Frugal Crafter Blog for Best Places to find Reference Photos for Artist

Photo by Thomas Kelly at – Electric Jazz Guitar

Photo by Tara Winstead at – Brown Wooden Condiment Shaker on Brown Wooden Table

Photo (cropped) by Element5 Digital at – Hair

Photo by Stux at – Silk Noble Towels Orange Violet

Photo by Leo Rivas on – Smooth Tuquoise Water in Tsunan, Japan

Elemental Lines

Grey and Black Birds 45854 by “Pixabay” at
Woman Wearing Sunglasses Near Red Lights by Roberto Vivanco at

Studying lines with students in our series using photo references for quick sketches (under 10 minutes). Today’s references were found at

Today’s Media=Watercolor markers

Diving In

Man Catching Soccer Ball on Field

We are still using free stock photos for quick-draw figure drawing. Today we searched for ‘soccer’. These are mine with the reference photo. 20-seconds sharpie sketch, a couple minutes to add color. Be kind. We are learning new things.

For photo reference resources, I got a ton of ideas from The Frugal Crafter – Lindsay Werich. She’s awesome!

Continue reading “Diving In”

Happy Easter

For this holiday weekend I got with my art friends (online) to enjoy sketch and paint.

With under half an hour, we keep it pretty simple with one mini lesson a week. This week’s mini was fur, both fuzzy and defined.

After this brief practice session, I thought of some other ways to practice, though I am sure it can wait until after I move. Still packing. Still busy.

[Sorry about the sliders last week. I will get WordPress to help me repair them, or convert to separate images as soon as I can.]

I just dashed this off.

It has been a busy week, getting students through a few big concepts before spring vacation, starting a new zoom artclub, and buying property for the future art retreat.

Being one who tends to overdo, I have been using a timer to tell me when to stop. Sketch and painting all under 5. I don’t think I hit the proportions perfectly, but that’s what happens when trying new things — it takes a bit of practice to integrate.

On My Easel

And In The Works

Loose Florals inspired by Angela Fehr’s “10-Minute Watercolor Magic”

My house in Florida has finally sold, and I hope to move soon if the purchase of the new house goes as planned. It is a small art retreat, and a perfect home base for my family.

More Mexican Sunflowers

These days I am doing a lot of practice work in various styles as demonstration projects for my junior high and high school classes.

And I enjoy playfully adding color to one of my sketchbooks.
Face of Lacoon in salt dough on a pizza box. Low Relief.

Paint With Me

One of my art clubbers joined me on Zoom to paint together. Today we did some 20 second figure drawings, and put a sidelight on my coffee cup It was a lot of fun!

Here is my 10 minute coffee cup in watercolor.

You can join in next week. Topic: Paint With Lucy at VisualFling Bring your favorite art supplies or sketchbook.
Time: Mar 20, 2021 03:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Zoom Meeting Link: Meeting ID: 724 7736 3497
Passcode: LucyJartz

Hungry Birds

Lucy’s latest paintings. With a sample 4-Part Critique for my online middle school and high school art students at Maine Connnections Academy. We also viewed this museum art demo of two critiques by MPBN: Maine Public Broadcasting System – How to Respond to a Work of Art.

Describe what it is. Example: I made a watercolor painting of six birds on a curved branch that I started three days ago and finished today.The style is pop art. (Everyday things simplified and outlined with exaggerated color).

Analyze the elements and principles of the composition. This art uses shapes, colors, and lines. The leaves are just simple shapes outlined with a contrasting orange color to the green background.  The birds have more color and details than the simple background. There are a lot of curved lines.

Interpret the feelings and meanings. I wanted it to look like the birds were hungry, but they didn’t want the berries hanging on the branch. The mother bird got a bug for them. Two fat birds probably ate berries. One is full and not interested, but the other one that had berries is always hungry and might want to try some bugs too. 

Judge the successes of the piece. I like that the smooth background emphasizes the birds. When I was almost done the edges all looked a tiny bit fuzzy because I used wet cellulose paper, so I outlined the leaves, berries and branches with an orange woodless pencil. I accented some of the birds and branch with a permanent brush marker. This made it look more finished with some contrast and clean edges. I like it much better. 

Inspirations: A calendar (detached, unknown source) with a photograph of the birds on a branch inspired the composition. New materials from Berry’s Stationers (and art supplies!) inspired the orange and black lines. Koh-I-Noor woodless colored pencil and Sakura Pigma brush pen, Canson XL acid free paper and Royal Talens’ Van Gogh watercolors. Lindsay Weirich -The Frugal Crafter inspired the saturated paper technique. (Yes, she lives nearby, but I am just a fan. Maybe I’ll join Lindsay’s Critique Club!)

A small personal card painting inspired by The Nature Conservancy 2020 November Calendar.

Coming Soon: Look for paintings inspired by my new set of Mijello Mission Gold watercolors, Canson Heritage 100% cotton paper sampler (6 sheets quarter sized 300 gsm) 2 hot pressed, 2 cold press, 2 rough), and a new French easel.

Let it Snow!

I probably won’t drive again until spring, and I find that surprisingly liberating. Let it snow!

This is a quick animation project that I did with the students in my Intro to Graphic Design class to practice using Inkscape. Since moving to New England, I am seeing a lot more snow!

Everything that’s Moving is doing it so Slowly

My house is still (so still) waiting closure at the bank. Covid panic dropped my home value in Florida, and raised prices where I might hope to buy or build an art retreat, someday.

On the upside, I am teaching art online to middle and high school every weekday and to my adult students every Saturday. I love my art friends, and they teach me a lot! The kids have a set curriculum, but we adults are practicing portraiture in watercolors. Last year we kept it simple with pen and ink avatars, exploring proportions and mixing skin tones. This year we are adding in sculpting 3d forms with shading.

We play a “Spot the Differences” game to critique why the paintings do or don’t look like the inspiration photographs. We grow when we begin learning things we did not know before. God bless us all.

I am visiting a 200 yr old mountaintop farmhouse this weekend. Photos just are not uploading today, but it is so peaceful here!I am visiting a 200 yr old mountaintop farmhouse this weekend. Photos just are not uploading today, but it is so peaceful here!

Everyone is at Home Here

We took a family trip before everything shut down. A few months later… I can’t imagine breaking up the family to go back. My new normal is having my dad, my grown kids, and cousins nearby.

Stay tuned for the grand opening of my new art retreat in the next year! I’m just hunting up a Maine location to replace my little cabin in Florida.

I am working on teacher certification in my home state, and still teaching my little friends in China, BTW. Everything is online at the moment.

DaDa Teacher: Lucy J
Cambly ESL Teacher: Lucy Jartz

And, if it happens to be snowing out my satellite dish connections… I love painting!

Lucy J gets creative with her online students.
Birds in the Snow
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