Monday, November 30, 2020

Four Hibiscus

 I wanted to do a hibiscus flower for sometime and when I opened my new Dana Fox, "Watercolor With Me in the Jungle," there it was!

After I traced the flower from the book, I transferred it to watercolor paper using my light box.

I used two tracings of the flower and drew two more by hand and added a variety of leaves.

I used Winsor Newton Cotman watercolor tubes on 140 lb. Canson paper.


Monday, November 23, 2020

The Snowmen and Aurora Borealis

 There are some fun paintings at "The Art Sherpa," site. The artist Cinnamon Cooney, gives detailed instruction whether it's in watercolor or acrylics .

I was attracted to her work for the bright colors and varied techniques she uses in her work. She has numerous lessons and provides the traceable line drawings free to copy and coordinate with the videos. Information for the paintings are available for each.

The painting I chose is the watercolor "Snuggle Snowman." Go to:  I enjoyed the patterns and colorful elements of this fun painting.

I used Winsor and Newton Watercolor Tubes on Cold Press 140 lb. Canson paper. For the small patterns on the hats and scarves, I used a white Gelly Roll 08 pen and a Micron 01 pen.

I'll be visiting The Art Sherpa site often.


Lighthouse Painting Using Line and Wash


I've been looking forward to using a line and wash technique to paint a lighthouse. I found an image perfect for this in the book, "Watercolor With Me in the Ocean," by Dana Fox. This is one of the three books she wrote on watercolor painting.

As usual I traced the iconic image and transferred it to my watercolor paper with the help of my light box.

When doing the line and wash, the process begins with sketching the subject in ink before applying quick, light washes of color to it. I used a Micron ink pen to trace over my pencil lines before I applied the watercolors. I used Winsor and Newton Cotman tubes on 140 lb cold press Canson watercolor paper for this painting.


Friday, November 20, 2020

Christmas Gnomes


I found some fun paintings at "The Art Sherpa," site. The artist Cinnamon Cooney is a very interesting woman, who gives detailed instruction whether it's in watercolor or acrylics .

I was attracted to her work for the bright colors and varied techniques she uses in her work. She has numerous lessons and provides the traceable line drawings free to copy and coordinate with the videos. Information for the paintings are available for each.

The painting I chose is the watercolor "Christmas Gnomes." For outlines go to:  I enjoyed the colorful whimsical elements of this fun painting.

I used Winsor and Newton Watercolor Tubes on Arches paper.

I'm planning more visits to that site.


Monday, November 16, 2020

Dogwood Rose in Watercolor

 I remember a lovely dogwood tree in the front yard of the house I grew up in. While flipping thru Dana Fox's book "Watercolor With Me in the Forest," I found just the flower from that memory to paint.

I traced the flower and used my light box to transfer it to Arches paper.

The techniques in this lesson include learning to add points to the leaves, by using a detail brush with pointed strokes around the edges.

I used Winsor and Newton Cotman Watercolor tubes to paint this pretty flower.


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

In Honor of Veteran's Day!

I would like to share with you the two men I know and the experiences they had during WWII. This story was written sometime ago and some of it was printed in a national magazine.Here it is, the whole story!
Two Views of World War II
 by Carla Brooke

For just about as far back as I can remember the camera has always been an important element in any events occurring in my family.  Whether it be my first steps or simply a beautiful panoramic view, my father recorded it for all the world to see and admire.
Before I came along dad had plenty of resources for his camera work, for he was stationed in New Delhi, India, as an Army radioman during World War II.  He was considered quite a shutterbug around his base, always on the look out for that great photograph.  While looking dad acquired a good deal of knowledge of the area and was assigned to drive high-ranking officials throughout the provinces.  Many shots taken on these trips later became award-winning photographs in the years following the war.

I recently discovered that my father was not only a wonderfully talented photographer, but a skilled writer as well.  The evidence of this is in the original copy of a story he wrote while on board a ship returning from World war II and illustrated with his own black and white pictures of the soldiers returning home after 33 days at sea.
Here is the original story by my father, Jack Gutstein.

I and about 700 other G.I.’s, were passing our thirty-third day at sea.  Our ship, The General Bliss, was now steaming serenely through peaceful waters, heading for San Francisco.  The Far East was now but an unpleasant memory.  The dangerous passage through the mine-infested Makassar Straits had become a mere passing incident, as was our stop-over in Guam.  Perhaps, there still lingered some impressions of the havoc wrought by war on Manila and Manila Bay; Corregidor, and Bataan, where the marauding Huks hunted, and were hunted, in those far-off green hills.  Gone were those frustrating hours spent in seeking calmer waters so that an appendectomy might be performed upon one of us.  Fragments of the resentment we felt for the poor chow and the bilge in the water lockers were fast melting in the warmth of the sun.

An air of expectancy, an electrical tension seemed to have charged the atmosphere around us.  The hubbub of voices dwindled slowly into silence.  It was a profound silence, but it spoke volumes as faces turned to look upward toward the crow’s nest.  Feet shuffled, someone coughed, a bell sounded somewhere.  Then the silence closed in again.  Only the gentle lapping of the swells along the sides of the ship punctuated the silence.

Then, land ahead!  The cry crackled and whipped throughout the ship.  It was picked up, relayed and relayed again.  Land ahead!  It traveled from prow to stern and amidship faster than here I can possibly tell about it.
Seven hundred G.I.’s then tore away all restraint.  As if ordered by some prearranged command, we started to climb.  Up and over the forbidden top decks we went.  Over the bridge and into the rigging climbed an eager brown horde.  In minutes every high point of vantage held its’ quota of men.  Again faces turned in unison, this time to peer intently toward the eastern horizon toward land, toward home.

Callously, I brought my camera to bear upon some of the faces around me.  The first face I focused upon disturbed me.  With the second, I found myself lowering the camera gently to my side.  Guiltily I looked about me!  I felt as though I were a trespasser.  As though I were violating the innermost privacy of each of the men I chanced to scrutinize.  On these faces were painted pictures of joy such as I have never before witnessed.  All about me moistened eyes told the story.  Here, campaign-hardened veterans, from the fetid, stinking jungles of Burma, the desert of India and other black holes of the orient, were standing unmasked for all to see.
Gingerly I changed position.  Eagerly, I let my eyes strain forward, my being filled with an explosive mixture of emotions.  Spontaneously, I joined in the wild cheering when we sighted the Golden Gate Bridge.  We were home.

Photography isn’t just limited to my side of the family.  My father-in-law, Anthony Brooke Sr., who caught the camera bug from his father, Arthur Brooke (a photographer in World War I), was born in Los Angeles, but grew to his mid-teens on a farm owned by his grandparents in England.  His parents, British subjects, were separated.  The farm is where young Tony became “fascinated by motion pictures and always wanted to be a cameraman,” he told me.

In 1938 my father-in-law rejoined his mother in New York and in 1943 married Marjorie Sugerman.  By the time my husband Anthony Brooke Jr. was born the following year, Tony was in a foxhole in Normandy.  He had been drafted in 1943, just when film director George Stevens began assembling the Special Coverage Unit of the U.S. Army Signal Corps.  As part of  “the Stevens Unit” or “the Hollywood Irregulars,” Tony became part of the small camera teams who moved from army to army covering the major events of the war.   Tony’s unit was based in London and “assigned like any news team.”  On D-Day he recalled, “the roar of thousands of planes overhead, bound for French targets.”

He started shooting the Canadian units at Gold Beach in Normandy, who met with little resistance, compared with the fierce fighting on Omaha Beach.  From there he was on his way to Paris with Gen. George Patton.  Once there he had incurred Patton’s wrath, when Tony replaced a carbine he carried with a pearl-handled pistol.  Patton, a stickler for rules, spotted the pistol and glared at Tony.

On the way to Germany, Tony shot a documentary on the second battle of Dunkirk, where German troops had breached the sea wall, surrounding themselves with water.  Czech troops fighting in the Allied cause surrounded the Germans and Tony filmed the siege until the Germans surrendered.  For this Tony won the Czechoslovakian Medal of Merit.  He went on to film the horror of the Nazi concentration camps and his final assignment was covering the Potsdam Conference, where President Truman, British Prime Minister Churchill and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin were deciding the shape of the post war world.

My father-in-law Tony Brooke won a Bronze Star for having “moved forward with advanced elements of United States troops in order to obtain more spectacular photographic coverage.”  He also got a commendation from Gen. Eisenhower as a member of the Special Motion Picture Coverage Unit.

Back in the States Tony became a union member which won him work as a skilled cameraman.  He worked for many years shooting television commercials and also helped to shoot several major motion pictures, before retiring to Las Cruces, New Mexico.

My husband Anthony Brooke Jr., who was stationed in Alaska during the Vietnam War, is a retired motion picture cameraman, who also shot many, many commercials and movies, now takes pleasure in digital still photography.  Sandy’s photographs have found their way into many newspapers, magazines and several art shows.  Photography continues to be a major focus in my family.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Jumbo the Elephant


I wanted to paint another picture using the elephant in my new Dana Fox book, "Watercolor With Me in the Jungle." I had already done two other elephant paintings. Then I got an idea from the movie hubby and I were watching, "Billy Rose's Jumbo," from 1962. It was a cute romantic musical comedy staring Doris Day. Jumbo was the main attraction in that circus.

So after I traced the elephant from the book, I drew the circus tent freehand, behind him. I also added a head piece and blanket for his back and the elephant in the book became Jumbo!

I transferred the tracing along with the added elements to my watercolor paper using my light box.

I used Winsor Newton Cotman watercolor tubes on arches paper. The additional details were done using a Gelly Roll white pen and a Micron Pen black pen.


Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Pandas Love Bamboo


When I got the book "Watercolor With Me in the Jungle," by Dana Fox, I knew one day I would have to paint a Panda picture. I also knew, I'd need a stencil for the bamboo. Pandas love bamboo! I ordered The Crafters Workshop plastic 6x6" stencil.

I traced the panda from the book and used my light box to transfer the tracing to my watercolor paper. I cut away some of the excess paper from the original tracing and used it to keep the panda clean of spatter. I taped the stencil down twice and brushed watercolor paint over it.

I painted the panda using one color, Lamp Black, but varied the amount of water to change the color from black to shades of grey. I added details with a black Micron Pen and a white Gelly Roll Pen.

I gave the panda a mountain to sit on with two shades of brown watercolor paint.

I used Winsor Newton Cotman Watercolor tubes on Arches paper for this painting.


Monday, November 2, 2020

Elephant and Three Palm Trees

 I just had to paint a second elephant! This time, I didn't use a  black outline around the image. I shaded the elephant with water using two different watercolors colors and a third color for the details: wrinkles and eye.

The elephant and palm tree are from traceables found in the "Watercolor the Easy Way," by Sara Berreson. I tried to freehand draw the foliage in the front of the elephant.

I used Winsor and Newton Cotman watercolor tubes on Arches paper.