Blog entry

Wild edible mushrooms watercolor painting

Preview Image: 

A new mushrooms watercolor. This was a commissioned painting of a variety of wild edible mushrooms found in North America. It includes a wood blewit, chicken of the woods, morels, chanterelles, a large king bolete, fairy ring champignon, and American matsutakes. The mushrooms are labeled with their common names in pencil. I'm pleased with how this painting turned out. Very earthy, and subtly colorful - the textures and details really take center stage.


 

Illustrated Seashells of New England Guide Book

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Last year I spent several months painting seashells and I'm excited to finally introduce the project that it was for! Seashells of New England, a Beachcomber's Guide is an illustrated book (I think the title is pretty self explanatory). Written by Sandy Allison - it contains full color watercolor illustrations painted by me!

The shell illustrations are full color and life size. The book contains 69 different shells that are found along the coast of southern Connecticut to northern Maine. They appear with expert descriptions that will help identify the shells, plus info on where and how to find them. An attractive and useful little book for beachcombers, nature lovers, and anyone else who loves the seashore. 

This was a bit of a passion project for me, as I love beachcombing myself. I had a lot of fun collecting shells for reference and painting all the different types.
The book is now out and is available in my shop!

watercolor illustration shell guide

Atlantic Dogwinkles, they come in a variety of colors - it was hard to choose so I painted two variations I thought were especially nice: a striped shell and an orange shell.




A couple pages of small snail shells, the Bruised Nassa and Three-lined Basketsnail.

seashells illustrated guide


ten-ridged-whelk seashell watercolor

Above, one of my favorites I painted for the book, A Ten-ridged Whelk (Neptunea decemcostata). This handsome and distinctive shell is the state seashell of Massachusetts.

Below, a page of watercolored small snail shells.

snail shells watercolor

The book is paperback, 122 pages, and measures 5x7".
Available in my shop here:
https://www.dswatercolors.com/product/seashells-new-england-book-and-illustrated-guide

Barracuda and Grouper Fish watercolors

A couple new fish watercolors painted this last week.

barracuda watercolor painting
Barracuda - watercolor, 12 x 4"
Had a lot of fun painting this Barracuda. A bit "mean" looking with it's distinctive underbite, but it has a beautiful subtle pattern and spots - always so satisfying to paint. The greenish tones were a single additional layer painted at the end, which I think added a nice element of depth.
grouper fish watercolor
Grouper - watercolor 13 x 7"
The mottled brown patterning of this grouper gave me a little more trouble. Did a bit of scrubbing and lots of layers, but pretty happy with how the texture came out in the end.
 

Dark Brook Trout Watercolor Painting

Preview Image: 

dark brook trout watercolor
I've painted a few trout watercolors the past couple months, this one is a Brook Trout. I've seen some photos here and there of a dark variety, which I thought was especially beautiful, so that is the coloring I painted here.

Afterwards I wanted to know a little bit more about this dark coloring that Brook Trout sometimes have. I did a little internet research and found this post on the Small Stream Reflections blog. I emailed with the writer to get some more info - and also an opinion on my watercolor by someone who has seen them first hand.

In his experience the dark Brook Trout occur in streams that have darker water, which is caused by tanins from hemlocks and firs (similar to water being dyed with tea). The fish have adapted to this darker water, I assume because it helps camouflage them.

Dark Brook Trout
Photo: Small Stream Reflections

The writer, who goes by the alias Brk Trt on his blog, fishes small streams in Connecticut. He sent me these photos of a beautiful dark brook trout he caught earlier this week.

Brook Trout Fishing
Photo: Small Stream Reflections

Below, some fly fishing flies that the writer tied and was kind enough to send me.

fishing flys


Prints are available in the shop here: 13x6" Brook Trout Print

If you are looking for a standard size it is also in this fish compilation print:
11x14" Fish Art Print

 

Red Fox in snow watercolor painting

A new small watercolor of a Red Fox. I painted this after watching a pair of Red Foxes wandering around my yard in the snow. I always enjoy catching glimpses of them (usually at night) or finding their tracks in the snow. This day was fun because they were out in the daylight and poked around the yard for quite a while.

red fox in snow watercolor
Prints are up in the shop here: Fox in snow print
Prints are 5x7" and matted in a standard 8x10" mat. Printed on archival etching rag art paper, with a nice subtle texture and thick weight.

Below, a few of the photos I was able to snap. Managed to get a couple good enough to use as reference.

red fox

red fox

Birdwatching during the 2016 blizzard

This past weekend we had a few feet of snow fall. We enjoyed being snowed in for a few days and watching the wildlife and the birds that flocked to the feeders.

red fox snow

Just as the snow started to fall pretty heavily we saw a pair of Red Foxes wandered around the yard. We usually hear them at night, but they came out early to check things out. We didn't see them again until the night the storm ended. One came into the backyard and barked for a while, and in the morning the snow was crisscrossed with fox tracks.

blue jay snow

A Blue Jay with a snow crusted face. It was a good couple days of backyard bird watching, with a constant stream of various birds coming to get seed from our feeders.

red-bellied woodpecker snow

A Red-bellied Woodpecker in our backyard tree. He was hanging here on the leeward side for quite a while to get out of the wind and snow.

Female cardinal snow

Female Cardinal in the snow. The snow was blowing sideways for most of the day, which you can get a sense of this photo.

Downy woodpecker snow

A Downy Woodpecker making his way up and down the tree. We also had a lot of Juncos, White-throated Sparrows, Chickadees, Tufted Titmouses, Goldfinches, a Brown Creeper, and a few large American Crows.
 

New birds watercolors

A couple new bird watercolors I've been working on for my upcoming show. The show will be here in Maryland and will feature local birds found in the area.
cardinal watercolor
Male Cardinal in snow
8x6" watercolor

bird watercolors

A female Ruby-throated Hummingbird and a White-throated Sparrow sitting on my desk, both about complete.Barn swallow watercolor
Barn Swallow
8x6" watercolor
 

Yellow-rumped Warbler watercolor painting

yellow-rumped warbler watercolor

My newest watercolor. A Yellow-rumped Warbler (male), one of my favorite birds. I love warblers because they are so fun to watch and identify. It's still a challenge to identify the unique patterns and colors of each warbler. This one can be identified by, among other markings, the yellow patches on it's rump, side, and crown.

5x7" Print in the shop

Cutthroat Trout Watercolor Painting

cutthroat trout watercolor
Cutthroat Trout Watercolor
13x6 inches

A popular fish among fly fisherman. No wonder - a beautiful speckled pattern and red coloring from which it is named after. This was a watercolor I painted for fun right after completing a month long job of painting seafood and fish illustrations. It had been in the back of my mind for a while and I guess I figured I'd do it while I was still in practice.

Prints are available here:
Cutthroat Trout Print
 

Blue Crabs Watercolor Painting

blue crab watercolor painting

On my last beachcombing trip to the Chesapeake Bay, and was able to snap a few photo references for this Blue Crab watercolor painting. Pleased with how this one turned out, I'm especially happy with the color. I like the color variation between the crabs, and the bright pops of blue and red among the otherwise subtle colors really bring this piece to life.

11x17"
Watercolor painting

Prints are available in the shop: Blue Crabs Watercolor Print


blue crabs watercolor illustration