Blog entry

Wild edible mushrooms watercolor painting

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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.
 

White Pit Bull Portrait

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"Grace"
5x7" watercolor

I finished this dog portrait yesterday of a white pit bull. Pit bulls are probably my favorite breed to paint. They are all eyes and ears. Handsome dogs, very expressive and full of soul!

Recent Dog and Cat portraits

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"Lucy"
11x14" watercolor


I added a few watercolors to the dog gallery for a much needed update of some new portraits. Here's a selection of some recent paintings from the past couple months.

white retriever painting
"Maximus"
8x10" watercolor
White Retriever

Golden Retriever in snow watercolor
"JP"
8x10" watercolor
Golden retriever in snow

German Shepherd watercolor
8x10" watercolor
German Shepherd

Siamese Cat watercolor
"Niko"
5x7" watercolor
Flame-point Siamese Cat
 

Autumn Gourd watercolor

gourd watercolor
Saying goodbye to October. Here is a new watercolor, something a bit Autumn themed before I get totally in the mood for Winter and the holidays.
I found this odd little gourd on a farm while pumpkin picking with the family. I've never seen one like this - I had to buy one and bring it home to paint. Painted life size - it's a small gourd and fits in the palm of my hand. I think it is some sort of "crown of thorns" gourd.
This was a fun challenge. I picked one with a nice vine and tendrils. An interesting pattern of different green hues and light speckles.

 

Dark Brook Trout Watercolor Painting

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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

 

Black cat watercolor painting

A new commissioned watercolor portrait of a black cat. This was a fun composition to paint. I'm especially pleased with how the paw texture came out. The eyes are always fun to paint as well, they usually play the biggest part in expressing the character in my pet portraits.

This cat was a stray, according to the owner, and she just showed up and made herself at home!


Black cat watercolor painting

If you'd like to browse more of my cat portraits, check out my Cat Watercolors gallery!

Or if you are interested in your own custom cat portrait you can read more here:
8x10 custom cat watercolor in the shop

 

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

Golden-crowned Kinglet Watercolor Painting

Golden-crowned Kinglet watercolor painting
A little watercolor study of a Golden-crowned Kinglet I painted yesterday. Painted life size, about 3 1/2 inches long. I've seen these little birds once, they were darting among cedars at the edge of the Potomac River. Handsome little guys, with a black cap and yellow stripe down the center.
I've made some prints, which you can buy here.