Browsing Category:


    Botanical, Bursts of Fun!

    Lavender Cherry Blossoms


    Lavender Blossoms

    by Katrina Pete

    12×16 inch watercolor on Arches 300lb cold pressed paper


    My technique for my floral paintings involves a ‘wet-into-wet’ wash of color over damp paper. This is how I achieved the soft background effects. Heavier paper like 300lb Arches works very well with this method. It doesn’t buckle or warp under the wet paint, and remains much flatter than my 140lb paper. I still used tape along the edges and it stayed flat even after the paper dried. I painted a few branches into the wet wash, allowing them to fade a bit into the background. After the first wash dried, I added more layers of detail in the flowers and branches.


    Wedding Blossoms

    Watercolor Cherry Blossoms
    by Katrina Pete

    Langton Prestige Cold press watercolor paper
    10×13 inches

    I painted these blossoms as a gift for a dear friend on her wedding day. I’ll post a step by step tutorial soon of my process. The main colors I used were Holbein Quinacridone Violet and Holbein Opera Pink. I also used Burnt Umber, and hints of green using a mixture of indigo and aureolin yellow.The first wash was made with a wet-in wet technique. Once the paper dried, I started painting the flowers and forming shapes using a ‘negative space’ technique. I’ll explain more in my tutorial coming up soon!

    Botanical, Woodland Nursery

    White Winter Birch Trees

    I stepped outside this morning, on the coldest day of the year. A distant airplane engine rattled through a bitter sky. The arctic sun cast long blue shadows behind barren trees. Skeletons of deciduous forests reached into the clouds. The air was sharp and my throat grew tight. Someone burned firewood nearby. The neighborhood was frozen, the homes exhaled. Not a soul or living creature was in sight. The only trace of life was a series of bunny tracks meandering around the front yard. Even our dog snubbed his nose at the frigid air and curled up on the couch.

    This season is especially tough in Minnesota, but I’m counting on my Scandinavian roots to get me through winter. I’m using this time to slow down and take care of myself and my loved ones. I’m choosing to embrace the cold dark nights with wool sweaters, a busy tea kettle, home-made ‘hotdish’ and walks with our dog in the snow.

    We had our first real snow storm a few days ago. Instead of hunkering indoors, I drove to a huge wooded park and walked around taking photos of the sparkling wonderland. The anxious voice in the back of my mind worried about getting stranded alone in a strange park, or somehow losing my keys after a long hike in the cold. But I did just fine in my parka. My boots crunched through the snow as I made my way around a lake. My body warmed and I enjoyed being in motion. I found inspiration in the winter foliage and purity in the exposed and vulnerable landscape. I liked being alone under a sky of a billion white flakes.


    So I plan on having more winter adventures. Inspiration happens when you seek it, and I think I’m finally starting to appreciate the beauty of winter more than ever before. This watercolor of white winter birch trees was inspired by the birch in my backyard!