5 Tips for Watercolor Painting and Journaling in Tuscany

Let the Tuscan colors seep into your life

Watercolor Journaling is for anyone who loves color.

No prior experience is necessary to enjoy painting in Tuscany.

#1 Portable Supplies

Grab your colors ~ Ultra light, portable watercolor palette, brush and journal is all you need to experience being an artist under the Tuscan sun.

watercolor journaling in Tuscany
Sitting on a park bench over looking the hillside village, I painted this small watercolor sketch in my journal.

#2 Paint on the Fly!

Paint on the fly! Pocket watercolors with watercolor postcards are easy to paint on a cafe table or park bench. No easel or heavy equipment and paints are required.

watercolor journaling in Tuscany
This tiny watercolor is inspired by the laughter from our Tuscan dinner party. I think it captures the warmth and friendship of two houses coming together!

#3 Sparkle

Make your paintings sparkle with tiny white spaces between your colors. White adds whimsy and fun.

watercolor journaling in Tuscany
This little watercolor journal entry is just one of many whimsical building in nearby Greve. We visited the market there, enjoyed vibrant Tuscan colors.

#4 Crayons!!!

Try Watercolor crayons to add linear details. On wet let them bleed. On dry paper their pigments will flow when a wash is applied over top.

Tuscan cooking lessons
Danilo’s dinner party inspired this little watercolor sketch in my journal.

#5 Whimsy, an Artist’s Eye

Use a light touch to add whimsy. Look to see vibrant colors. Practice 10 minutes a day to train your eyes.

watercolor journaling in Tuscany
Delicate washed colors from my watercolor jouranal spilled over onto my oil paintings.

Learn to capture simple vignettes that express your inner artist. Go with the flow and bring home inspiration.

watercolor journaling in Tuscany
Watercolor journaling is easy and fun for beginners and advanced painters. Ultra portable, it’s quick and easy to paint in a cafe while waiting for Chianti.

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Inspiration for a Painting Commission: Cinque Terre

The rooftops on this painting reminded my clients of living in Cinque Terre!

Oh my! Over the holidays I took on a painting commission. The painting the couple loved best was too small for the place they envisioned hanging it. So we decided to create another painting to fit the space.

abstract landscape painting
Lavender Sunset, 36″ x 24″, oil, See more info>     Prints starting at $35>

Painting commissions are a wonderful collaboration of ideas, inspiration, memories

Once we agreed on the size, creative energy filled us with ideas. My client emailed me three watercolors she’d painted years ago that reminded her of the painting. I am so excited, colors and ideas are spilling out onto other paintings in my studio.

My client’s conversation about the turquoise sea opened by eyes about how to finish an unfinished painting called “Tapestry.”  And when I’d finished it, I could hear it’s new name, “The Watchtower! ”

inspirational art
The Watchtower, Purchase Info>

When I returned from my client’s home, I could see beyond the woven layers of paint. As I painted in the turquoise sea between the massive edifice ~ I saw the watchtower, a stairway to the heavens, a narrow frame of mind as each prayer relays communications heaven and earth.

I like that there is more to this painting than the struggle I was caught in. I had started it when I returned from France four years ago. It feels really nice to know the painting has a good message and is finished. Now it’s ready for a good home.

Prints of both Lavender Sunset, and The Watchtower start at $35. Shop Now>

Call me if you have a place for it in yours!

It’s ALL about Color The most powerful communicator uses no words!

A friend asked me the other day, ‘Why paint in Tuscany?’

It’s all about COLOR! Painting IS color.

Color is emotion. Paint in translucent veils of Watercolors. Paint in pure color pigments of Pastels. Or paint with vibrant, glowing, resonant hues of Oil Paint.

‘There’s plenty of beautiful things to paint in the United States,’ my friend insisted.

So why would an artist paint so far from home in any media?

colorful contemporary oil painting
When Prayers Go Up, Shooting Stars Light the Sky, oil on canvas, 30″ x 24″  Purchase Info>

Painting is color and color is emotion

Yes! Different places have distinctly different, unique color palettes. Painting on the Chesapeake Bay for 15 years, I was all too aware that my palette had become blue/gray/green/brown. I felt it.

Bored by the idea of painting one more coastal landscape, I wondered what to do about it?

Painting in Tuscany, I discovered the warmth and vibrancy of Tuscan Colors and how they reflect the joyous people and culture. MORE than just painting. Learning to see and feel those colors ~ to appreciate the people, see the backroads, take my time and really feel the light and colors.

pastel painting lessons
Waiting for the Stars to Shine, Pastel Memory Painting, 15″ x 12″   Purchase>

Can you see it in the paintings?

I was able to bring the palette home with me! The painting holiday came home with me, and with it a new palette, renewed energy, and a fresh way of seeing the world that uplifts every single day. Can you see it in the art?

It doesn’t matter which media one uses. Even my photographs capture something more.

Chef Danilo makes Tiramisu for our cooking lesson
Chef Danilo makes Tiramisu for our cooking lesson, Photograph
Tuscan landscape painting
Tuscan landscape in autumn is all about color of ripening vineyards, olives, mountains. Photograph

Painting Colors of the Heart in Virginia

Painting in Tuscany forever changed how I see the United States! Coming home the landscape in my own backyard feels colorful, joyful and renewed.

Painting in Tuscany also helped me understand my role as an artist in bringing color and joy to people at home. Now my paintings capture lightheartedness, heart colors, and vibrant energy on each and every canvas.

colorful Tuscan landscape painting
Splendid Memory, Watercolor Landscape, memory painting, 9″ x 12″  PURCHASE>

In any media, painting is color and emotion

It doesn’t matter whether I paint in watercolor, pastel, or oil ~ the palette still reflects the joy I learned to see in the Tuscan people.

Color Painting Holidays in any Media

Now I can teach COLOR right here at home!

Painting on the Chesapeake Bay, the palette is no longer neutral gray green. Come paint with me. Weekend Getaways or a Week-Long Painting Holiday. Or if you prefer, join me in Tuscany this fall.