Our meeting was called at 1:32, by JulieN., and Nancy L. announced a special invite to a camp in North Carolina, in October. 4 nights in a retreat house. Contact Nancy Larkin for more info.

    We had 51 participants! Guests: Terry, and Cindy’s student Deborah.

Artwork drop off for our annual members show is Tuesday, March 19, from 12 – 4pm. Address is 126 Petris Avenue · Oakland, FL 34760 · 407.656.1117

     April meeting with be at the Oakland Arts center at our regular time.

     May meeting will be in the library, a swap meet and “Share and Care”.

Diane announced that we have 123 members now!

Susan G. The Anne Abgott workshop has a waiting list.

Marcela announced the next plein air at Lake Louise in Clermont.

Susan Mamon announced a one woman show at the University Club, in Winter Park, for March/April.

Mary said our Tom Jones Workshop was a big success and there may be another one.

Leslie R. has posted the members show invite on Facebook, so share it with others.

Jane worked on our invite and will send it to Janet for sharing with members.

Our painting demonstration was by Molly Murrah, a signature member of the Northwest watercolor Society, has a BFA in Art from Bucknell University and background as a graphic designer.

She showed us some beautiful portraits that she painted. Two of her favorite colors for skin tones is Jaune Brilliant #1 (Holbein) and Janet’s Violet Rose.

She likes to close crop and uses a technique using tik marks and quarters the image with vertical and horizontal lines.  Center dot in the middle and line up the line in the center with the horizontal line. She looks for interesting compositions using the :L brackets”. Use the pencil to line up the corners of the eyes and hand draw after you anchor yourself on the paper. She does not trace, there is character in your line so do your own drawing. 

Brushes: ½ … ¾”…. and 1” Kolinsky sable flat brushes.  
Sometimes she needs a Paragon Rat Tail fine line, they hold a lot of water ad come to a very fine point. Other brushes are flat ¼”, for fine details.   

Paper: 200# Saunders Waterford paper (no buckling)

Palette is mostly Daniel Smith, and Janet’s Violet Rose (which has blue in it) and a yellow to make any skin tone… she uses Naples Yellow with the rose. Make sure all shapes are connecting. Eyeballs are never white, so brush in a pale color. Now use ¾” brush for eyebrows, cheeks,

She colored in some shadows. The background shawl is painted with ultramarine then cobalt teal is added. She feels Cobalt Teal is warm because it has yellow in it. 

Always start with the largest brush you can use in the space. (1’brush) Jaune Brilliant #1 is the first wash over the forehead, eyes, then add rose shadow in temples. Then add some blue over the temples where the skin is very light and you can often see blood veins. Can paint into the background because it will be darker. Smooth out edges. She doesn’t like faces to look like they’ve been cut and pasted. Put Cad red light at bottom of nose, chin and earlobes. Make a black and white image to paint from, so you don’t have to worry about the color match…use your intuition. Value is more important than color.

She paints from light to dark…wet on dry. Saunders 200# might bow, but not buckle.

Using a small )1/4”) flat brush helps to lay down a line for the eye lid without painting. Burnt sienna with some rose for the lips. Neutral tint for shadows.

Moonglow is stroked into the shadows of the shawl by the ¾” brush.
Buff Titanium is great for backgrounds.  The top lid of the eye needs a shadow for depth. 

Use the round brush to paint in the hair in brown. Use a liner brush to paint in white hair.

Perinone Orange is used for the spot design on the scarf.

White gouache is used for the design on the scarf, then grey is glazed over for the shadows. Gouache has more pigment to binder ratio than watercolor.

Blooms (cauliflowers) are an added benefit and are the essence of watercolor. More definition the background and more shadow in the lips, left side of face and under the nose using what she refers to as “palette juice”…a mixture of all the colors on the palette.

Flat brushes are used because she thinks of the head as flat planes.  The flat brushes work really well to describe the planes of the face, and even the eyelids.

Pam Wenger is a watercolor artist, whose quick studies she loves. She uses pro create to check her paintings.

So, here is the final painting:

Here is another version she did using green in the shawl.

Thank you Molly! What a great demonstration!

Learn more about and from Molly Murrah here at:


Supplies mentioned: