Wise Lion Watercolor painting

Wise Lion Picture
Wise Lion – Watercolor

The Other day, I took a break from designing commissions to paint this colorful lion. Between being sick for a few weeks and constantly working on commissions since October I haven’t been feeling super excited to paint lately. I love doing commissions but there hasn’t been much time to do paintings that recharge me creatively.

When I realized I was just spinning my wheels and not making any progress on any projects. I decided to do something about it. Over the years I have learned the best way to cure artist block is to paint something that inspires me in a loose and colorful style while my music is blasting away. I don’t think about any other upcoming projects or my ever growing “to do” list. I just paint. I’m not concerned about whether it turns out perfect or if other people like it. I just focus on how the paint and water interact on the paper.

So I found some lion reference photos on a commercial use website that I liked, picked a color scheme, and turned up my music. It took a few minutes to really get into it but then like dam bursting, creativity suddenly started flowing through me. I had all kinds of ideas about how to use my brushes in unusual ways, how to layer paint colors, and about which direction to take the painting.

I love how the painting turned out and even more importantly the feeling of all that creative energy flowing through gave me the jump-start I needed to finish my other projects.

What about you? Do you have a routine that you do to help you get out of a creative funk? Let me know in the comments below.


Red, White, & Blue



I woke on the fourth of July with the idea of painting a bald eagle that was red, white, and blue. “Red, white, and blue” was the prompt for that day’s world watercolor month challenge. Being a holiday with guests coming over for a BBQ I didn’t have a chance to really work on it.

I started the painting the next day with the original plan being that the background would have washy blurs of color like similar to other animal watercolor paintings I had done. That changed when I had the painting sideways and saw the red paint start to make stripes down the side. I decided to roll with those stripes make it more of a flag background.

Because the painting ended going a different direction than originally planned I ended up turning it into a mixed media piece. Using white and black ink to add details, strengthen shadows and bring back highlights. I also didn’t make the flag perfect in proportions or design because I was working with how the paint had naturally stained the paper.

This is my first animal watercolor painting in this style since December. I had forgotten how fun and freeing it is to paint in a whimsical style. I love seeing the “Happy accidents” as Bob Ross would call them.

This painting will be listed on etsy when the shop reopens on August 1st.