JANNA VANDERVEEN

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Craft day is always fun, especially when Grandma is involved. She researched ways to create cabochon/pendant necklaces, purchased all the supplies, and set up the creative day for her grandchildren to attend. I suggested that my kids draw a picture which I’d watercolor.  Of all the necklaces they created, these were my favorites! My daughter drew a doghouse with her puppy basking in the son. She also drew a self-portrait.  My son drew a hero character with… Read More

“When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.” ~ Horatio G. Spafford For Christmas I received Peter Woolley’s Watercolor for Beginners DVD. The first assignment…learning how to paint with washes.

This is what happened when I tried a new brand of watercolor paper (ProArt 140# Watercolor 6″x12″)…. 1. The paper sloughed off when I ran my paintbrush over the center of the water-soaked picture. 2, The colors didn’t bleed together as they should have in a wash (the paper was soaked) and left streaks everywhere. 3. Any attempt to spread the streaks around resulted in torn paper. 4. The paper itself took over 5… Read More

I made a thank you card today for my mother-in-law who blessed me greatly over the last two days. I used a painting technique involving calligraphy ink and watercolor paints, having learned of it in a book called Pinterest Perfect, by Jamielyn Nye and Flora Chang. This cute little watercolor monster is holding out her heart to share.  (Click on thumbnail for full-resolution)  

Watercolor #24: Watercolor Hot Air Balloon: Reflections “Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13: 12 (Click on thumbnail for full-resolution image)

Watercolor #22: Watercolor Matryoshka Doll   The beauty of the Lord is like a Matryoshka doll. At first glance it is stunning, but a closer look reveals a magnificent mult-layered gift, full of even greater splendor. (Click on thumbnail for full-resolution image)

Watercolor Attempt #21 I cannot help but contemplate the work of God’s hands, while writing Lumen, the second book in my Eden’s Gate series. Psalm 19:1 comes to mind and lingers… “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.” ~ Psalm 19:1 (Click on thumbnail for high-resolution image)

Watercolor Attempt #20 This week, I viewed several YouTube tutorials on “negative watercolor painting.” I was intrigued by the title, learning quickly that it’s not a reference to one’s attitude. Instead, it ‘s a style of backward painting, or painting outside the lines/edges of a picture. Another way to describe it is coloring in the negative spaces, using multiple layers. This technique fosters an impressionistic or fantasy  feel. My watercolor painting was inspired by Sydney Harper’s, “Rooftops.” (Click on thumbnail for high-resolution image)

My five-year-old daughter drew this village picture, with a house, pink cotton candy tree (her most favorite snack), garage, car, dog, and flowers. We added a few trees to fill in the blank areas. Around it all is a fence. She would have preferred that I watercolor paint the entire picture pink, but I assured her that added color would look nice too. So, voila! “Pink World” (Click on link for high-resolution… Read More

Now that the kids are back on school, I have plunged back into editing and writing. It is always a challenge to keep life balanced when I immerse myself into my work, so I make an effort to do activities with the kids that I think they will enjoy. This week, on a whim, I asked my children to each draw a picture that I could watercolor paint . I wanted to do… Read More

Watercolor Attempt # 17 I didn’t want to post this latest watercolor painting. At all! Except my husband reminded me that I should be posting my epic fails and disappointments alongside my successes, as part of my blogging experience. Groan…. And he’s right. So here it is. The colors are blocky and the lines rigid. I splattered paint in areas I shouldn’t have. I didn’t capture the essence of wet in wet painting, which bleeds, disperses, and merges into… Read More

Watercolor attempt #16. “Volkswagen Camper Van” Our family camping trips are complete for 2014 and school planning has begun. Change is in the air. It’s been a good summer filled with lots of happy memories. In honor of all those memories, I painted a Volkswagen Camper Van. (Click on thumbnail for high-resolution image). Reference Photo Inspiration: http://www.ABPosters.com http://www.abposters.com/posters/vw-california-camper-v13241

Watercolor attempt #15 Art day is always fun with my children. We pile the kitchen table high with markers, papers, crayons, pencils, paints, etc…and go to town creating. My kids hunker around me and we bond. 🙂 My middle-born son drew Pixel World. My daughter illustrated a heart with her best friend Bella on it, and her cousin. In a sad twist of fate, we lost it. However, she’s not let that get her down, promising to… Read More

Watercolor Attempt #14 Painting keeps me thinking creatively, a necessary skill for both writing and editing. It forces me to visualize light and dark, shadows and colors, and imagine the what-if’s in the picture. When I tried to put words to the feeling this picture evoked, this thought came to mind… I am a haven, a safe place. Even though trials may come, I promise rest and a place of peace. “‘For I know the plans I have for… Read More

Watercolor Attempt #13 This painting reminds me of my childhood which was filled with days of life guarding, Saturday’s at swim meets,, camping with family, and snapping green beans with the radio blaring Christopher Cross’s song “Sailing.” What summer memories do you have? (Click on thumbnail for high-resolution image)

The windows of my soul I throw Wide open to the sun. ~John Greenleaf Whittier Watercolor Attempt #12 (Click on thumbnail for full-resolution image)

My friend Debi and I attempted John Lovett’s tutorial on painting boats. We spent a great deal of time mixing paint colors and even more time laughing. It was a great day. This image reminds me of Charles Martin’s novels, whose main characters live or escape to their boats at harbor.  If you need a summer read, these would be a great choice. They come highly recommended by our book club. (Click on thumbnail for full-resolution image)  

Blue shutters and bright red geraniums…I can envision this window along the busy streets of Paris or perhaps the narrow streets of old Quebec.  To make this watercolor painting, I followed a watercolor tutorial by John Lovett and used my new birthday present, a paper stretching board by Ken Bromley, to ensure an unbubbled surface. Both the board and the tutorial worked well. I am happy. (Click on thumbnail for high-resolution image)

My drawings are always hit or miss, especially when learning new techniques. For this painting, I used a fine line waterproof marker to assist with my character drawing, prior to filling it in with watercolors. I realized, after the fact, that I should have applied the same amount of detail to his clothing as I did his face. As it is, the vagueness of the background and shirt don’t quite match the detail of the head.  But it… Read More

Watercolor attempt #8. This painting was not so easy. Even though I taped the paper down onto a board, the paper warped in ways that my previous paintings didn’t (I’m not sure why). Note the cockled marks lining my photo.  BLEECH!  I also found that painting a tutu skirt is a lot easier said than done and that very few instructional video’s exist on the subject. But it’s finished and I can brag that I… Read More