Thursday, September 21, 2017

30-in-30 Numbers 20 and 21

I'm back at the challenge! The interruption was due to a hurricane. I'll be continuing the September challenge. But a few friends of mine who were also affected by the hurricane will be restarting our own personal challenges in October. I'm calling it a "reboot".

The first painting is in honor of national peace day while the second is for national New York day.

Watercolor on Yupo paper.

Watercolor on paper.

About Karen Bowden

Want to learn more?

Leslie Saeta's 30-in-30 Challenge
Other Artists Entries

Or maybe you just want to see what other people around the world are posting for all #30paintingsin30days challenges happening today

Monday, September 04, 2017

30-in-30 Painting 3 of 30 Sep 2017

After working on some sketches I decided to make a painting using them as my reference.
This is another watercolor - a little bigger than the others and not on greeting card stock so I guess I'll end up with only 29.

My favorite subject - a horse.

I had enough time in one day to work out and actually do the painting. I wish I could do this more often. Thankfully, I do have a regular job to pay the bills.

About Karen Bowden

Want to learn more?

Leslie Saeta's 30-in-30 Challenge
Other Artists Entries

Or maybe you just want to see what other people around the world are posting for all #30paintingsin30days challenges happening today.

30-in-30 Painting 2 of 30 Sep 2017

Another little watercolor done only from my imagination.

The goal of the challenge is to do a painting each day. I'm posting this one a little late. And sometimes I might only be able to post every few days. But each post will include as many paintings as I could complete!

I also got some sketching done.

About Karen Bowden

Want to learn more?

Leslie Saeta's 30-in-30 Challenge
Other Artists Entries

Or maybe you just want to see what other people around the world are posting for all #30paintingsin30days challenges happening today.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

30-in-30 Challenge September 2017

I have joined the challenge! And here is my first entry. Number 1 of 30.

Normally I work from real life or reference photos. However, this little watercolor is completely from my imagination. It is inspired by watercolor artist, Tom Jones.

About Karen Bowden

Want to learn more?

Leslie Saeta's 30-in-30 Challenge
Other Artists Entries
Tom Jones Workshops

Or maybe you just want to see what other people around the world are posting for all #30paintingsin30days challenges happening today.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Heron's Perch

At the Sanford Marina I painted a scene en plein air during an outing with the Florida Painters. It's a small 8x10 done on canvas board and is for sale at $50.

Click to see a larger version.
When I first saw the weather-worn pylons I knew I wanted to paint a scene with them. The toughest decision was deciding what to add to the scene. When I first arrived there was a gentleman fishing. So I snapped a picture of him in case he moved away. And he did a few minutes later.

So I finished setting up and started painting. As I was working a couple of Mallard ducks decided to   take a nap under the two trees you see in the painting. So, I took a picture of them thinking to add them later. However, fate intervened.

After I packed up to go eat lunch, I accidentally set the painting face down on my palette. When I peeled it off later, (Yes, I said peeled.) I had three little stark white dots to contend with.  It could have been worse! And I think I ended up with the best option.

I turned the dots into birds.

To see pictures of all the Florida Painters click here.


About Me at

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Morning Doves

It's done! If you read my previous post this little painting was almost completed. It just needed a few finishing touches.

This little scene came about at Baldwin Park in Orlando. It's a plein air painting only 9x12 inches. I have been enjoying the opportunity to paint with the Florida Painters lately. It is for sale at $65.

Click to see a larger version.

I started early in the morning and while I was working two doves perched in the tree limb for a short time. Then they flew away. 

I managed to get a picture of them just as one was taking flight. But I decided that was too much action for this serene scene.

To see pictures of all the Florida Painters click here.


About Me at

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Baldwin Park and Stewart Jones

Hot on the easel here is the result of a plein air outing with the Florida Painters in Baldwin park!

To see pictures of the other Florida Painters that day click here.

And later that same day I went to a workshop held by my friend Stewart Jones where I did this cute little watercolor:

For more pictures and information visit my page.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Imaginarium Fluid My Art Catalog

For those who would like to see some of my watercolors I have five paintings in the show. The online catalog I created has a little story about each painting. I hope you enjoy it. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

My Free Online Art Course On Using Tracing Paper

How to transfer drawings using tracing paper

I created my first online course at Skillshare. It's a very cool site where you can sign up for free and take some of their classes free, too. If you subscribe, you can take ALL of the courses they offer.

Mine is free. It shows you how and why using tracing paper is cost efficient and easy. You can also see it free on YouTube (below).

Click Art With Karen to see a list of all my courses.

My next class on Skillshare is also free and it's online there right now. It's a treasure hunt project. The objective is to find and draw a treasured object.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Firehouse Turned BBQ Restaurant

As I was looking for project ideas for my watercolor students, I pulled out a set of old, printed photos a friend of mine gave me back in the 1990's. 

Amongst the photos I found a picture of the front of this cute, little firehouse. Unfortunately, the top of the building was cut off in the picture so I went online to find a reference photo I could use to complete the facade.

I couldn't find any.

With a little more digging I uncovered the sad story:

The H.W. Rogers Hose Co. No. 2 began operation in 1794. A home for the retired volunteer firefighters was built in 1892 on the same grounds. The firehouse was turned into a museum along with six others. Back in 1998 they were still considered an asset to the history and civic pride of the downtown area.

In 2002 the old firehouse became a barbeque restaurant.

It was the second oldest volunteer firehouse in New York State.



New York Times, "Our Towns; A Tradition Of Firefighting Put to the Test"
By JANE GROSS, Published: September 24, 1998

Website, American Glory BBQ Restaurant:

Website, Good Morning Gloucester:

Image of restaurant:

Friday, July 01, 2016

Alexander Art: The Birch Trees Project

The first project in the basic course is a beautiful scene with two birch trees and a mountain in the background.

Step 1

After adding the Magic White to the canvas was to paint highlighting yellow in the sky.

I love this highlighting yellow! I goes on nice and bright and stays that way.

The brush I was using to apply both the Magic White and the yellow was a 1 1/2" bristle provided with the kit for this class.

I always expect some loose bristles but I found myself spending an inordinate amount of time plucking them from the surface of the canvas.

Step 2

Next, I applied Alizarin Crimson around the yellow.

The use of the white helps mediate the effect of getting too much orange when the red was brushed into the yellow. I've used a similar technique with acrylics that Jerry Yarnell teaches.

In this picture you can also see something that happened to my brush. This is great for painting foliage but not for any kind of edge work that requires a fine line.

I found myself getting annoyed at having to constantly stop and pluck bristles from the canvas.

So, I switched to a 3/4 inch synthetic filbert just to avoid the annoying bristle-loss issue.

Step 3

I've added Pthalo Blue in the sky and after only wiping my brush clean with a moist towlette, I painted in the mountains.

With the same brush I added the snow using Magic White with some yellow. As I brought the yellow downward it naturally turned to a nice green in the lower part of the mountains to represent grass.

Step 4

In the next to last step, I added the foreground.

The two birch trees were added with a fan brush and the limbs are fun to paint with a liner brush.

For the grassy area I went back to using the 1 1/2" bristle brush. This is an area where this brush shines!

After wiping the excess paint off of the fan brush I once again used it to add the yellow, red and orange leaves to the trees and a patch of sunshine to the grass with the highlighting yellow.

And with a few more swipes of the liner brush I added some longer blades of grass along with a leafless bush.

You can see the end result in the final photograph.

For my first oil painting in several years (that wasn't a horse) I am quite pleased with my accomplishment!

I am especially liking how the highlighting yellow goes over the darker color. It's very dramatic and it's an effect I've had a lot of trouble getting with acrylics.

So, one of the first things I did was "fix" one of my acrylic paintings of a giant cypress tree. I took the original photo years ago while on a trail ride near the Ocala National Forest.

I can't seem to get a quality photo of the end result, but I uploaded a side-by-side comparison below.

The painting on the left is the re-do. The one on the right is the original.

You can see a lot more detail in the vine growing up the one tree. And I was able to add a lot of detail to the grassy area at the end of the water.

I enhanced the highlights on the tree trunks, too.

I like it.

And I have at least one more acrylic painting that I've already tried to "fix" once but I can't get any result that I like.

So, expect to see that in a future blog post!

In the meantime, Keep Painting!


Sunday, June 05, 2016

Alexander Art Course - The Journey Begins

I recently embarked on a new journey in oils. After switching from regular oil paints to water miscible several years ago, I am once again about to learn how to paint.

The decision to use water miscibles instead of regular oil paints was made due to the fumes created by the turps and thinners one must use. Recently, I found out that Alexander Art has a method of using regular oil paints, but you no longer need to use turpentine or paint thinner to clean your brushes!

I am ready to begin the painting projects in the first course. All of my supplies have arrived and I've purchased everything else I need to do the first six paintings.

The course fee included six (6) canvases, two brushes with a palette knife, the reformulated Magic White and Highlighting Yellow, four (4) basic colors, and a cute little bottle of clear oil called Magic Clear. Teehee!

I had to purchase some other basic items like some interior water-based household paints. I already had some other items necessary for cleaning the "practice board" (included in the class fee) and brushes.

Again, there are no toxic products! I will be cleaning my brushes with painting wipes (or baby wipes) and a mixture of water, vegetable oil with a clear dish washing detergent.

I spent a couple of hours one afternoon preparing all my canvases and practice board.

The environmentally friendly cleanup concoction has also been prepared. I made it in my kitchen with absolutely no worries about contaminating any food surfaces. And it smells wonderful!

If you are curious about this non-toxic method of oil painting see the site and join for free.