Ink and Watercolors – Draw + Paint Combos = Lighthearted Looks

"Red Roofs", 5 x 7", Ink and Watercolor on WC paper, Karen Gillis Taylor 2015

“Red Roofs”, 5 x 7″, Ink and Watercolor on WC paper, Karen Gillis Taylor 2015. Click on all of these images below to enlarge.

It’s no secret I am a lover of the French painter Raoul Dufy. His work makes me want to ratchet things up several steps, in fact. Paintings by Dufy range from small watercolors to the largest mural in the world, painted for the 1937 World’s Fair in Paris called La Fee Electricite. (I believe that translates to the Miracle of Electricity.)

Raoul Dufy

Raoul Dufy, Interior with Open Windows

It’s the 20th day of making paintings this January of 2015 for the 30 in 30 Painting Challenge organized by Painter/Teacher Leslie Saeta, and once again, I say thank you Leslie for creating another inspiring painting event. I’ve been making friends and enjoying the work of other painters all around the world!

Red Roofs, detail, KGT

Red Roofs, detail, KGT

After making paintings with acrylics and oils, a switch to watercolor and ink drawing is like a breath of fresh air to me now, and why?

"New Mexico Vision", watercolor and ink, 7" x 7.56", Karen Gillis Taylor, 2014

“New Mexico Vision”, watercolor and ink, 7″ x 7.56″, Karen Gillis Taylor, 2014

Watercolor is a medium I like to work in a very transparent way these days. No more piling on layers of paint, even with an airbrush I used to use, although that gave great effects. Now it is all about a more immediate wash of the brush in one layer or another sweep of a second at the most. I like the fresh look, high key, accentuated with the ink drawing over the top.

Drawing is the beginning of everything for me, as an artist, I have said before. Simple sketches provide great new ideas. The pen is a very friendly instrument for me, as is the good old pencil.

Here are a couple of watercolors I made as greeting card size, back when my Art Room Gallery in Niwot sponsored a fund-raiser to have kids and adults paint greeting cards to raise funds for Boulder Community Hospital. It was a fun event, and the charming painted cards made by kids were sometimes the best sellers of all.

Thanks for reading,


"Lone Tree", 5 x 7", watercolor, Karen Gillis Taylor

“Lone Tree”, 5 x 7″, watercolor, Karen Gillis Taylor

"Spatter Trees", 5 x 7", watercolor, Karen Gillis Taylor

“Spatter Trees”, 5 x 7″, watercolor, Karen Gillis Taylor




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6 Responses to “Ink and Watercolors – Draw + Paint Combos = Lighthearted Looks”

  1. Melanie McNeil Says:

    I want to live in your beautiful storybook town! PLEASE PLEASE now you must write a story about what happened there!


  2. Joan Tavolott Says:

    I’ve enjoyed seeing your pieces for the challenge. I especially like the lightness of this watercolor. Nice work!


  3. Rolina Says:

    I tend to go round in circles with the different media and gain a little something from each one. I love your paintings and see the Dufy influence.


    • karen Says:

      I think it’s healthy and natural to use more than one medium in art. I agree, you do learn a little something from different media. I make art quilts too, and fabric couldn’t get much more different than paint! Now and then I add some pastel on top of a painting or print. It has painterly qualities too.


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