Welcome Bienvenidos!


Beginners Colored Pencil Class at Kirk Bear Canyon Library
March 6 5:30 - 7:30

Mixed Media Colored pencil class at Kirk Bear Canyon Library
March 20 5:30 - 7:30

Beginners Watercolor Class at Kirk Bear Canyon Library
March 27 5:30 - 7:30

Mixed Media Watercolor Class at Kirk Bear Canyon Library
April 3 5:30 - 7:30

* Individual and group tutoring is available too :) Contact me here or Facebook or my website SueBetanzos.com





Saturday, April 30, 2016

Lucy's Warbler Watercolor

A week ago I heard a very different call, right outside my door.
Today I finally glimpsed the bird singing in the dense branches of mesquite trees. It was hard because the bird was small, grey and very quick - flitting from branch and tree.
I've since discovered that most warblers are small and very quick, as they eat the insects.

It was fun solving the puzzle because for a while all I could hear was the call. Plus I was determined to find it.
Once sited and after a bit of searching with sound and site matching I learned I had spied a Lucy's Warbler. It's call was insistent, distinctive.
Here is the little bird gem that I torpedoed a mornings work to find. Dashing out whenever I heard it's call in hopes of spotting it!

Lucy's Warbler Field Study - Watercolor, colored pencil


While searching I was also treated to bright red Cardinal, Phainopepla, cheerful House Finches, Mourning Doves, and a lovely rich orange Queen Butterfly!

Also, yesterday around 6 pm on returning from my jog I stopped to watch a Cooper's Hawk dine on a fresh dove. It was amazing how fast it finished. The hawk has a large nest in a large tree by my house. Ruby amber eyes flashed in the late sunset as it neatly finished it's meal.

Time to get back to work - Continuing on my fun new Birdy Journey - I am Drawn By Nature.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Sunday Hidden Magic

A few birds from last Sunday's birding. I'm going to go back for some field sketching before it gets too hot.
Meanwhile I have written notes and get reference photos from favorite photo sites I will share in another post. The best part after the adventure is painting and drawing with my notes!





My nature list and a few subjects.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Color By Number Hummingbird Class

Here is the design for the May 4 coloring class at Kirk-Bear Canyon Library which will have a simple animal color by number.

The design has a few numbered areas that will help understand shading for beginners. Especially in the feather areas. There will be a walk though demo, step by step showing what colors to layer where.

The hummingbird design is available at the Pima County Library in a bilingual coloring book I illustrated for the Tucson Botanical Garden years ago called My New Backyard Garden.

Student materials:
• Quality colored pencils
• Watercolors or watercolor pencils
• Couple of small brushes #1 & #2  or a fine to medium water brush.
• Enthusiasm and a smile!




Saturday, April 16, 2016

I am Drawn By Nature

Drawn to Nature like a magnet in the mornings. It's the cool spring weather that motivates me to get out and see as many birds and wildlife as I can.

Saw a lot of activity this morning on Tanque Verde Loop which I will record with a list of birdies and a few sketches such as the ones below from Woodland Road the other day. Bright yellow warblers, scarlet red Cardinals, jewel hummingbirds - so many it was exciting.

My current birding will keep me outside until the extreme heat hits. Then lots of painting inside!
Next time I'll try a little plein air sketching - trees :)

Nature Journal. Derwent, polychromos colored pencils, watercolors



Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Barn Owl Study #4

A quick little barn owl study that turned out to be not so quick as I used the watercolor pencils, water color and colored pencils.
Kept adding more detail, tightening it up. A key to any artwork is to Know when to Stop  :)

Still loving the water brushes. Played with watercolor paper in a notebook for this one.

Almost finished!



Barn Owl Study 4, mixed media, 9x7"


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Watercolor Pencil Class April 6

Just a reminder about the Watercolor Pencil Class on April 6 at the Kirk -Bear Canyon Library.
That's Wednesday from 5:30 - 7:30 pm.
Image of roses will be supplied. Student materials list below at the end.

This class is about using watercolor pencils to enhance the colored pencil as an underpainting. It's Not a watercolor class, which is another subject.
The class will cover using watercolor pencils as sketching tools and as part of a mixed media with the colored pencils - the best of both worlds!

Some materials students will need for the class are below.  A possible continuation of the mixed media in animal and landscape sketches in May.





As you can see,  images of roses are chosen - the roses are blooming now! I love going to see rose gardens. Mesquite Gardens here in Tucson has an Amazing selection of gorgeous roses :)

Now for supplies the student will need:
• Watercolor Pencils. Prismacolor, Derwent, Faber Castell are all great choices.
• Your colored pencils.
• Pencil sharpener.
• Watercolor brushes (synthetic 2, 4, are good sizes) or Aqua Brushes as in the second photo with clear barrel.
** Aqua Brushes are synthetic brushes that hold water in the barrel so you don't have to carry water. I love them and use them more than my regular brushes now. Mostly the medium & fine sizes.

• Optional: watercolor pan set.
The trick with these when using them for the coloring books is to use Very Little Water. Most papers are not made for wet materials and will buckle if over soaked.
The Aqua brushes give more control for water use.

• Optional: Images of roses as reference for shading and color.