The three artists!

I had a memorable day of sketching last weekend with my dear friend Che Lopez and my daughter Stella. We had a special painting project for a friend and spent the afternoon in a colorful garden along an inlet of the Salish Sea.

Me sketching, photo by Che

I worked with ink and watercolor, and Che painted loosely with watercolor. Che is one of my favorite painting friends—he brings a great sense of humor and positivity to everything he does, and his light-filled art always inspires me.

Che at work

Here’s my first sketch, completed on my favorite cream-toned Arches Cover 140lb paper.

The Garden, 5.5″ x 10″ ink, watercolor, and gouache sketch

Here’s Che’s vibrant colors. I love the energy he brought the foreground with splattered paint!

The Garden, 11″ x 15″ plein air watercolor by Che Lopez

My daughter Stella sketched as well, discovering the details and colors of the flowers. I especially love the friendly bees, she added—they were buzzing all around the garden! In the end, she explored making marks with a flower, commenting, “it’s not a nature sketch without some nature in it!”

5.5″.x 7″ ink, watercolor, and flower sketch

We had time and energy for one more sketch looking out along the inlet of the Salish Sea. I included some elements of the garden while Che focused on Mt. Rainier.

Coastal View, 5.5″ x 5.5″ ink, watercolor, and gouache sketch

It was a breath of fresh air to slow down and paint. Special thanks to Che for being the driver on this big day out together, my daughter for joining the adventure, and our friend for creating the opportunity to paint this beautiful spot.

Mt. Rainier over the Salish Sea, plein air watercolor by Che Lopez