Watercolor Peaches and Abstract Patterns

I know this fruit is totally out of season at the moment, but who doesn't love peaches?

watercolor peaches painting by Elise Engh

I worked really hard on this collection of watercolor peach paintings and patterns and I loved it!  The colors are to die for!  I will be painting in these colors again.... guaranteed. The abstract patterns were really intuitive and fun to paint.  I felt so free painting these and so like myself.  I've always been a sucker for green.

Watercolor Fruit Patterns by Elise Engh

Watercolor Fruit Patterns by Elise Engh
watercolor peaches painting by Elise Engh

Watercolor Lemons

Original Watercolor Lemons painting by Elise Engh

Lately, I've been working hard at taming my inner ADD artist and focus more on creating sets of paintings.  It's always been hard for me to stick to just one subject because I have so many ideas! But I'm learning that taking the time to explore a subject more thoroughly just increases the painting ideas I come up with.  It challenges me to figure out more ways to work with one subject. 

Original Watercolor Lemons, Leaves, and Blossoms paintings by Elise Engh

I'm also learning how to create digital patterns from my watercolor paintings.  So fun!  I end up painting lots more than I use in the end, but it's all part of the discovery process.  I love that I am able to learn more at this stage in my life.  I honestly thought I'd be in the throes of raising babies, but this is where my road has taken me, so I'll make the most of it and learn all I can!

Original Watercolor Lemons painting by Elise Engh

Original Watercolor Lemons painting by Elise Engh
Original Watercolor Lemons, Leaves, and Blossoms paintings by Elise Engh

Fall Farm Pumpkins and Berries

So I'm jumping back from Christmas mode to show off some of my work from earlier this fall! I don't think I've ever painted so much in my life and it's good.  It feels good to get my ideas down.

Watercolor Rustic Fall Collection by Elise Engh

I had this idea of painting some rustic pumpkins for a while, but it wasn't until I changed up the color scheme that I realized how beautiful it could be.  Adding blue pumpkins livened up the whole scene!

Watercolor Rustic Fall Collection by Elise Engh
Rustic Watercolor Blue and Green Pumpkins by Elise Engh
Farmhouse Pumpkins in a Barrel Painting by Elise Engh

Christmas Watercolor Paintings

I've been working on Christmas paintings for months! Don't blame me for rushing the holidays, we artists have to stay ahead of the game.

Original Christmas Watercolor Paintings by Elise Engh; red christmas cars, wintry forests, and cheery teapots.

original watercolor christmas trees with flowers
original watercolor christmas trees with flowers
original watercolor christmas trees with flowers
original watercolor wintry forest painting
original watercolor red teapot Christmas painting
original watercolor red vw bug car Christmas painting

Painted Fall Leaves

We did it again.... we painted leaves this year!

painted fall leaves- kids art project


My son and I gathered leaves, pressed them for a few days, then painted them with all sorts of crazy colors and designs.  So fun! It's always a good thing when I can get my  kid to paint with me.

Four Fall Paintings

Introducing my new fall watercolor paintings!

I've been painting a ton this fall and I've managed to get a few of the many watercolors listed in my shop.  These four paintings are brand new and I'll be adding more soon so be sure to check back!

Watercolor Pumpkin and Ferns Painting by Elise Engh- Grow Creative Blog

Watercolor HAPPY FALL wreath Painting by Elise Engh- Grow Creative Blog

Watercolor fPink Flowers Painting by Elise Engh- Grow Creative Blog

Watercolor fall landscape Painting by Elise Engh- Grow Creative Blog

Dollar Store Floral Pumpkin DIY

DIY Floral Fall Pumpkin Home Decor

This fall I've been looking for some more affordable ways to decorate.  I love pumpkins and flowers, but the real ones are costly, plus they don't last from year to year.  So what did I do?  I hit up my local dollar store to see what I could work with. I found an orange foam pumpkins for $1.00 at dollar tree.  I wondered if some metallic spray paint could take it to the next level, from tacky to cute.  So I got some copper metallic spray paint and tried it.  Luckily it worked!

Here's how I made my copper floral pumpkin in two easy steps:

Materials:
Foam pumpkin from the dollar store
Metallic Copper spray paint
Fake flowers

Step 1:  Spray paint your pumpkin.

To get better coverage on my pumpkin I set it on top of a disposable plastic cup (with rocks in the cup so it didn't tip over).  I sprayed every visible surface then let it dry completely.  Then I turned the pumpkin over so the underside was showing and sprayed that part.  It worked well!

spray paint a metallic copper dollar store foam pumpkin


Step 2:  Insert flowers.

Cut small flower stems and poke them straight into the top of the pumpkin.  Since it's made out of foam, you can just poke them right in. No glue required!

Dollar Store Floral Pumpkin DIY
Dollar Store Floral Pumpkin DIY

You can arrange your copper pumpkin with a fall wreath or other fake pumpkins on your mantel or your bookshelf.  So fun and so cheap!

Copper Pumpkin Home Decor
DIY Floral Fall Pumpkin Home Decor

Photos of the Week

This week is all about the yellows! The sunflowers and rabbit-brush exploded around here so I took a little walk with my trusty camera.  I've missed doing that.  I forgot how much joy I get from noticing the beauty around me and photographing it.  It's such a gift.

Yellow Sunflower Blue Sky

Two Ways to Paint Watercolor Cactus

You may have noticed lots of cactus paintings popping up on this blog in recent weeks. It's because cactus plants are sooo fun to paint and there are so many ways to paint them!


Lucky for you, I've put together two watercolor cactus painting tutorials in one blog post.  They are both simple enough for beginner watercolor artists.  The thing to remember with both of these methods is wet paint.  So important! So lets get started!

MATERIALS
watercolor paper- I used small pieces (4x6 or 5x7 sizes)
drawing pencil
watercolor paints
small round paint brush
masking fluid or rubber cement

HOW TO PAINT A SAGUARO CACTUS:

Step 1: Draw an outline of a saguaro cactus.  Don't be intimidated by this part.  If you can draw a long oval, you can draw a cactus!  Just add some arms out to the side.  You can keep the shape simple like in did in my drawing, or add lots of arms and off-shoots for a more interesting painting.

Learn how to paint watercolor cactus: Grow Creative Blog

Step 2: Using masking fluid (or rubber cement for a cheaper option), make little dots all over the surface of your cactus.  Let this dry completely.

Masking Fluid Watercolor Cactus

Step 3:  Using several shades of green and even a little yellow, paint the entire surface of your cactus.  Keep your paint pretty wet and fluid so that the colors blend and mix.  A good way to do this is to load up your brush with water, then swish it around in some color, getting lots of pigment on your brush.  Start at the top and work your way down.  I used some olive green and some pthalo green.

Let dry.

Learn to paint watercolor cactus with two different methods.

Step 4: After your paint is totally dry, rub off the masking fluid to reveal small white spots. This gives the cactus some fun texture.

Cactus painting method #1 complete!

Learn to paint watercolor cactus with two different methods.
Learn to paint watercolor cactus with two different methods.


HOW TO PAINT A CACTUS LANDSCAPE:

Step 1: To create depth with watercolor paints, you need to start with light colors in the background.  So the first order of business when painting a cactus landscape is to paint some light cactus in the background.

Start with some watered down green pigment, and paint oval shapes stacked on top of each other to create a light prickly pear cactus.

Leaving a little space between, paint a light saguaro cactus shape in a different shade of green. Let these dry for a few minutes, but not completely.
Learn to paint watercolor cactus with two different methods.

Step 2:  With darker, more saturated color, paint another saguaro cactus slightly in front of the prickly pear cactus and a little barrel cactus and prickly pear in front of the lighter saguaro.  See how the difference in lightness and darkness create depth?

Step 3: With the color of your choice and while the paint is still wet, paint in some little blossoms on the tops of the cacti.  You can use different colors and make the blossoms on the background cactus a little lighter than the others.

Step 4: Add texture to the cactus themselves by painting little dashes or lines up and down the length of some of the cactus.  Use slightly darker paint so the lines will show. And you can be creative with the color here too!

Learn to paint watercolor cactus with two different methods.

Cactus painting method #2 also complete!

Learn to paint watercolor cactus with two different methods.

Now go get experimenting with cactus painting and remember that you may not get it perfect the first time around.  I'm a big believer in practice! The more you paint with watercolors, the easier it gets. Stay creative friends!

Learn to paint watercolor cactus with two different methods.

Six Mini Watercolor Cactus Illustrations

Mini Watercolor and Ink Cactus Illustrations by Elise Engh

Sometimes painting small and fast is refreshing, especially after laboring over a detailed painting for hours and days.  It's then that I want to create something beautiful and paint it fast!

I painted all six of these mini watercolor cactus illustrations in one afternoon.  Once I got started, I found that it was hard to stop.  I had too many ideas! Plus, I don't think I'll ever get tired of outlining watercolor with ink. It's so beautiful. 

Mini Watercolor and Ink Cactus Illustrations by Elise Engh

So now I've got a mini watercolor barrel cactus, 
Mini Barrel Cactus Watercolor Illustration by Elise Engh

prickly pear and yucca cactus,
Mini Watercolor and Ink Cactus Illustrations by Elise Engh
Mini Blue Prickly Pear Cactus Watercolor Illustration by Elise Engh

and I have no idea what this one is called, but I love the pink blossoms on it!
Mini Green and Pink Cactus Watercolor Illustration by Elise Engh
Mini Watercolor and Ink Cactus Illustrations by Elise Engh