Friday, August 31, 2018

Concord Rose - Selective Detail

You know how I'm always pondering social media.

This week is no different. I find human behavior fascinating. I should have been an anthropologist. But do anthropologists have time to watercolor? That would really be the deciding factor.

ANYWAY - a few notes on selective details in social media, as expressed through this gorgeous Concord & 9th rose.

When I was at Concord & 9th a few weeks ago, I got to spend a whole day giving watercolor tips, which is my favorite way to spend a day.

Everyone who came was so nice and so willing to be fearless about trying watercolor. I know it seems intimidating at first, but I promise - in a class where you have time for a few simple tips, you can remove all your fear and doubt.

One of the things that Kathy Racoosin and I both teach is to maximize selective details. Don't feel like you have to fully define an entire image - you don't. It's the contrast between definition and sort of a soft focus that gives you the best picture of anything, and allows you to truly see it for what it is.

So, for example, in the stamp image below - which took me a whole day to paint - I did one petal with each group of four or five people - giving them all my blending tips and tricks, one petal at a time. By the end of the day I had a finished rose.

But look at the things that draw your eye on this. It's the teeny sections with the dark purple shadows. It's the one leaf in the foreground with veining, in contrast to the one with none. It's the teeny glow of blue vs. a full blue sky background.

It's okay to hint.

It's actually far more interesting. If I'd put dark shadows everywhere or made the leaves identical, it would have been far more bland. Leave a little to the imagination in all things.

This whole thing was painted with five Daniel Smith watercolors - Phthalo Blue Green Shade, Quinacridone Rose, Quinacridone Deep Gold, Undersea Green and Quinacridone Purple. The sentiment - from the same set - is stamped in Nocturne - the only choice for stamping on cold press watercolor paper, and the rose was stamped in Fadeout ink before painting, and I did the whole thing with a Versatil #2 travel brush. It was crazy awesome to use this stamp INSIDE the Concord & 9th HQ.

Painted Rose Bundle
[ C&9 ]
Fadeout No Line coloring Detail Ink
[ INK ]
Tsukineko VersaFine Clair NOCTURNE...
[ SSS ]
Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors
[ BLIC ]
Da Vinci Cosmotop Sable Mix F Brushes...
[ BLIC | ELH ]
Escoda Versatil Round - BLICK art...
[ BLIC | UTR ]
Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. Cold Press...
Neenah Environment 100 LB SMOOTH...
[ SSS ]
8 1/2 x 11 Licorice Cardstock 100#,...
[ PPR ]
MISTI Stamping Tool
[ MSW | HA | SSS | ELH | MFT | SBC ]
Lawn Fawn STAMP SHAMMY Cleaner LF1045
[ SSS | ELH | CST | ART | SBC ]
Rotatrim Professional Series Cutter -...
[ BLIC ]
Multipurpose Liquid Glue by Stampin' Up!
[ SUP ]
Nesting Porcelain Bowls - BLICK art...
[ BLIC ]
My Favorite Watercolor Sketchbook
[ UTR ]
Heavy Base Weight Card Stock- White
[ GNK ]
Absorber - Synthetic Cleaning Cloth
Mudder 10 Pack White Buffer Sanding...
Essentials by Ellen Storage...
[ ELH ]
Teflon Bone Folder - Ellen Hutson LLC
[ ELH | SSS ]
Tombow MONO MULTI Liquid Glue Two...
[ SSS | ART | BLIC | ELH ]
Ink Off Cloth
[ INK ]

But the most interesting of all is a day spent painting with friends. I highly encourage you to do that. If you want to catch one of Kathy's upcoming road trips, you can do that here.

This weekend I'm teaching my monthly class, and then next week is my retreat! You can learn about my retreats, the sponsors, and watch for the signup for my May 2019 retreat on this page.

Now - my overdue recipe of the year - Apple or Cherry Snickerdoodle Bread. THIS IS AMAZING. I've modified it with lactose free ingredients, but use whatever. Five stars from me.

Snickerdoodle Apple or Cherry Bread
½ tsp Real Salt (if you use regular table salt, it will be different - this is the only salt I use)
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ cups flour
½ cup lactose free butter or regular salted butter, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar (or dark - I use these interchangeably)
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ Tbsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
½ cup lactose free half and half, or if you’re not lactose intolerant, regular half & half
2 large apples* - honeycrisp or similar - finely chopped OR about a can and a half of tart cherries - I used these but think it would be amazeballs with these

Cinnamon sugar topping
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°.
Grease a 9×5 loaf pan - I use safflower oil on a paper towel. Line bottoms and up the ends with a strip of parchment paper (for easy removal) and oil again. Set aside.
Whisk together salt, baking powder and flour. Set aside.
In bowl of stand mixer beat butter, both sugars and cinnamon for 2 minutes on medium speed, scraping sides as necessary. Add in both eggs and vanilla and continue mixing until smooth, again scraping sides as necessary.
Turn mixer to low and add in flour mixture and milk in alternating additions, starting and ending with flour. Mix until just combined. Finally add in apples and stir until just combined and pour batter into prepared pan.
Mix together the sugar and cinnamon for topping and sprinkle on top of batter. It seems like too much but use it all. It forms a crunchy top and the bread is not very sweet.
Bake for 50-55 minutes until bread is set and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool in pan for 10-20 minutes and then gently lift out using parchment paper tails. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*Once instead I used 1 C cooked apples - I just had diced cooked apples I use for my oatmeal.
It is TO DIE FOR with the cherries



  1. Gorgeous card Lydia and your recipe sounds yummy!

  2. The card and recipe are both delightful! Very quick question: roughly what volume of cherries would a can and a half be, drained, assuming they’re drained? I have frozen, you see, and they need this recipe. �� Thanks!

  3. Stunning!!! One other contrast I love is the bold flower with the thin line sentiment! All stunning!


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