Inside outside

Every visit I make to Anacortes, WA, must include a visit to Lovric’s Sea Craft. I’ve held workshop sessions there as well as painted many views of the boats and water. My camera also comes along so I can archive lots of reference images for larger paintings.

This time I was intrigued by the views that look through the working areas out towards the docked boats. I haven’t painted many inside/outside views, so this was an experiment in values. This is a large painting (22″ x 15″), painted wet-in-wet, using a limited palette of blues and rusts.

When I work wet-in-wet I dampen the paper very well on both sides (after my pencil drawing) with a big brush, and then roll a dry (and clean) towel over the surface. A thoroughly damp sheet will stay wet for a long time, which allows you to keep adding paint without getting too many hard edges. Here’s a little detail so you can see what I mean. Calligraphic strokes are added with thicker paint and a smaller brush when the paper starts to dry.

21 Comments on “Inside outside”

  1. Silke says:

    Thanks for the insight into the way you work! Do you mount the damp paper to a board (sticky tape?) or do you just lay it flat?


    • Silke, I just lay it flat on a sheet of plexiglass that is just a little bit bigger than the paper. I have different sizes of plexiglass for different sheets. Because the paper is so wet, it needs no taping. When the edges curl I just use a bulldog clip to hold them down.


  2. Good Evening dear Shari,

    If I m not wrong, may be or not, I am seeing this as entirely, a different Art subject from you. Because it has lot of mechanical equipment to draw and you have done it with perfection.

    Great and well done, nothing more to say or write.
    Regards and blessings.


    • Uma, I have always loved industrial stuff, especially boatyards, so this is actually no a different subject. I love to draw rusty things, piles of junk, etc. Thanks so much for writing.


      • Good Morning dear friend Shari,

        I love your art as well as the pleasant way you respond to every mail you receive.

        I feel your sincere Heart in all your replies.
        Your replies never indicate that it is a formality.

        You are born not only with an inspiring artist in you but also a very cultured personality.

        Good you have that taste on painting Corroded and rusted items, but they are more difficult to draw.

        It is like an ugly face, more difficult to draw than a beautiful face:)
        (Hope I am correct)

        Apologies for a lengthy response, but could not cut it short.
        In fact, I write very laconic, but sometimes I am forced to bypass that.

        All the best and good luck.
        God bless you.

        Love, regards and blessings
        your sincere admirer and a fan


  3. Bernadette says:

    I wonder also, is this done on 140# rough? In so many ways as you challenge yourself, you also challenge us to try looking another way, try a different subject or vantage point, try inside out.
    Thanks for your continual inspiration.


  4. Bernadette says:

    Oops…I meant 140 #rough or cold press?


  5. Missy says:

    I love your Lovric’s paintings and this inside/outside one is another beauty! I know the exact spot! Those rusts and blues are stunning!


  6. Carol says:

    am always amazed at how you can take such a complex scenario and simplify it so well.


  7. Louise says:

    Still following your blog, Shari. I agree that these paintings are wonderful examples of painting complex scenes with a lot of detail. Amazing and inspiring. A good opportunity to study how you handled all the shapes in these paintings. I continue to put your fabulous workshop trips on my wish list … maybe some day.

    Louise (On the Gulf Coast)


    • Hi Louise, So nice to hear from you. Thanks for following along. Hopefully one of these days you WILL be able to come on one of the trips. Now that I am giving workshops full-time, there may be one that fits your schedule.


  8. Cindy says:

    Hi Shari,
    I purchased “Landscapes” on Craftsy last weekend and have watched it 3 times already! You are an outstanding teacher and I’m so inspired and motivated! I am also devouring your archives and getting so much helpful info! I love your style and humor, etc! Thank you!!
    I always wonder, with your more complex compositions such as boats on water with trees and houses in the background, water and reflections, how do you approach that kind of work- where do you start, etc?
    With much gratitude,


    • Hi Cindy, So glad to hear that you are enjoying the class! That makes me happy.
      With these complex compositions I always do a fairly detailed drawing. But as far as the painting goes, I don’t approach it as separate objects. Instead I work from light to dark values, which sort of means working around the whole composition at the same time. I basically start by painting around the white areas and then building up from there.


  9. Missy says:

    I love your Lovric’s paintings and this one is a beauty! The rich rusts set against the blues are so pleasing. Headed there on the 16th to sketch! Now I’m inspired!


  10. I’m really enjoying your use of dry brush strokes.
    The sense of space here is superb, as is the colour palette.


  11. Louise says:


    You mention having a camera with you for taking reference photos. What kind of camera do you use that fits easily into a sketching pack. My DSLR is too big. I have been looking at a point and shoot for basic reference photos.

    Regarding your post earlier this year about returning your Holbein palette to its box, I don’t think that is ridiculous at all. It is important to take care of our “tools”. That is part of good craftsmanship which is an integral part of creating good art. Our art tools are an extension of who we are. If I get a Holbein palette, which is on my wish list, it is going back in the box too.



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