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Painting Dog’s eyes in watercolor by SWS Signature Member, Sherry Daerr


Step One: Plan yours colors. For these eyes I chose Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber and Neutral tint.


Step Two: Paint over entire eye except for the highlight with yellow ochre.


Step Three: Drop in burnt sienna while yellow ochre is still a bit damp.


Step Four: Start adding a darker value of burnt umber and neutral tint under the eyelid and the iris and around the whole eye.


Step Five: Add some dark values of burnt sienna and neutral tint around the eye and in the pupil. Still painting around the highlight.


Step Six: With white gauche and some manganese blue, add to the highlights and membrane.


Step Seven: Finished eyes of a Dogs Amber eyes painted in watercolor.


To watch a time-lapsed video of this, go to Sherry Daerr’s You Tube channel at:

You can view more of Sherry’s work at:

Sketch Book Tip by Walt Davis

Since I most often paint on quarter sheets when working plein air, I do preliminary drawings and value planning in a 7 X 10 inch sketch book with at least 90 lb (147 g) paper (since I do value planning with Payne’s gray watercolor).

Walt Davis Sketch book

Prior to going out to paint I make a template from a piece of scrap mat board cut to 6 X 8 3/16 inches, the same proportions of a quarter sheet or full sheet of watercolor paper. I then draw a grid on the template dividing it into sixteen equal rectangles (four up and four across). Before starting a sketch, I place the template on the sketchbook page, draw around the perimeter and make tic marks where the grid lines intersect the perimeter. Using these tic marks I quickly replicate the grid on my sketchbook. Any design drawn within the perimeter thus established will fit nicely onto a quarter sheet or full sheet of paper.

When I am ready to transfer sketch to paper, I use a watercolor pencil to lightly draw a horizontal line across the middle of the watercolor paper and another up the middle vertically. Placing additional lines through the middles of the rectangles thus formed I replicate on watercolor paper the same proportional grid I have on my preliminary sketch. Transferring sketch to paper is then a simple matter of gridding-up. No more struggling to fit a square sketch onto a rectangular piece of watercolor paper and all the frustration and disappointment that can cause.

For more about Walt Davis and his work, visit: