The Virtual Paintout for September 2013, was the Isle of Wight. It's the largest island of England and located in the English Channel. As usually happens, there is so much to see using Google Street View, that the month-end gets close and I have to settle on a view to paint. Since the Isle of Wight is an island, I chose two views near the sea.
As it happened, I attended a lecture at the National Watercolor Society headquarters before I started painting my two pieces for the Virtual Paintout. The talk was given by Dean Mitchell and was very rewarding. His watercolors are stunning and his enthusiasm for his work was really exciting to see. I got some valuable tips from him and things to keep in mind for my own paintings. It came out during the talk that he usually uses hot press paper which has a smooth surface it's possible to push the paint around a little. I used to use hot press paper for the greeting cards I illustrated for years but I haven't used it for my recent landscape paintings. Dean Mitchell inspired me to try it for the Virtual Paintout pieces. They are small, 5 x 7", and the hot press paper was certainly a different surface for me. A fun experiment!