Watercolor Palette

I’m enlarging my watercolor palette. I had been using a Winsor&Newton Cotman Watercolor Sketcher Pocket Box. Quite portable, it holds only 12 colors but I had used it for all my urbansketching over 5 years. ( I had it for over 25 years.) Now I’m ready to expand.

My new palette is a metal palette with a bit more room for mixing colors and holds more colors. It’s a Meeden from Amazon. Also purchased from Amazon are half-pans. I can put 17 half-pans possibly squeezed in 19.

I based my color choices on the warm/cool color palette. I’m aiming for more professional grades, mostly Daniel Smith and Winsor&Newton.

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Watercolor sketch of Meeden watercolor palette with colors by Marlene Lee


So the list goes as follows:

Primary colors –

  • For yellows – Daniel Smith Hansa Yellow and Utrecht Cadmium Yellow Medium
  • For reds – American Journey Permanent Rose and Blick Alizarin Crimson
  • For blues – Daniel Smith Cerulean Blue and Daniel Smith Ultramarine Blue

Secondary colors –

  • Daniel Smith Quinacridone Violet
  • Daniel Smith Sap Green
  • Daniel Smith Viridian
  • Winsor&Newton Cadmium Orange

I call these earth colors –

  • Winsor&Newton Burnt Sienna
  • Winsor&Newton Burnt Umber
  • Blick Yellow Ochre

And American Journey Payne Grey

I’m searching for a deeper purple than the violet. For the reds, I’m not completely happy with the permanent rose, still need a warmer red. Any suggestions?

Watercolor Sketches

Practicing more on watercolor sketches of buildings especially entryways with flowers. Love how plants add so much personality to a structure. Both sketches were done on Strathmore Visual Journal 140# watercolor CP. The ink is Noodlers Lexington Grey.

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Blue Door with Flowers, watercolor and ink
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Landscaped Front Yard, watercolor and ink


Outside Baking Oven Sketch

Guinevere is an hole in the wall cafe that serves great Italian food. The two owners, husband and wife are the chefs and also artists. With my lunch, I was sitting outside next to the baking oven going…sending out savory smells.

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Outside Baking Oven at Guinevere Cafe in Woodland, 2/14/18, Faber Castell sepia marker and watercolor


An artist friend of mine has two beautiful greyhound dogs. And they are so friendly.

I wasn’t quite sure of the green background…but somehow it works.

“Dash” 6 x 6 inches oil on canvas panel

Museum Sketching

Painted this grandmother and grandson sketching at a Wayne Thiebaud’s Exhibit at the Manetti Shrem Museum on the University of California, Davis.

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Sketching Thiebaud, 8 x 10 inches oil on panel

Upcoming Calligraphy Class

I’m offering a calligraphy class at the Davis Arts Center. It’s a 4-week class that will cover the basics of calligraphy. The students will be learning the Italic hand by using a dip pen – very traditional method.

Here’s an example of Italic.

Final Copy

Register at the Davis Arts Center at davisartscenter.org or call 530 756-4100.


I started Sadie Valeri’s Online Program in May 2016 and I finally finished the basic Classical drawing program. The drawing program consist of learning how to draw the spheres and ellipses perfectly, shading, copying the Bargue plates, and blocking in still life objects. These lessons have been life-changing in my art and had taught me more about drawing more accurately and shading techniques. What was so invaluable are her personal critiques which aid my learning faster and at a very affordable price.

Sadie has a Youtube channel that provides some ideas of her teaching methods.

Sketching at the Manetti Shrem Museum

“Let’s Draw Davis” sketchcrawl met at the Manetti Shrem Museum in Davis, CA. Beautiful day but a bit nippy. The Wayne Thiebaud Exhibit is on display now so I head on inside to view. I captured some of the sketchers and the iconic horse sculpture inside the museum.

Manetti Shrem Museum Entrance
Manetti Shrem Museum sketch by Marlene Lee
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A Young Urbansketcher sketch by Marlene Lee
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Andrew’s Shoes sketch by Marlene Lee
012818_Horse at MS Museum
Horse Sculpture at the Manetti Shrem Museum sketch by Marlene Lee