Pride Month and Direct Watercolor Portraits


Sketch Away: Travels with my sketchbook

June was a good time to start reading A Queer History of the United States. And since June is also when Marc Holmes and Uma Kelkar host the Direct Watercolor Challenge, I thought I’d paint portraits related to Pride Month. (Wondering what direct watercolor is? Read more about it in this post by Marc)

My portrait project didn’t get too far but here are four little watercolor portraits of some pretty amazing human beings.You can read more about each of these people by clicking their names for a wikipedia link.

Alan Turing

Harvey Milk

Bayard Rustin

Barbara Gittings

Some quick thoughts on attempting portraits in direct watercolor:

  • Direct Watercolor works best for me with ‘forgiving’ subjects: landscapes, florals, even cityscapes where the exact placement of a mountain, a petal or a telephone pole won’t change the feel of a piece. With portraits, every bit of wonkiness detracts from…

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Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.