In a color challenge a while back, I caught some grief for having chosen the colors myself….just using a few wasn’t enough eh? Maybe someone ELSE’s leftover paints is random enough? Haha! let’s see how this goes!


My dear friend Lisa Spangler sent me a huge box of leftover watercolor stuff a few months ago before she sold her house; she was packing everything up, and she and her husband were headed out for full time van life! They’re big hikers, and Lisa loves sketching out in the wild, and it’s a perfect lifestyle for them. 

But in a van she had to limit what she took with her — so guess who inherited watercolor treasures? MEEEE! 

Go follow Lisa’s adventures…especially if you’re anywhere near New Mexico in August when she’s going to be an artist-in-residence!! 

Tutorial: LIMITED COLOR CHALLENGE | southwest watercolor

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Thimble Peak

I decide to honor Lisa’s love of the southwest and paint some saguaro – the photo reference is here, and while it’s not exactly a replica, I think it worked, given the challenges! I love seeing what colors I can create out of what’s at hand!

Prickly Pear Cacti

I combined two photos for this one – here and here – to create a more flambouyant plant…same color combo with this one, which is kind of amazing that the odd colors can come together in two entirely different paintings!

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World Watercolor Month

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  1. Gab

    You are so amazing … it’s quite mesmerising to watch you paint!

  2. Lucinda Hughes

    Sandy, it is just amazing to watch you paint like this. You created such a beautiful pieces from those 4 basic colors. Thank you for sharing your process and your project.


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