The Weird, Wonderful Wandering Ways of Watercolor.

Clean water

soft brushes

heavy paper

Cool vs Warm

Pthalo vs Ultramarine

Primaries,  secondaries, tertiaries, complements

and a huge variety of grays.


A brush charged with  water can lift a clean line or destroy a wash

A spray of rubbing alcohol doesn’t make a dent on a dry wash, but drip it onto wet paint and you have fantastic, blobby bullseyes.

A sprinkling of salt makes “stars” on a damp night sky.

Crumpled plastic wrap makes blocks and angles

Your smooth, even wash depends on keeping a wet ‘bead’ moving along under your brush.


Glazing color over color makes every possible combo, yet all you really need to make a whole spectrum are

Red          Yellow       Blue


Then layer red over blue, over yellow to create simple “shadow paintings”

Or use a “negative” painting technique that layers from light to dark to create a deep, mysterious painting.

Or use a resist medium to create a design, then pour the paint on top .

If you enjoyed this post, please  follow me here: Ashley Wolff Art on Facebook, my webpage , my Etsy shop, or Instagram. You can follow the blog by hitting the “follow blog” button at the top of the sidebar. 

The End of May…sigh

Another school year is skipping, ambling, screeching, and wildly cheering to a close. Everyone is restless and eager for release. Erasers are worn to nubs, and so is patience, but, as much as I look forward to summer, I love being in school…

especially on Author Day!


“School” for me might be in Vermont, or California, in Alabama, Texas, Michigan or New Mexico. I’ve been to schools in Utah, Maine, New York and as far away as Tokyo, Japan and New Delhi, India.

I have been to rural schools and urban schools, big and small schools.

I am always excited to arrive


Because now I get to share how I struggled to read, to understand math and to achieve what my 5 year old self really wanted to be–an artist!

ash age 8

When I explain how the words Passion, Practice, Patience, Perseverance and Possession became my 5 Ps, I’m hoping every child can think of their own passion; that activity or special skill that makes work into fun.

More than talking about books, I talk about where stories come from.

My books grow directly out of who I am: a daughter, a sister, a mother, an animal lover, an amateur naturalist, a reader, and, most important– a child at heart.


When we’ve talked about where my stories come from, we make up our own. As I draw animal characters based on their names and ideas, I explain how an illustrator works.


We discuss ideas such as forward momentum, attention to detail, setting, mood, time of day and point of view. They learn to merge text and illustration and how to use the whole page to tell their story.


I arrive early and I leave after all the students have gone. I sign books and pass out bookmarks.  I marvel at how the work in school happens every day, even if I just get a one day glimpse. How do teachers muster the energy to come back every day?  I need a huge coffee to recover before the ride home, but I always have a good day in your school.


Click here for information on inviting me to your Author Day.

7 Important Reasons Why: Color, Light, Line, Texture, plus Denise, Ashley, Food!

I am so excited to be teaching an art workshop this spring: April 21-23.

The wildly talented Denise Fleming


portrait of Denise Fleming with gelli print block in the Highlights Barn Studio

and Ashley Wolff


portrait of Ashley Wolff prepping a gouache resist piece in the Highlight Barn Studio

have put together an art immersive weekend called the Color, Light, Line and Texture Hands-On Workshop.

It is one of the entertaining and educational programs the Highlights Foundation supports at their beautiful Pocono Mountains location.

highlightsYou DON’T need to be an  “Artist” to join this workshop. You can register here right now.


‘Not an artist’ made this collage last spring

You don’t need to feel confident drawing, painting, or coloring in the lines.

You DO need to have a love of tackling something new, and you have to be attracted to this:




and this:



and this:



and this:



Join us for 3 days and 3 nights of playing and getting deeply involved with color, light, texture and line!
















The venue will be the Barn at Boyd’s Mills, 10 miles from Honesdale, PA. You’ll sleep in beautifully appointed cabins, dine on fantastic food at every meal and be entertained round the clock with lessons, games, surprise guest speakers, and a field trip.


I’ll be leading photography rambles and you can wander the pretty spring woods and pastures, so bring your camera and sketchbook.

Register here for a fun time!