Tangerines and Star Fruit

Tangerines and Star Fruit.jpg

How lucky we are to have such generous neighbors who share the bounty of their gardens with us! The other morning, a simple chat over a wooden fence with my neighbor in the morning while I was out walking my dog resulted in my coming home with a large bag of fruit. The tangerines had fallen from the trees due to the heavy winds from a recent storm. Would I like some? But of course! The star fruit need a little more ripening. “Just put them in a bowl and let them sit a while on the counter. They will be ready when they’re more of a yellow color. The yellower, the better.” They’re still ripening.

My painting is a little off kilter. The coffee mug is a little crooked – but I like when there’s a slight shift of perspective in a painting that is not meant to be photorealistic but rather more impressionistic and stylistic. I drew and painted it in two nightly sessions.

Tea for three


blue teacups | sand salt moon.jpg

I decided to frame the first teacup I drew/painted to give to my friend as a hostess gift for her upcoming tea party. In the meantime, I created a little pattern using some of these teacups.


I call this, “My Other Tea Set is Royal Doulton, Darling”

I can’t wait to see how my friend likes the framed teacup gift. I found a cute, silver spoon with blue enamel that echoes the drawing/painting I created, so I bought it as a gift topper. Looking forward to sipping tea and eating dainty sandwiches at the tea party.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look!

Tropical Storm Brewing

Tropical Storm Coming | Cynthia Maniglia | Sand Salt Moon

We’re poised for a tropical storm that’s brewing. Raining in Bradenton, FL. Glass dip pen with QoR watercolor and Yellow Ochre India Ink. This is in my Bee Paper Aquabee sketchbook which is for use with wet and dry media. The paper is heavyweight, neutral pH/archival quality, 93 lb., classic natural white. I had fun using watercolor with my dip pen to draw the fine lines you see in violet. It was an experiment applying the watercolor with the pen, and I can see now how using the dip pen could assist in watercolor painting for fine details. I read that I can also use coffee and tea with my dip pen! Must try that sometime, too.

Three’s a Crowd

Three's a Crowd | Watercolor | Cynthia Maniglia | Sand Salt Moon.jpg
“Three’s a Crowd” | Watercolor | Cynthia Maniglia | Sand Salt Moon

I had a little time to paint tonight, so I did this. I call it “Three’s a Crowd.” It’s based on a photo I took of our neighbor’s ducks in the little pond that’s down our driveway on the way to the mailbox. In the photo, there were four ducks. But I only painted three. I used the photo mainly for the shapes of the ducks and their reflections in the water. I am pretty pleased with how my little painting turned out for several reasons, one of which is the variation of brush strokes which helps keep the eye moving around the painting and the composition interesting and lively.

Three's a Crowd | Watercolor | Cynthia Maniglia | Sand Salt Moon (1)

Another aspect of this piece I enjoyed creating is the achieved a variation of textures using several different brushes and tools. (Remembering how many times have I tried to paint something when I started out with just one brush.) This time, I even used a sponge and scraped the paint in the background where the edge of the pond meets the vegetation using the tip of my handy dandy glass dip pen. Feeling satisfied, mission accomplished today, and happy to say I have my ducks all in a row.

De Soto National Park

De Soto National Park ~ Bradenton, Florida. I was there this week and this tree by the water caught my eye. I was attracted to the water which had an orange tinge to it, and how the tree framed the view. Watercolor with a round brush and Bombay ink applied with a glass dip pen. I also used a sponge to apply the shadows and texturize the sand in the foreground.Desoto National Park - Florida - Watercolor and Bombay Ink - Sand Salt Moon - Cynthia Maniglia.jpg

I took lots of photos of things I wanted to paint.

When I paint from photos in the studio, I look at them on my computer or mobile phone and more often than not, simply keep looking back and forth between the paper and the screen, painting directly without doing a pencil sketch first. I find this method keeps my painting more lively, as if I were actually painting “en plein air.”

Desoto Watercolor - Cynthia Maniglia | Sand Salt Moon.jpg