Petrea Bush by Garden Gate


Petrea bush at garden gate - acrylic by Cynthia Maniglia.jpg

Here it is, almost done. The Petrea (also know as “Queen’s Wreath”) bush and garden gate at Crowley Nursery & Garden in Sarasota, Florida. Acrylic painting, work in progress. Just need to put a few more finishing touches and sign. I love the color and atmosphere of this piece. It was fun to paint.

Sketch First, Then Paint

I’m glad I sketched this scene first (see my previous post). I’ve always wanted to sketch things out before painting them but never did. For my last two acrylic paintings, I’ve finally given this practice a go – and  I’m glad I’ve learned the advantages/benefits of doing this. Sketching first helps me work a few things in my mind and plan a little before putting brush to canvas.

In the past, sketching first seemed like an added layer “work” to me. I liked to approach a painting very spontaneously. After all, to me sketching was sketching – seemed to be more about lines and drawing – and painting was painting, freer and more about color. I don’t feel that way any more. Sketching is becoming more about tone, value, proportion, perspective, and color too as I add it onto the page.

As I approach a sketch, I think to myself that I am exploring the subject matter and I let that sense of exploration guide me. In my my mind, I’m thinking how would I handle that if I were painting it? What kind of shapes are these? Is this something I want to explore more in a painting? Now, I like to sketch first, then paint!

#WorldWatercolorMonth Day 8

WorldWatercolorMonth July 8, 2016 Cynthia Maniglia Sand Salt Moon.jpgThe scene.jpgThe set up.jpg
Before adding pen and darkening

“Before The Rain” ~ This is a little vignette on our front patio … there’s an old umbrella hanging from a metal hook attached to a wooden beam, overlooking the Statue of Liberty (that’s what we call it) palm and a Crepe Myrtle tree. I started painting while lightning and thunder struck, and soon the rain came. The sun’s come out now. I like to paint from real life, en plein air or in my studio. From Bradenton, Florida ~ ‪#‎WorldWatercolorMonth‬ July 8, 2016. Watercolor and Faber-Castell S Pitt Artist Pen Black 199***

I am really enjoying this and having a lot of fun. I hope you are enjoying my posts this month. Thanks for stopping by, your likes and comments.

Postcards from our balcony

Postcards from our balcony | art journal | watercolor and pencil | Cynthia Maniglia | Sand Salt Moon
Postcards from our balcony | art journal | watercolor and pencil | Cynthia Maniglia | Sand Salt Moon

Yey ~ my clouds are getting a little better. 😃
(I like the clouds in the top “postcard” the best.)

Oh, I noticed a little chip on my nail polish (good thing you can’t see it) that I have to fix.
Such trials and tribulations!

And I’m working on a botanical study
based on a fern I found on my walk this morning.

fern watercolor in sketchbook
fern watercolor in sketchbook

I’m getting ready for Charlie’s World Watercolor Month ~ happening
for the first time ever this July.

How’s your day going?

Nature Trail

Nature Trail – Watercolor, pastel on 140 lb cold-pressed paper – Cynthia Maniglia | Sand Salt Moon

Our neighbors have a nature trail that they let us use. I’ve walked and bike rode through this trail, alone and with my sweetie, alone happy and alone sad. This trail helps bring me back to a happy place, or at least a more level-headed place when I feel out of sorts. It’s so much more to me than what meets the eye.

Quickie watercolor painting with chalk pastel.




Must Get To Beach


Watercolor, dry pastel, marker, and gesso on sketchbook paper. Mixed media and collage. Cynthia Maniglia, 2016


Two days off from work. One scene in my sketchbook done. Yesterday, feeling very “Southern,” I baked corn bread and whipped up some homemade gravy. Vac’d and dusted.  The palm tree is in our backyard. The sky and sea are imagined.


Birds Over Norfolk Island Pines at Dusk

Birds Over Norfolk Island Pines at Dusk - Cynthia Maniglia, social.jpg
Birds Over Norfolk Island Pines at Dusk | Cynthia Maniglia | 2015

Watercolor and Micron “Brush” black ink marker. We have beautiful, Norfolk Island Pines lining our property. I’ve trimmed a few sprigs of pine for a centerpiece of lemons in a pretty glass bowl that’s on our dining room table, which would be nice to paint, too. But last night, I started this painting in watercolor and I finished it in ink this morning. I’ve been admiring the clouds and sky here, as well as the birds that fly up high.

En Plein Lanai


Chloe, our Bichon Frise

Painting on the lanai with our Bichon Frise, Chloe, this afternoon.

Horse grazing in palm-filled pasture outside the lanai

Later in the afternoon, we visited the Manatee Art Center, where they had wonderful art on exhibit, and I found out about some great classes being offered there. We met the executive director of the center, Carla Nierman, who was very friendly and helpful, filling us in on the many offerings, opportunities, and exciting events there. There’s a beautiful ceramic bamboo sculpture that you see greeting us at the center’s front entrance.


All The Little Twigs

c. maniglia 2015

Practice piece, Ink and watercolor ~ Banff, Canada. If you are an artist, it’s good to sometimes take a photo of your artwork and turn it into a black and white photo to see if you’re capturing depth, tones, etc. This is just a quick study on lightweight parchment paper, not a finished painting. I was going to draw all of the little twigs. Well, at least I drew a bunch of them. After playing with colors and lines on the computer, I was itching to get back to paper. Here it is in color …


Reference photo: Mine taken on the way to Banff in Canada.