“I hope to do more plein air painting regardless of weather,” Kroger said. “We’ll see if I can drag anyone out with me in the winter. The wildlife refuge is a great place. It is so diverse you can do the mountains or whatever you feel like.”
Kroger says she stays with water mediums. She does standard watercolor but also dabbles in Chinese brush painting – ink on rice paper.
“That takes a vast amount of practice because rice paper is very absorbent and you have to learn to control your water to ink ratio,” Kroger said. “I can easily fill a football field with all my practice papers, which it keeps me humble.”
Kroger said that for beginners, watercolor is the most difficult of all mediums.
“With oil painting or acrylic, if you mess something up you can easily go over the top of it, but with watercolor there is so much foresight that needs to be thought through. You’ve got to know where your lights and darks are going to go before you start.”
She uses gouache, an opaque watercolor, to paint over the top of previously applied paint.
“Using gouache, I can capture the impressionistic colors of life around me,” Kroger said. “Starting with an underpainting of a solid color I then spray a layer of water-based lacquer, so the underpainting won’t wash away as I layer on stippling using the impressionist Paul Signac as my inspiration.”