Tumblr Collaboration <3 with T.C.
watercolor by Maggie Umber, poem by T.C.


For Maggie, who knows all the shades of sky

I think of you in watercolour seasons and silhouettes; in birds of light diffused into the stillness of blue winter.

Colours that grow wings and carry you to a brighter blue, and a treeline that sings a rustling tune of shelter.

Reticent sun in spring; life calls you to begin again in songs of pale green, stirring under pink silvered morning.

Warmth blossoms into warmth; August walks beside you, on a path paved with an enduring kindness that does not fade.

In an autumn sunset after rain, profuse gold beneath heavy clouds finds echo in you.

–T.C. (2017) @street-heart-posts / See the collaboration on tumblr.


Here is a peek into my studio. You can see my process for the watercolor I did for our collaboration. The photo reference on my iPad is from T.C.:


I didn't do any pencils ahead of time. I went straight into watercolor. I'm painting with my favorite Sennelier watercolors of course! 


A half pan is a little dish with a cake of watercolor in it. You can also paint with watercolor from tubes but I prefer the pans. I sometimes buy tubes and squeeze the colors into the pans because it's hard to find individual half pan refills at a store. 

I own 3 different sets of half pans from the French watercolor company Sennelier. One set of 12, one set of 14, one set of 48. I'm using my set of 14 half pans because it had the Quinacridone Red I wanted. 


I'm also using Lemon Yellow, Phthalocyanine Blue and Payne's Grey. I've read that overuse of Payne's Grey is a beginner's mistake in watercolor. I'm still a beginner then because I love it so much. The Daemon Lover (my next comic for The Man in the Blue Suit) will be painted using only Payne's Grey.

I'm using smooth handmade Khadi paper. It absorbs the paint in a different way than the rough paper does. It's harder to get detail, it's less forgiving and the color flattens out. All of which gives it it's own look that I enjoy. 


I thought this was done here, but then I decided it needed more finishing. I didn't like the lighter roof on the right side, I decided the blue needed darkening on top and the bush in the door needed more emphasis. 


Here is the final painting! You can see a color difference between my scan and the photo. I really need to get a new scanner! The photo color isn't 100% accurate, but it's closer than the scan. 


I'm so happy that I got to do this collaboration with T.C. I've done two other paintings inspired by her photos and poems before:

I'm also in the midst of a collaboration with Jeffrey Yamaguchi for his short film Body of Water. When it's done I will share it here as well.

Thank you for supporting me!!! 

<3 <3 <3 Maggie