All posts by Don Maitz

Heartless Watercolor


“Heartless”, another small watercolor painted at MegaCon earlier this month during lulls at the sales table. Such watercolors were used as playing card images in the Raiding Parties card game initial release of the ” Hit The Deck ” cards.

Pirates of the TimestreamPirates of the Time Stream Cover

This cover art was completed last year and has been released as a paperback recently. I made a model of the spacecraft from descriptions in the manuscript. I glued foam board and cardboard with gesso and paint added, then suspended it with nylon line and photographed it using the same lighting direction as placed on the models.

Watercolor Dragon Sketches

Dragon On the Wing“On the Wing”

Dragon Cough” Dragon Cough ”

Two dragon doodles in watercolor created in the comfort of my living room. My wife and I have his and her rolling laptop tables we employ as little watercolor stations.   We drag them into action on our off hours as the artistic spirit moves us,  like when we are barely watching a film that proves to be less than we hoped, or during moments when we find ourselves out of our studio but willing to fiddle with something. These two watercolor studies are about 10″ x 8″ and were painted on bristol board ( a smooth paper surface) using a small water color kit. These keep idle hands occupied, can be offered for sale, and used as preliminary ideas toward other works.

Last Chance remarqued print Stephen King’s Haven Fund Charity in ebay Auction

Desperation the Well_HVAuction

Original pencil drawing on the Remarqued print by Don Maitz, from the illustration initially appearing in Stephen King’s Desperation first edition. The print shown above is offered for sale to benefit the Haven Fund Charity Auction. The haven Fund was established by Stephen King to lend financial assistance to creative talents overtaken by crisis. This year’s auction is taking place now, and this is the last Don Maitz print to bid upon. Bidding closes on Feb. 24, at the following link  –

This print and others from the Desperation book are also available (without the remarque) from the Don Maitz and Janny Wurts web store –

Painting Outdoors

Tree Huggers

Tree Huggers
I have been taking to the road occasionally with a Half-Julian outdoor easel trying my hand at oil painting in the open air, commonly referred to as “plein air” painting.   Artists have  sketched outdoors for generations using their field work as source material for larger works. Plein air  painting has become an art form in itself.  This process became much more accessible with the development of pigments in tubes which allowed artists to take their materials conveniently out of the studio. I believe tubes of paint and the outset of photography provided the motivation for the Impressionist movement to depart from traditional, representational studio painting in the 1800’s.  For painters like myself, trained in still life and indoor figure painting, it is an experimental adventure to be “ out there”  with paints and brushes trying to capture what I see.  I admire those who do this regularly.  Photographs cannot record the outdoors as can an observant eye, a controlled brush, and dedicated perseverance.

When I introduce sea rovers (or other figures) into the tropical environments I paint, as I did with “Drawn to the Sea”, an authenticity of place combines with my figure research to achieve a more truthful result, provided I successfully integrate light source information and perspective issues.

The location where I worked on “Tree Huggers” is a spot next to one of the hiking trails nearby which is left to grow wild.  I was attracted to the dappled light seen through the foliage at sunset also repeated by the lichens on the trunk of the oak. I revisited this spot with my painting kit several times with this small 10” x 8” gesso panel as the light is so transient at that time of day.  And because mosquitoes get so hungry when the sun is setting!

I suppose I am a true tree hugger at heart. We do all we can in our household to support the environment and lower our ecological footprint.  This past year we had 42 solar panels installed on our studio roof that supply our home with solar electricity during daylight hours.  Now, no matter the colors I employ in my work, every painting I do is “green”.

Fun Watercolor

Ace in the Hole
Ace in the Hole

Lashie Come Home

Lashie Come Home
When I find myself in situations where I am relatively idle, I produce small watercolor paintings. These two are about 10″ x 8″.   The subject matter ranges from serious to fun and maritime to fantastic subjects like dragons and wizards.  I have a very compact travel kit and utilize small papers and boards that allow me to work in airports, airplanes, hotel rooms, in front of TV, at conventions, events or, paint from direct observation on location.   I gather a bit of research, bring some extra brushes and use available napkins.  My kit comes with one small brush, a water container and tub, and has a selection of half pans of color.  I have been experimenting with different paper surfaces. “Ace in the Hole” is from photos I took of a friend’s parrot who was mangling a business card and “Lashie Come Home” originated from photos taken of our one eyed cat in his younger days.

Many of these elaborate doodles have become spot illustrations for such things as my calendars of a few years back, and can be found reproduced on each face of a complete deck of playing cards sold in the initial Raiding Parties Card game:   Depending how well the resulting paintings resolve, I sell these in galleries, online, and at events I attend. To see a selection of maritime watercolor vignettes go to

Also,  these travel doodles have given me confidence to attempt such things as an edition of watercolor remarques in Stephen King’s “Desperation” illustrated first edition. The book’s paper stock was not intended to receive pigments and it was a challenge to not destroy the paper as I worked.  To see these visit-

Portraits in Watercolor

“Salty Sue”Salty Sue
This watercolor portrait was commissioned as a birthday gift. The model’s husband is a terrific published photographer who provided me with very nice, well lighted, photos to use as source material.  As this was to be a surprise,  I employed photos of hats and period costumes from my picture file to place her in period dress.  I emailed  line drawing to show the intended presentation before I began the  painting.    A few years before, I also painted the model’s husband, who this time is the commissioning  client,  in pirate garb as a Christmas gift,   so the couple now has His and Her matching piratical portraits. I have completed both watercolor and oil portraits such as this.

Another example Is this portrait celebrating a wedding completed from several photos taken on their wedding day.

Bill and Cat