Last Sunday I traveled to the Mercer Island Library to offer a multi-generational art program for the King County Library System. I called the workshop Ducks and Drakes, after an ancient game where people skipped flat stones across the water. My purpse was to share beautiful duck specimens that I borrowed from Seattle Audubon, and to share painting methods with all the participants. The Mercer Island patrons were so interested, and asked so many great questions, among them: "how do I paint black without a black pan in my paintbox?" (answer: mix blue, brown and violet in heavy saturations without much water), "how do I show shading on the underside of a white bird?" (answer: mix a pale gray from blue and brown). There were people of all generations, young children, parents, grandparents, friends and relatives. For demonstrating, the most fun for me was showing how to wet the paper all around the ducks, once we'd finished painting them, in order to create the illusion of water (Arches paper and watercolor work so beautifully together). The reflected shapes of the birds were done all at once.