Photo Tip - Tweaking Might Improve Your Image 100%

Take better photos - demonstrating my photo tip for nature photography.

PHOTO TIP: Tweak Before You Snap!

My artist's journal of nature sketches and studies.

This photo tip can make or break an image. An otherwise 'Wow' shot can be ruined by the intrusion of unwanted bits of this and that.
Do some house cleaning around your subject. Remove loose dead leaves, sticks, and other things that you don't want in the picture. 
Then take a hard look at the arrangement of the blossoms, leaves, and background. Are they where you want them? Are there parts of the plants in the wrong place? Is the background sufficiently clean and tidy?
In the photos above of my Clematis flowers, you can see before and after the tweak. I rearranged the leaf that was hiding that beautiful bloom by gently moving it behind and twisting it slightly to create tension to hold it in place while I took the shot.

Clematis vine watercolor painting by me, Lori Lee Bowles Sampson, Starglow Studio.
I prefer not to remove, break, or otherwise damage a plant, but I do often try to coax leaves and flowers into a position that’s best for my shot.
 Using pipe cleaners or other props can also help with this, but always remove them when you're done and make sure they don’t show in your picture.

Play with this tip and let me know if it helped you take better pictures!

4 different Clematis vines blooming on my patio.

I have 4 kinds of Clematis on my patio (one is not blooming yet). Last year they didn’t do very well, but this year they’re doing great! If you have them, I hope they're doing well for you too!

Unfinished watercolor painting by Lori Lee

Love flowers? 
Visit my Painting Gallery for 
floral art and other nature subjects. 

And visit my Instagram 
@StarglowStudioPhotos for more of my photography.

Inktober 2019 Ink Drawings

This is the first time I’ve participated! Fun! This is day 1, 2, and 3. 

Day 6 • World Watercolor Month • Daily Painting

Window View 
(scenic lake with bright sunset/sunrise)

Wish this really was 
the view out my window!
⭐️ Window View (scenic lake with bright sunset/sunrise)
⭐️ 8" x 8" square (paper size) / Painted area is approximately 6" x 6"
⭐️ Unframed
⭐️ Shipping included for US

Available on my website.

Day 5 • World Watercolor Month • Daily Painting

Garden Bouquet
8x8 inch • Watercolor & Gouache • Cold Press Paper


Would you believe I was painting fireworks and ended up with a bouquet? 
Yup, art happens that way sometimes.

July - World Watercolor Month Daily Paintings

July 2019


Day 1, 2, 3, & 4

This month's daily paintings (at least many of them)
are available on my website.

Watercolor Painting Cat Pawprint

Watercolor Painting Deer

Watercolor Painting Toasting Marshmallows

En Plein Air Miniature 4x4 Acrylic Paintings

A few of my plein air paintings from 2019. I was experimenting with acrylic on gessoed panels. The last couple of paintings I switched to 'open acrylics' to give myself more working time than regular acrylics. But even that proved challenging on a windy, dry day outside. Inside the atrium there was usually plenty of humidity which made the process easier.

Plein Air Day: Painting Red Amaryllis in Acrylic

I really can't get enough of plein air painting. I use that term loosely to mean on-location, usually outdoors, basically anywhere that's NOT my studio. 😏

I'm loving painting with Golden's Open Acrylics on 4 inch x 4 inch Aquabord panels

(indoor atrium) Peoria, Illinois  

Below my paintings are more explanations and definitions
of what others think "Plein Air" means.

Plein air painting is about leaving the four walls of your studio behind and experiencing painting and drawing in the landscape. The practice goes back for centuries but was truly made into an art form by the French Impressionists. Their desire to paint light and its changing, ephemeral qualities, coupled with the creation of transportable paint tubes and the box easel—the precursor to the plein air easels of today—allowed artists the freedom to paint “en plein air,” which is the French expression for “in the open air.”....

En plein air

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
En plein air (French pronunciation: ​[ɑ̃ plɛn ɛːʁ]French for outdoors, or plein air painting) is the act of painting outdoors. This method contrasts with studio painting or academic rules that might create a  predetermined look....

Debate: Must ‘Plein Air’ Be Defined?
There are very few rules in art, which may be what draws a lot of rules-are-meant-to-be-broken types to this field, but artists (like everyone else) want to know that the terms they use are understood in the same way by others. Take, for example, the term painting “plein air,”...

And there are many more opinions!

Join me on Instagram to see even more of my art 
and daily activities.

Artists! Showcase Your Paintings & Art with Chatbooks!

I LOVE these little books!

I've just recently discovered Chatbooks and can't get enough of them!

They're square format, so they work exceptionally well for Instagram. The  Chatbooks app will even connect with your account and let you know when you have 60 pages ready to print, so you can set your subscription on auto pilot and not change a thing.

Being the perfectionist type person I am, I prefer to control each and every page. And that's another great point, I can control and play to my hearts content! When Chatbooks notifies me that my 60 page (that's 30 sheets double sided) is ready to print, I still have 3 days to delete, change, and rearrange. If I delete several and there's less than 60 pages, then it will NOT go to print. I really like that since I often post way more images on Instagram than I would ever want printed.

I can make a Custom Book, (rather than relying on the subscription) where I import any images I want and add as much or as little writing as I feel is needed. This is a fabulous way to make special books for gifts. In my case I just like to have certain paintings in a single collection.

As with anything, this is not without a small learning curve. There are a few quirks, but well worth figuring it all out to have such a wonderful little treasure of your favorite paintings, people, events or collections of most anything.


You can get $10 off your 
first Chatbook order 
with my referral code:



Painting Acrylic En Plein Air at the Botanical Garden

Long winters can really leave my creative spirit cold. I thaw it out with trips to my local botanical garden to paint en plein air with acrylic or watercolor. So many gorgeous picture opportunities too. Great to have on hand for future paintings when I can't get there in person.

Hopefully spring is coming soon!

See more of my original plein air and other nature paintings in my shop.

Orchids Painting
I'm really enjoying using my new pochade box I made recently

Plein Air Acrylic Painting  

(indoor atrium)
Peoria, Illinois  

Hibiscus Flower Watercolor Painting at My Local Botanical Gardens

Winter is LONG... my  local botanical garden atrium is the perfect spot for painting.

I love painting in plein Air but fighting the cold and wind in winter is just too much. I often head over to my local botanical garden to soak up the warmth and humidity while I paint in either watercolor or acrylic. Gives me a much needed break from both the elements and my studio.

Available on my website.

I'm even using this painting 
for some of my printed promotional materials!