Sketching in SFJana Bouc is a San Francisco Bay Area artist and watercolor teacher who works in a variety of media including watercolor, oil painting, gouache, and monoprints.
Her award-winning paintings have been published in books, shown locally, and are in private collections internationally.

She specializes in portraits of animals and people and enjoys plein air landscape painting as well as still life and floral subjects.

Her sketchbook is always close at hand for her ink and watercolor sketches.

Jana’s website displays her finished and available paintings; this site has ink and watercolor journal sketches, paintings in progress and completed, experiments, reviews of art supplies, and writing about life in general.

Her award-winning work is published in art books including: The Art of Urban Sketching: Drawing On Location Around The World; Urban Sketching: The Complete Guide to TechniquesHow to Paint Watercolor Flowers: Create Your Own Masterpiece in 6 Easy Steps,  Watercolor Flower Artists Bible, and magazines including Idaho Landscapes: History, Science and Art, and Cedar Wings Magazine (the inflight magazine of Middle East Airlines), and on the cover of a novel: Butter: A Novel .

If you’d like to contact Jana with questions or to purchase a painting, please email me at janabouc@gmail or just leave a comment here.

Self Portrait, Oil on panel, 6x6"

Self Portrait, Oil on panel, 6×6″ 2013

42 Responses to About

  1. Hello, I was reading your recent blog and looking at your paintings. I love cruising around at different painter’s sites. It’s funny how other artists comments resonate when I read them….perhaps because have experienced the same thoughts myself from time to time. Anyhow, nice watercolours!

  2. Stephanie Prejza says:

    I love your pen & ink drawings and watercolors. Where do you teach? I live in Half Moon Bay. Thanks Stephanie

  3. Judith Gould says:

    Hi Jana,
    I love your drawings and the colors you use are wonderful. The seagull with the blue sky behind is beautiful. I don’t know what I liked most: your paintings or your sense of humor in the descriptions.
    Judi Gould

  4. Sandy says:

    Just saw you listed as one of the best blogs on wordpress, and I can see why. Nice!

  5. dany bee says:

    don’t know how to reach you via email but u mite want to hear about my bubbie and zadie book…

    for Hannukah , for kids



  6. Tom G says:

    Hey…I just discovered your blog and I love it.

    I used to paint a lot in high school–mostly watercolor and pen and ink–so your blog greatly appeals to me.

    Looking forward to following it.


    PS–I added a link to your blog from my blog.

  7. stef says:

    i was surfing and your blog was listed as one of the best sites in wordpress.
    I really enjoy your images your artwork.
    fantastic work.

  8. stef says:

    just came by yoursite because it was listed as one of the best in wordpress.com
    love your work! it’s fantastic.
    i used to paint and draw too. But seeing your stuff online in a blog makes me want to have a site like this now. Thanks for being inspring.


    Hi Jan:

    We really enjoyed your great website. Keep up the good work. Now I’m going to write your mom and let her know your art work was every bit as delightful as she said it would be.
    Fondly, Cynthia and Bob

  10. denis minaev says:

    Very good work! Very nice watercolor!

  11. barry says:

    I happened across your pictures, looking for drawings of klezmer musicians, yours are quite unique and fun.

  12. Kim Larsen says:

    Hello –

    I would like to invite you to join in on a little portrait-drawing-fun … please drop by here: http://www.udgang99.dk/pdm

    The site is just starting out, but it’s looking promising already, I think!

    Kim Larsen

  13. Nik says:

    Hi there,

    Just thought that I’d let you know that I’ve used you as my artist for my Unit 1 A-Level Coursework! Your work is beautiful and eye-catching and I think you’ve done a brilliant job!

  14. you have a superb blog, I will spend much time to look through your work and put your site to my favourites, greetings,


  15. Nick Story says:

    Jana, I am a retired (from UC Berkeley) illustrator and in retirement have found gouache to be the medium for me. Nearly all my work as a professional illistrator was done in black & whiite and I used to paint in oils but gave them up in consideation of landlord concerns.

    I bought one of Cathy Johnson’s books, “Watercolor Pencil Magic,” when looking for some way to get color without the fumes, and gouache was a happy discovery.

    Do you have a postal address that you are willing to share?I would like to send you paper prints of artwork 0n occasion, but have decided I am too much of a technophobe to deal with computers. I can do e-mail but am not happy about it, preferring to paint. At 75 it is still a great hobby for me.

  16. Hey Jana! Did you know that this URL popped up on one of my favorite blogs, Cafecrem.wordpress.com? Automatically generated. . . not bad. Reminds me I should get back to visiting again.

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  18. Jo says:

    I just started watercoloring this summer, and it’s very rewarding. One of the (several) good things about your blog is that you’ve shown me a lot about the process of art…reworking paintings (or not), being ok with incomplete sketches, trying different media, and how to set up a studio. I’ve also learned a lot about the thought processes of other artists through your site. Thanks!

  19. jjdicarlo says:

    I had to say hello because my name is Jana too! Aren’t we Janas the coolest? I have a wordpress blog too – mine’s at http://anyplacefarm.wordpress.com/.

    I found you through http://www.suzannebuchanan.blogspot.com/. I love her blog too. I’m an artist too but not nearly as talented as you gals.

  20. Susan (Cadmium) says:

    Hi Jana,

    Love your blog. Who could resist it? I see CM is a real turn in the road for you, but I’m enjoying seeing how your first CM is really from the same artist who did these wonderful sketches and watercolors. I see the connection–very fresh feel and atmosphere to everything, but partial to CM SLs these days, so am very happy you are doing more, an a lemon to boot!!! I continue with lemons this evening.


  21. Jana Cortez says:

    Do you teach water color painting? Could you please send me your schedule. I live in Sacramento, but would love to take a class from you. I have been receiving your blog for over a year. Love your work.

    Thank you,

    Jana Cortez Sacramento

    • Jana Bouc says:

      Hi Jana,

      I’m so honored that you would drive all the way from Sacramento to take a class with me. I will indeed be offering watercolor classes again in the future, but do not currently have any scheduled. I’ll add you to my list and let you know as soon as I do.

      I’m planning a trip to Sacramento later this month to go sketch at the State Fair. I’ve never been but it seems like a fun opportunity for a great sketchcrawl. Have you been?


  22. kcd75 says:

    This is a great site! Love the paintings.


  23. Cathy says:

    Hi Jana, just got your link from another site, and was very interested in your comment about being able to reboot from work life to painting life. I go through the same thing all the time–as a graphic designer all day and trying to paint freely on the weekends. Anyways, thanks for the inspiration and I really enjoy your paintings and colors. I especially love the smurf house. Hoping to start a similar blog too!


    • Jana Bouc says:

      Thanks for writing, Cathy. I wonder if it’s easier or harder to make that transition when your day job is also in the visual arts. Mine has a bit of that, but mostly is more left-brained. Jana

      • Cathy says:

        that’s a good question. In some ways easier, because we are surrounded with creativity and I am always thinking about it, but graphics is so OTHERS driven, where I am trying to make my paintings MYSELF driven, and forget about anyone else’s input! But I do like the way you just kind of stop and paint what is going on in your regular life and have that integration. I would like to work towards that.

        Here is some of my work (unsolicited, but oh well!)



      • Jana Bouc says:

        WOW! I love it! I wish I could work with such liveliness and vibrancy in a large scale. Great work. And clearly very much personal expression, although your graphic design talent shows through it as well. Thanks for sharing it with me. Wonderful wonderful! I noticed it is all the same size and dimension 3×3. Do you always work on a square format. I’m so attracted to the square but haven’t done a lot in my own work with it. Do you work mostly with acrylic? I noticed they all say mixed media, which I assume to be acrylic and other stuff. Jana

  24. Cathy says:

    thank you so much! I really appreciate it. That is why I like your work too–I think we like similar color palettes and imagery.

    I keep trying to paint in something other than a square, but it doesn’t feel right. Plus it fits in my car nicely, hee hee. I first do a large digital output of my found objects, photos and art that I arrange in photoshop, then paint on top of it and add stuff. Yes, acrylics, I am too impatient…

    thanks again for the kind words,

  25. Cathy says:

    and you know what I just thought about (sorry I am new to blogging) I think I may have spammed your blog without asking permission, and I am sorry about that. I shouldn’t have put my web address on.


    • Jana Bouc says:

      Oh no worries about that! It’s not spam at all. In the comment form it actually asks for people’s urls as part of leaving a comment and I love it when people do so I can see their work too.

      Thanks for the info about your work too. That’s an interesting approach. So you design it in Photoshop and then you print on a large format printer at 3×3′? And then you paint on the paper? Do you mount it first to a panel or canvas or just work on paper?

      I’ve got a very personal imagery series (Lovers, Mongrels, Currs…about all the men who were in my life) started in acrylic on bigger canvases (smaller than yours!) but I only have a standard sized printer, so when I want to enlarge something I’ve created from sketches/photos/photoshop, I usually put it in InDesign to print it tiled and then assemble it manually. It’s no good for painting on of course, but I can trace it. Or I just redraw or grid up, depending on how much I’ve pre-designed what I’m going to do.


      • Cathy says:

        oh good. I actually print it out on canvas at full size and then mount it on stretcher bars. I hope to try some other mediums too, that will go through my printer. I guess that is where my graphics background comes in handy. If you want to do a large output but don’t have a big printer, you can usually use a sign company that does digital printing. It’s not cheap, but comes out nice. So, is the Lovers, Mongrels and Currs on your site? That sounds VERY interesting!

  26. Hi, nice to meet you !

  27. Nice post, I love the website.

  28. marquis86 says:

    Hey again Jana,

    Sorry to bother you again, but I just thought I’d let you know that Train Faces has a brand new FaceBook page, just in case you want to ‘like’ it :) http://www.facebook.com/pages/TrainFaces/

    Thanks again for your contribution,


  29. I was surfing via Google and found your blog it is full of information nice work.

  30. Hi Jana
    As you may remember I have commented on your blog before. It, and Urban Sketchers, is an almost daily read. Partly inspired by you I have started a blog of my own http://imageandmeasure.blogspot.be/
    and placed there a link to you. Happy New Year!

  31. meeah says:

    Beautiful work…such vibrant colors & such a lively line.
    inspiring! thank you!

  32. mehrlich125 says:

    I have been awarded the Wonderful Team Member Award and I am happy to be passing it on to you. Your blog inspires me, thank you!
    Visit my award post to gather the info to pass on the award.

  33. Bre Miche says:

    Love the look and feel of your blog!

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