gouache, say what?

What in the world does gouache mean? Pronounced gwash. It’s actually pretty simple. If we say watercolor we usually mean  water based paint that is transparent. If you put one layer on top of another, you can see both. Gouache is watercolor paint too, but it is opaque. You cannot see what is under the…Continue Reading

The brushoff

When we think of painting a picture, we assume painting with a brush. Well, it isn’t necessarily so. There many different effects you can get by applying paint with something else. A few examples: If you look at my pictures Louise and Polaris, there are two entirely different skies. How did I get those nice…Continue Reading

It’s about time

Some times people ask me how long it takes to paint a watercolor. The short answer is that I spend less than ten hours painting the picture. But I spend more time planning how I will proceed. I’m not very good at sitting and working for hours. That’s OK because the nature of watercolors is…Continue Reading

It’s a stretch

OK, so what does this mean? I suppose that most people who don’t paint watercolors don’t give much thought to the paper we use. What happens is that if you try to just paint on the paper, it will buckle as soon as it gets wet. That just won’t work. So what we do is…Continue Reading

How to spend more, for artists

Why do I want to spend more? Well, of course I don’t want to do that, but sometimes it’s the only way. Normally I use only Arches 300 lb rough watercolor paper, but recently ran out of it. I can’t buy it nearby. so I bought two other brands of paper. Guess what? I tried…Continue Reading

OK, what’s the subject?

Now I want to paint something. But, what should the painting be about? Usually I have a subject in mind before I give the painting any thought. But, not always. Many artists seem to become fixated on one basic theme. I try not to do that, I want my work to be more diverse. In…Continue Reading

What about vignettes?

When I paint, sometimes I use a vignette. So what does that really mean? Simply put, it means I don’t paint anything at all. I allow just the white paper to run off to the edge of the picture. It’s another part of the composition. If you look at the Quail picture, you will see…Continue Reading

What’s the point?

The focal point. In general, most paintings have a focal point. This is the area in the painting that your eye is drawn to first, and , of course, that’s intentional. If there is no focal point, the painting is not as good. There are exceptions to this, so this is only a general rule.…Continue Reading

Artistic License

Artistic License. What’s that? Use of the term “Artistic License” is pretty common, however I wonder if everyone understands what it means. So, here is a example. I was asked to paint a picture of the clients’ house. It is a nice contemporary home in a wooded setting. Naturally, he wanted an accurate depiction of…Continue Reading