sometimes it’s not working

It seems like about 20 percent of the time, I just can’t get a picture to come out right. I think this is because watercolors are partly accidental anyway. So I wind up fiddling around with it, but it’s still not right. What to do? Throw it away, that’s what. Just toss it out, rethink…Continue Reading

Bigger is better?

How finely detailed or “tight” should we make the picture? The range we see goes from showing the tiniest detail to very splashy or “loose” to the point where much is only indicated. Every artist does it the way he prefers and no matter how tight or loose it’s still a legitimate way to paint.…Continue Reading

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