October 15th, 2012
October 27th, 2011
Here is a full list of the interviews I’ve conducted to date. I’m nearing the end of the first batch of interviews. The next batch will be much different.
- Kannika Soonthornyankit in Bangkok, Thailand
- Tina Bohlman in Waxahachie, Texas.
- Rod Buckle in Scarborough, England.
- Reza Rasoli in Los Angeles, California.
- Diane Geoghegan in Jerome, Arizona.
- Andrew Yeroshewych in Odessa, Ukraine.
- Russ Maxwell in Geneva, Switzerland.
- Alison Nicholls in Port Chester, New York.
- Robin Neudorfer in Sierra Madre, CA.
- Janis McElmurry in Lansing, Michigan.
- Vinita Pappas in Oregon.
- Gabrielle Rose in San Francisco, California.
- Keinyo White in Washington DC & New Zealand
September 27th, 2011
This doesn’t fit on The Watercolor Gallery so I thought I’d share it here. Krüger is an amazing artist but what makes his work even more amazing is the scale at which he works. This painting of Mick Jagger is 71″x71″. Amazing detail at that size.
November 12th, 2010
I’m less happy with the result of this painting process than I have been for any of my other paintings to date. The result is pretty horrible and it is no where near what I had intended.
I thought that I should take some images of the process for this piece so that I can look back at it and learn where I went wrong. I believe I know where I went wrong so I am now sharing this information with the world. You know, for the betterment of mankind and all of that.
This is where I believe I went wrong. Right here on step 1. I went off the rails immediately. I approached this painting by first drawing the entire thing in pencil. I don’t think I should have drawn as much detail as I did. Perhaps I should have drawn the fisherman – due to the complexity of his face, outfit and the lamp – but the rest I should have left up to the painting.
The reason I believe this is – as you will see from the following images – this painting became an exercise of coloring in the lines. The exact oposite of what I wanted to do.
I made a few small mistakes at this stage too. The beaches are a horrible color. In the finished piece they end up standing out much more than I would have liked. I also immediately began to lose the tone values for the painting.
(This is my term and may not be correct.) Tone values, for me, are how light or dark certain things are in a painting. So if one area is black, and one area is white, then everything else should make sense in between. Nothing should be too dark in tone or too light in tone when comparing it to the reference photo.
The birds in this step, for example, are nearly black already. In the reference photo there were a few areas that appeared very, very dark and nearly black. The birds were not one of those areas. So the tone values for this painting began to be lost very early on in the process. This is something that I could have rescued had I noticed it. But I didn’t.
Now you can begin to see what I meant by the “color in the lines” approach I ended up taking. First off, the entire reference image is in a shade of blue. For whatever reason I lost track of this pretty early on and so I ended up choosing colors that I felt might end up looking OK instead of relying on the reference photo as my color guide. Stupid rookie mistake.
The other mistake you can begin to see is that I didn’t mix colors well enough for how complex the fisherman is. He’s got a lot going on and – again because I drew so much detail in the beginning – I tried to represent every single thing he had going on. In reality I could have gotten away with a much more constrained color palette.
When I showed my mother-in-law this painting at this stage I remember her saying “Is that a scarecrow?”. Well, obviously the lines are too blurred between the fisherman’s regalia and everything else. She had no idea how he was dressed and that he was wearing some sort of whicker jacket.
By this point this painting was so far off of the rails that I probably had little or no chance to bring it back. And, as a beginner, I didn’t even recognize my mistakes and so I continued to make the same ones with each step.
Do you hear that? That is the sound of a train wreck. I couldn’t bring myself to work much longer on this painting so I simply went onto step 5.
I quickly outlined a few key things with a pencil to make them stand out a bit and I’m washing my hands of this painting. It is going on my wall to remind me of my mistakes but eventually it will end up in the garbage.
Here is a list of the main lessons I’ve learned:
- Never draw too much detail in the beginning.
- Follow the reference photo as your color guide.
- Don’t try such complex paintings before you’re able to do them. You’ll only be discouraged.
- Be very aware of tone values.
- Never stop trying to get better.
- It is OK to throw a painting out and start over.
I hope by me sharing this process someone out there will see not only what I’ve noticed that I did wrong but also pick up other things too.
October 8th, 2010
Back in late August I was celebrating over 30 works of art in The Watercolor Gallery’s archive. Today I’m celebrating over 100. It is an amazing milestone for me personally as it hasn’t been easy to try to create a valuable gallery in such a short period of time.
To celebrate hitting this milestone I’ve begun posting interviews with artists from all over the world. I’ve been collecting these interviews for about a month in preparation for hitting the big One Oh Oh. The first interview is with Kannika Soonthornyankit from Bangkok, Thailand. I figured where better to start than half-way around the globe?
Future interviews will be with artists in New York, Texas, England, Switzerland and even some with artists that seem to have no permanent address.
The entire purpose of The Watercolor Gallery, as stated on its about page, is to help inspire me and others to do great work in watercolor. The artist interview series is just one more way that I’m trying to accomplish that goal.
I’ve got plans for how to celebrate reaching 250 and 500 works of art in the archive but you’ll just have to wait and see what those are.
To anyone that has subscribed to The Watercolor Gallery’s RSS feed, followed it on Tumblr, or followed @h2ocolor on Twitter – thank you. Thank you for being interested and hopefully inspired. Stay tuned, there is much more to come.
August 19th, 2010
“I love watercolor art. For years I’ve found inspiration by looking at the works of others and trying to determine their techniques, methods and tools – all while enjoying each piece of art for what it is.
The Watercolor Gallery is my collection of the best of what I find in my quest to be inspired and taught by others.”
I’ve just barely got my feet wet over the last few days so I’ll have much more to say about this project in the future. For now, however, consider following it on Tumblr or subscribing to the feed if you are a fan of watercolor like me.
July 20th, 2010
Ran across this post via WordPress.com on how to antique (and distress) furniture with paint. I like how simple the steps are and how it doesn’t permanently damage the furniture – as I have seen suggested elsewhere.
December 7th, 2009
Picked up a copy of Lessons from a Lifetime of Watercolor Painting by Donald Voorhees. I’m going to go through this entire book this winter. First step is to get my brushes inventoried. A few of them were broken so I fixed them (no need to spend money on more).
December 24th, 2008
One of the things I’m refining every time that I start a new art project is my process. I realize I have a lot to learn, and so posts like this really go a long way to help me learn without trial and error.
Eric Fortune goes over his process from sketch to finished piece. Not only is this a good glimpse into a good artist’s process but also how the process ends up playing a big part in the style of the piece.
I love stuff like this.
December 15th, 2008
Speaking of Bob Ross, you can watch a ton of his episodes online. Not all of the videos are complete episodes, so you’ll have to watch the duration closely. But, there are some gems.
I blame Troy Rutter for me taking a stroll through my memories and wanting to watch a ton of Bob Ross videos.
December 15th, 2008
Troy Rutter, actor, blogger, author, and podcaster (busy man), was inspired by my most-recently blogged about watercolor, The Owl (which is for sale on my Etsy shop, btw) and posted this oil painting.
One of the great things about the Web is that inspiration can spread in ways it never has been able to in human history. Whether you blog, Twitter, or use any of the social services now available – remember that anything you do or say could inspire someone else to do something (and in my cases in an even greater way than you could have yourself).
Thanks Troy, you’ve inspired me to someday take up oil painting so that I too can live-out my childhood memories of watching Bob Ross “just beat the devil out of it”.
Source:Â Lessons Learned in Painting.
December 5th, 2008
Note: This pieces is now for sale in my Etsy shop.
I’m going to try to keep doing watercolor paintings, maybe even one each week. This week I really wanted to do an owl, so here I present my fifth watercolor in this new effort; The Owl.
I tried a few techniques this time that I hadn’t before. Some of them worked out quite well, like under-shading on the Owl (probably hard to see in any of the photos). Â Some of them didn’t work out so well, because I did them wrong, like the snow by using salt. Â I didn’t use enough water to make the salt effective.
The salt, if done right, will cause the watercolor to separate and move away from the salt. It would end up causing a neat effect that would work well for snow, stars, or other textures. But, again, I didn’t use enough water for this to work.
There is a lot that I would do differently, if given the chance, so I’m really looking forward to my next crack at another painting next week. Â Overall I’m thrilled with the way this painting came out – but there are a few subtle things (like the snow) that I wanted to add to this and I simply didn’t do it the right way.
Live, learn, move on, try again. Here are some more photos of my watercolor paintings. Next I think I’m going to tackle a Japanese sign.
November 29th, 2008
Well, if you count watercolor paintings that I’ve done when I was younger then maybe the title of this post is a bit off, but I’d rather just start counting now. Oh, and I’m not counting the LOST invitations either.
There isn’t much of an inspiring story behind either of these pieces. The orchids painting was a lesson from a Japanese watercolor painting book that Eliza picked up for me. The birch tree I wanted to do because, for whatever reasons, birch trees are some of my favorite trees.
I plan on doing this same orchid painting at least a few more times. Â The techniques in the book are beyond both my abilities and, I think, the abilities of my brushes. My watercolor brush set isn’t of the highest quality. In order to have the reeds, or leafs, in this painting be much better than they are in this first try – I will need to get the technique down.
I’m fairly pleased with how this piece came out. It took me about 3 and 1/2 hours to complete the painting, since I had to allow the paint do dry between “coats”. My impatience near the end is probably what caused the tree, specifically the trunk, not to turn out exactly like I wanted to. Less a problem of technique and more a problem of patience on this one.
I’m looking forward to doing many more this winter. My goal is to get good enough at watercolor to make a piece that I want to hang in our apartment.
November 26th, 2008
My wife got an itch to finally paint our apartment’s living room and hallway. On Monday and Tuesday Eliza and her mother took it upon themselves to follow-through with that and did an amazing job with our living room. Â Here is a set of photos taken with Eliza’s iPhone using the Pano app.
It turned out really great and makes our living room much more cozy than it was a few days ago. Our entire apartment is now really beginning to become my new favorite place that I’ve lived. Now, if we could just transport our current apartment and rent price to the North Shore on Oahu, Hawai’i we’d be all set.
Thanks Eliza and Carla for your hard work.
August 23rd, 2008
Date taken: August 17t, 2008 | A huge ceramic vase in a hallway in the Bellagio Hotel.
January 14th, 2008
By now anyone that we’ve invited to watch the season premier of LOST with us this year has gotten their invitations in the mail. So it should be safe to write this post and make it public, I hope.
Eliza and I wanted to invite a few of our friends over and I thought it’d be a good opportunity to create an invitation since it is something I’ve been waiting to do for a while. Being that I’m not all that creative or talented I decided to do something simple.
Here are some photos to show the process of creating our invitations in a bottle.
Used watercolor paints and coffee for dirt and blood effects.
Dried the paper a few times between paintings.
Cutout art paper for name tags.
Same dirt/blood treatment for name tags. Spatter!
Crinkle the paper, a few times, to make it seem aged.
The finished invitation.
I used Dollar Store bought bottles, wrapped up the invitations like a scroll, and tied a short piece of twine around them to keep them from unraveling and threw them inside. The corks were from our cork collection, so they were easy to find.
All materials used: Art paper, water, watercolor paints, coffee, a lighter, hot glue gun, twine, bottles, corks, my printer, printer paper, Adobe Illustrator, some scissors and a pencil.
I’m pretty happy with how they came out and I already know what I want to do for next year (something completely different). Have you ever done your own custom invitations? Care to share them?
December 17th, 2007
Date taken: December 1, 2007 | E.T. phones home. Maybe he didn’t like the movie.