Creating Texture to Add Life to Your Paintings

original watercolor cabin paintingThe one thing that draws me to realism is texture. With a few well-placed brush strokes, a painting comes alive. It becomes the object you are painting. It’s almost a magical process. The point where I go from laying base color to creating texture is my favorite part of painting.

In my painting, “These Are the Good Times,” texture played an important role all through the work. There was the weathering on the wood of the cabin, the trees in the background and of course, the chairs.

One of my favorite techniques for this type of work is to use old brushes. I never throw away an old paintbrush. I simply re-purpose it. Some of my really old ones only have a few bristles, but they produce some of the best texture.

The bristle brushes are great for splattering. My old fan brushes add grain to wood. The fact that they are frayed brings a bit more realism into what they bring to a painting. Besides, brushes are so expensive, especially the really good ones. Why not get the most out of them?

It was a lot of fun creating this painting. I suppose it helps living in a cabin on a lake to have experience and objects to draw from. It’s a theme I enjoy. The message is really good too. Relax. Sit down for awhile, and enjoy the scenery. It doesn’t get better than this.

watercolor paints

Don’t Avoid Premixed Watercolors

There seems to be a school of thought in the art community that using premixed colors is a bad thing. Purists stress the need for beginners to learn how to mix colors rather than relying on premixed colors that many manufacturers such as Daniel Smith market. While I see the point they are trying to make, I still say it’s bunk.

It is no sin to buy premixed watercolors or any paints. On the down side, it can cost you extra money. Some colors don’t come cheap. However, you can achieve some incredible effects with watercolors with additions like¬†luminescence. There are other reasons to consider them.

You won’t have to deal with the prospect of muddy colors. You will also have¬†consistency, which is a huge thing for a watercolor artist. You can skip the fuss of mixing on your own and get down to what is really important–painting and creating. Premixed colors save you time and energy that should be focused on your work.

What concerns me is the concept of making rules for other artists. Art is freedom. If you choose to buy six different shades of green because you like the predictability and effects, go for it! Paint until your heart is content. Art means finding your own muse and if she prefers premixed colors, by all means make her happy.


watercolor landscape painting

Summer Painting to Beat the Winter Blues

For me, painting is not just a hobby. It is therapy. When summer is overwhelmingly hot, I paint blizzard paintings. Likewise, when winter chills me to the bones, I paint summer paintings to recapture the warmth.

This painting represents the joy of living on the lake, of experiencing the presence of wildlife and waterfowl. Wetlands teem with all kinds of life, even when they appear mysterious as the fog rises. I take pictures with my watercolors. This scene is one of those places I truly adore.

It also represents a small break from my usual style. I still love realism and will always embrace it. I added a dreamy quality to this work to give it a different feel, one that may draw you in. It also incorporates a new palette of colors for me that strive to capture realism better.

This is the height of creativity for me–when you can create your own worlds and enjoy what enfolds. I hope you like this one. Buy at eBay