Water Colors | 47 Images
Watercolors in the Field

Watercolors done in the field are a favorite form of expression near and dear to my heart. Although not a struggle, it involves intense observation and lots of practice.

I set up and sit for hours capturing the wind action, weather, time of day, current and tides. You can sit in front of the same body of water and never observe or paint the same scene twice. Having at least a full week in a spot allows me to fully warm up and really begin to feel free and competent with the brushwork. I do not use pencil first and only use a little opaque white at the very end if I have covered up important white areas. Sunny days allow for quick drying which is perfect for keeping areas of the painting fresh and sharp. Often, I leave small linear spaces between wet sections. This is how I draw the composition and keep the colors clean. Within a wet section all kinds of effects are possible by adding colors and marks. Mark making and layering are important to all my forms of art making and painting water with watercolor takes advantage of this predilection. I usually begin with the horizon line.

The more you paint, the more you look. The more you look, the more you see and the more fluid the marks become.

I use high quality watercolors on 300 lb. hot press watercolor paper and use the very best brushes I can afford. I love the 300 lb. because, without stretching, it doesn’t buckle when wet. You can also use the backside if the front fails to satisfy. I have a pochade box on a tripod which holds most of my paper and supplies and can be set up as a table in the field. I use at least 3 containers of water (little pop-up silicone bowls intended as dog dishes). One for first wash of brush, one for second wash of brush and one just for blue that I do not wish to contaminate with other residual colors on brush. As the water gets dirty I rotate blue for second clean and second clean for first so I don’t have to carry too much water.

The combination of media, nature and my strongest skills as an artist make for a rewarding artistic experience and sometimes results in satisfactory work.
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