When I meet people at an art show who have tried watercolors, they frequently tell me watercolors are too hard. I am fortunate that my first exposure to watercolors was an introductory class that let me explore
the technique rather than try to do a painting. The class was a birthday gift from my wife.
In the class we were given a small starter kit of high quality profession paints and a quality brush. We were provided with good watercolor paper.
I didnít, at the time, realize how important that was. Cheap watercolor kits and cheap paper will not produce pleasing results for anyone, especially a beginner. You can not paint any better than the quality of the paper and brush. You can get by with student grade paints to begin with but you will soon discover they are not really a bargain. Quality, brand name paints have more pigment, cover more area and dry more brilliant.
Having got off to a good start I found watercolors to be fun and not difficult. In addition to understanding the technique, it is important to let the water do some of the creating.
I bought several books and tried every study exercise.
One of the paintings I completed I call my break through painting. This painting still hangs in our living room. It is a winter scene of an old carriage house with a partially broken down rock wall, weathered boards, a large tree void of leaves and a very cold gray sky.
This painting made me feel that I could really do watercolor paintings. I joined three of the local art societies and started entering contests.
If you enter enough contests you eventually win some ribbons. I started getting some first place and best of show prizes and got up the courage to try being a vendor at a few of the nearby art fairs.
Along the way I kept trying new techniques and styles.
I am still exploring the world of watercolors. I have learned a number of different ways to apply the paint. A favorite is using small spray bottles with various mixes of watercolors. Another is to paint with oil brushes of which I have chopped most of the bristles off. I use both of these techniques to create trees and bushes, weeds and grasses.
One of the newest innovations I am doing is painting watercolors on clayboard. The paint is not absorbed into the clay as it is on paper. This requires some very different techniques. The results are stunning as you will see when you explore my portfolio.
I am active on the art fair circuit in the Northwest. Check my schedule on this site. I sometimes teach a half-day technique class in conjunction with a show. Let me know if you are interested.
I am available for commission work. I prefer to paint from reference pictures in my studio rather than on site. I have art in local galleries but I show most of my art at the art fairs.