ZINIO logo
Watercolor Artist

Watercolor Artist October 2020

Add to favorites

Packed with page after gorgeous page of illustrations demonstrating tried-and-true techniques, inspirational ideas and the most up-to-date information about must-have painting tools and materials, watercolorists find everything they need in WATERCOLOR ARTIST to help them create stunning art...from start to finish.

Read More
United States
Peak Media Properties, LLC
6 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
editor’s note

Color is personal. Even as children, we develop strong opinions. We gravitate to specific colors in the crayon box. We take very seriously the question: What’s your favorite color? We may struggle when someone takes the last available sheet of pink construction paper. Turns out, none of this changes very much when we become adults. Color continues to have a tremendous capacity to cause delight and trigger joy. For artists, however, it has the power to provoke both joy and torment, as expressed by Monet. The challenge for artists, of course, is to take the delight of color in the world and re-create it on paper or canvas. Happily, we know plenty about how to capture color in a painting, based on scientific principles as well as the hard-won efforts of…

1 min.
denise ramsay

Denise Ramsay (deniseramsay.com) paints bold, structural botanical works that pop off the page in a big way—literally. Her compositions are typically 24x33-inches for maximum impact and painted with lots of detail—a necessity, she says, for a spot-on execution. Ramsay focuses on lighting and color, along with size, for a hard-to-miss result. “A strong shadow has the ability to give life and three-dimensionality to any painting,” she says. “It could be a pale flower, but if you take care with highlights and darks, it’ll look amazing.” Ramsay says she always felt “arty,” but didn’t come around to the idea of professional painting until she suddenly needed transportable work. She and her husband had begun splitting their time between homes in Hong Kong and France, and the artist was freelancing in the fashion…

2 min.
new + notable

STUDIO STAPLES Floral Cotton Mask [$19] Declare your allegiance to watercolor as you visit essential businesses wearing this mask with elastic sides. It has three protective layers, is 8x6-inches, and is machine washable.ETSY.COM/SHOP/MAYTREEARK Watercolor Painting Kit [$18] A great gift for the novice in your circle, this painting kit comes with six 8½x11 simple designs printed on 140-lb. watercolor paper, 12 colors and a paintbrush.ETSY.COM/SHOP/LITTLEISLANDCOMPANY WATERCOLOR WORLD IN MEMORY OF LIU SHOUXIANG With his cool, limited palette and rugged subjects, watercolorist and teacher Liu Shouxiang depicted an intensity and passion for the world with a medium long marginalized in China. Liu died on February 13, at age 61, from pneumonia caused by the COVID-19. The artist was well known in Wuhan, China, where he taught at the Hubei Institute of Fine Arts until his retirement in 2018. He…

3 min.
noble beauty out-of-doors

An artist’s expertise with color may be demonstrated with nuance, the employment of shifts so subtle that they escape the casual viewer. By the time William Trost Richards (1833–1905) painted A Rocky Coast, he was considered one of the most skilled watercolor artists in the United States. Like many landscape painters of his era, Richards was influenced by the British art critic and writer John Ruskin, who advocated the detailed study of nature, imbued with spiritual significance. While a young man, Richards wrote, “Ruskin says truly that he only is great who had reached the heart of a thing, and this in the inner and most holy place.” Richards became the primary exponent of Pre-Raphaelitism in America. “[He] stood for hours ... with folded arms, studying the motion of the seas—until people thought…

5 min.
the palette knife and watercolor: a winning combination

Many people think the palette knife is a tool only to be used in conjunction with oil or acrylic. I paint mainly in acrylic and watercolor, but use my palette knife most often with the latter. Almost every painting I do has at least some small area in which I’ve put a palette knife to use. Some works, quite frankly, I could never have pulled off without one. Peacocks, for example, would seem impossible for me to do without a palette knife because I create all the little string-like lines in their tail feathers with a rapid succession of scrapes, wiping the blade off on a paper towel between each scratch. I can get a finer line with this technique than I could ever get by using masking fluid. There’s also…

3 min.
what part of the creative process is the most fun?

Michael Reardon Making preliminary pencil sketches—which I do prior to every painting—is by far the most enjoyable part of my process. This is the stage when I make most of my creative decisions. The freedom of a pencil permits me to be carefree as I explore values and composition since any changes are easily made with an eraser. Because my sketches aren’t intended for public viewing, I don’t worry about technique, splotches or smears. They’re simply a personal tool with which to explore and compose before I begin to paint. Most often a sketch is no more than a 5-minute doodle, but a more complex scene may require 20 to 30 minutes. A sketch helps me detect compositional flaws. If it doesn’t grab me and I can’t figure out a way…