Technical How-to

How (and When) to Stretch Your Watercolor Paper

How (and When) to Stretch Your Watercolor Paper

once you start painting quarter-sheet or larger, or getting the paper really saturated, stretching your paper makes your life sooooo much easier! This video shows my preferred method, stretching on the same stretcher bars used for canvas, and an alternate method for those who have difficulty operating a staple gun.

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It’s Not All About Hue – Imposters and Chameleons

It’s Not All About Hue – Imposters and Chameleons

Color-mixing is often discussed as if the only consideration is getting “the right color”, but watercolor pigments each have their own physical and chemical properties. This video presents some activities to help you develop a more sophisticated understanding of color-mixing so you become better at choosing and mixing pigments to create the artistic effects—including perceived color—you desire.

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How I Use Autodesk Sketchbook to Plan Changes to Paintings

How I Use Autodesk Sketchbook to Plan Changes to Paintings

Sketchbook Pro is a great tool for quickly planning changes to a painting in progress, and it’s free. This video introduces the small set of features I use in my planning process, so you can get started quickly without having to go through a lot of features you don’t need.

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Reserving and Recovering Light Values: Strategies to Consider

Reserving and Recovering Light Values: Strategies to Consider

Getting light color values in watercolor works a little differently than in other mediums, since watercolor is transparent. In watercolor, we rely on the white color of the paper to give us our lighter values, meaning that a watercolorist’s main options are reserving or recovering whites. This article lists some of the strategies you can use to reserve and recover whites and light values.

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Simple Ways To Show Your Worktable in Zoom

Simple Ways To Show Your Worktable in Zoom

Are you wondering how I can see your work and give you feedback in Zoom? I’ve been doing watercolor coaching via Zoom for almost two years now—I’ve got a system! Here’s a short video to show you how it works.

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Using Colorways

Using Colorways

Even if you do as I do and have a “(home)base palette” of 8 or 9 colors, there are times when you want to bring in other colors for a particular painting or series. Here’s how I do it to make sure I still have color harmony.

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What is Creative Energy Journaling?

What is Creative Energy Journaling?

So many of us are over-busy, stressed and fully occupied with just getting a few more things crossed off our to-do lists. Deep down, we know we need a way to keep our thinking creative and flexible. We need a way to recharge and get back in touch with our dreams. But we get stuck on the “not enough time/space/skill” stumbling blocks. Creative Energy Journaling is a collection of the activities and practices I use and share with my students to keep my creative energy flowing even when life is biting me in the butt!

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Phthalo Green—How To Tame It

Phthalo Green—How To Tame It

In the last post, I offered some tips for mixing natural-looking landscape greens, the first of which was "avoid tube greens involving phthalo green". So, what do you do with the phthalo green (and mixtures using it) you already have? The secret is to tame it a bit so...

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How Do I Get Started?

How Do I Get Started?

Welcome to Creative Energy Journaling! You can have a look at What is Creative Energy Journaling? and the Resources page for more background, but probably the best way to get a feel for it is to just jump in and try a few of the many activities that can be done as...

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Better Landscape Greens

Better Landscape Greens

The weather is beautiful here. It's the time of year when a lot of us are feeling that pull to take our paints and sketchbooks outside. It's also the time of year that a lot of people struggle with GREEN! Do the greens in your landscapes look flat and unnatural? The...

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Line and Wash – Watercolor Painting Anyone Can Do

Line and Wash – Watercolor Painting Anyone Can Do

Line and wash is a combination of line drawing with watercolor washes to suggest a scene. It’s a great way to get started with watercolor, or with travel sketching, even if you “can’t draw” and have never tried watercolor before!

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Paint Shapes, Not “Things”

Paint Shapes, Not “Things”

Want your paintings to look unified? It helps to combine "things" into larger shapes, and then use smaller shapes to (partially) separate them. Here's an exercise to help you practice. First, set up a still life with a couple of simple objects. Avoid anything that has...

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Present Your Watercolors Without Glass!

Present Your Watercolors Without Glass!

I’ve been presenting my watercolors without glass for quite some time. I love the clean look! Here's everything you need to know to present your watercolors using this method. In the video, I demonstrate one way to do this, using the method (and products) I use...

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9 Tips for Better Sketches (and More Fun!)

9 Tips for Better Sketches (and More Fun!)

Yesterday, 12 intrepid sketchers from the Watercolor Minimalist class at Wet Paint descended on Como Conservatory determined to learn some tips and tricks for sketching on location in a short amount of time and with minimal stuff. It was a gorgeous day, there were...

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