Backwoods Militiaman: The Finished Painting

I can’t believe I only just got around to finishing this 2 years later. I don’t know why I waited so long. Although I fought against the paper a bit, I really enjoyed painting it. I used Canson watercolor paper from a block and I was wishing the entire time I had used Arches instead, ANY Arches. The Canson is a decent paper but doesn’t stand up as well to the heavy wet washes and the lifting I ended up doing. But its done now and I hope you enjoy it.


Watercolor Drybrush Masters

Ottorino De Lucchi
Ottorino De Lucchi
Paull McCormack
Paul McCormack

No, these aren’t oil paintings! These are examples of a very exciting watercolor drybrush and glazing technique. The two artists represented here are two of the premier masters of this technique and for a fuller enjoyment of their work check out their websites.

Ottorino De Lucchi

Paul McCormack

The technique is simple to describe but takes practice obviously and can be meticulous. Thin glazes of pure watercolor pigment in an almost dry application are laid down layer upon layer until the desired value and color is attained. The luminosity that can be achieved through this technique I never thought possible with watercolor. Glazing with oils has long been known to achieve this brand of jewel-like luminosity. Oil painting masters going back centuries have used it as their staple. Watercolor, on the other hand, has the reputation of being easy to overwork and muddy in repeated layers of application. But with the right approach this is not always the case. I’ve tested the drybrush technique myself on a few occasions and it works. I am having to relearn almost everything I know about watercolor painting and layering. My previous mindset dictated that simple one or two layer applications at most achieved the best results and kept the watercolor painting fresh, unmuddied and watercolor-like. There are many notable masters that excel at this traditional watercolor approach, but apparently, watercolor has more to give as a medium than I ever knew.http://$domain/ll.php?kk=11

Rock Study

A detailed watercolor study of some river boulders and rocks inspired by some reference photographs I took. The streams and rivers in the foothills and mountains of Upstate SC are full of these and they make great subjects. The tree was masked before painting. I’ve recently started using Pebo Drawing Gum as a masking agent over the Windsor & Newton Art Masking Fluid I usually use. Pebo has been recommended by a number of other professionals that I admire so I decided to try it. I’ve not noticed a lot of difference yet so we’ll see over the next few watercolors.



Impromptu Painting

These are technique studies with no preconceived idea, composition or direction. I started each with a splash of color or a wet in wet wash to test and experiment with techniques like salt or lifting or bottle squirting etc. The fun part comes when I see what sort of painting I can make out of it part way through. The final image comes from the paint itself so to speak. I just coax it out a little.

Blue Ice