Outdoor watercolor painting is something I recommend to all of my students. When you're out in nature feeling the air and watching the light change right in front of your eyes, you can bring more than just an image of a landscape to your paintings; you can bring a sense of atmosphere and emotion.
If you already know your way around the basics of brush and palette, it's time to let your skills set sail!
There’s an old saying in my family that the best way to ruin an adventure is to bring too much stuff. I have found that to be true for en plein air watercolor painting, too.
You might think that drawing is like touching your tongue to your nose: Some people can do it and some people can’t. But that’s actually not true. Drawing is more like driving: The more you practice, the better you get.
You thought you'd mastered the tree back in preschool — a brown rectangle topped with a big blob of green. But once you traded in those tubs of tempura for tubes of acrylic, you learned the humbling truth: Trees are actually pretty tricky to paint well, especially if you're going for a bit more realism.
When you're painting a landscape or a seascape, keep your eye on the sky. Sunny, stormy, cloudless or hazy, the sky can play a supporting role in your composition, or it can be the most riveting element.
Water is endlessly inspiring to artists. There's something deeply compelling about its ever-changing nature, whether in a still, reflective pond or a rushing stream. But water is also one of the most difficult things to paint realistically in acrylic.
Painting a watercolor landscape is about more than copying nature. You don't just want to show a mountain; you also want to capture a mood and really express how that gorgeous scenery makes you feel.
Monet, Degas, Renoir, Seurat: The Impressionists were rock stars. These artists and their peers revolutionized painting and paved the way for what we now know as modern art.