Painting Blog > Teaching, Watercolor > Beyond How to do Watercolor

Beyond How to do Watercolor

Originally posted on December, 17, 2007

The logical question following how to paint watercolor is what to paint. Bearing both questions in mind at the beginning helps accelerate the learning curve. I’ve given these questions of the budding artist painter more than just a little reflection. Advice has been asked by many other the years. Subsequently, there were many days and hours of talking with them about becoming a painter as well as much painting together. In the end teaching and learning become indistinguishable and I fondly remember these encounters.

Hopefully, if you can bear my rambling, I can offer some thoughts that may help. Recently, on the post Painting the Universe, there was a painting titled “Man and Nature? (See also the older paintings). This was painted 10 years ago at a time I was still very much fixated on watercolor. I had reached several years earlier the understanding I must concentrate on learning the materials (pigments, papers, brushes, etc.) in order to become free from them. We all have to experience in our own terms this inner necessity to learn the materials. The artist, as it is said is a person in love with his tools.

Back to the painting: this painting and others of this period were for me pivotal. I was experiencing some freedom and was fully conscious what was taking place. I’m an intuitive, so a conscious understanding of the process does not come easily. To become lost in the process and to then, literally, to find yourself is what it is all about. Some months ago I wrote about learning to paint watercolor. The advice about materials was broadly given. There have been so many good books and magazines devoted to this that I did not see the point of adding to them. But if I can help encourage you to absorb them and move past this concern… then I’ve done something.

I will answer e-mails from anyone engaged in the work of doing this.

Keep your brushes wet,


Published in french as Dépasser le comment faire pour peindre à l’aquarelle


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