Watercolor: Pure & Simple

Plein air watercolor sketch, about 5 x 8.5 in Moleskine watercolor sketchbook

Plein air watercolor sketch, about 5 x 8.5 in Moleskine watercolor sketchbook

I have been an oil painter for many years, never really did much in the way of watercolor. However, lately I have become fascinated with it! I think sometimes one medium is just better suited for a certain point in an artistic career. I really only exhibit and sell my oils on canvas, but they are a small part of all the work I do as a painter. In the past, a lot of the studies I did on site were in pastel or acrylic, either on boards, panels or canvas pads. Recently, I began working in watercolor in sketchbooks instead–I love it! The studies are automatically organized and stored with field notes in the margin. There is no pressure to “do something” with them (translation = sell them to people for less than I would get for an oil and hear them balk about it just being a piece of paper even though they are getting a great deal on an original as I don’t sell prints). I have a good handle on the inventory I have at each of the 4 dealers that represent me, I’ll know when it’s time to start producing more large works on canvas, but until then, I’m very happy I have found my new most favorite medium–watercolor!!! 🙂

Sketch done in my Moleskine watercolor sketchbook in Clinton, NJ from my car.

Sketch done in my Moleskine watercolor sketchbook in Clinton, NJ from my car.


7 Responses to Watercolor: Pure & Simple

  1. Denise Rose says:

    I am an oil painter and am trying to focus on that for now, but I do love the look of your watercolors! I have tried some but did a pen and ink sketch first then used watercolor washes to fill in. Do you sketch at all when you do these or just go at it with the paint?

  2. kullaf says:

    Hi Denise,

    These two were done only with paint, I “sketch” with a brush. I sometimes use a watercolor pencil, but find I get a more cohesive end result if I go right to paint. I also work that way when I work in oils, drawing with a brush is more natural to me than drawing with a pencil. When I draw with charcoal or pastel, I use the side of the stick to make a form rather than a line.

    On a few sketches, I’ve actually gone in afterwards with a Sharpie fine liner to add a few lines if I feel the piece needs to be unified, but I never start with the ink, always use it as a way of tying up anything that needs unification.

    Hope that helps…


  3. Denise Rose says:

    Thanks Anne! I paint like that with oils too (brush) so I think I will give that a try the next time I get out my watercolors!

  4. Katie says:

    Hi Anne, I’ve often wondered, what’s special about moleskin notebooks? Are they really make from the animal skin?

  5. kullaf says:

    No, they are not made from actual “mole skins”, it is more their design that makes them special. They have quality paper and features that are very useful in the field. Here is a link to their history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moleskine

  6. Katie Chau says:

    Thanks Anne!

  7. Infinie magie de l’aquarelle Ă  Clinton !

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