Watercolor Paintings From Around the World

Joining many other countries in honoring watercolor painting, Thailand has placed watermedia center stage in museums and organized important watercolor events, including The World Watermedia Exposition (WWET). The goals of the expo were twofold: to provide an opportunity for the top watercolor artists of Thailand to form relationships and share knowledge with master painters from other parts of the world, and to create an international exhibition highlighting many of the finest watercolorists working today. Here’s sampling of the watercolors that were on view. For the full story of the event, and tips for painting en plein air around the world, check out the February 2016 issue of Watercolor Artist.


Untitled by Kamoi Tassananchalee (Thailand)

Untitled by Kamoi Tassananchalee (Thailand)


Venice by Stan Miller (USA)

Venice by Stan Miller (USA)


My Mom by Sattha Homsawat (LaFe) (Thailand)

My Mom by Sattha Homsawat (LaFe) (Thailand)


Window Carmel by Xiaochang Zhang (USA/China)

Window Carmel by Xiaochang Zhang (USA/China)


Light In Venice by Michal Jasiewicz (Poland)

Light In Venice by Michal Jasiewicz (Poland)


Fog In Winter by Liu Yong Jian (China)

Fog In Winter by Liu Yong Jian (China)


Coming Home by Joe Francis Dowden (England)

Coming Home by Joe Francis Dowden (England)


Side Street by Ong  Kim Seng (Singapore)

Side Street by Ong Kim Seng (Singapore)


Samutsongkram by Boonkwang Noncharoen (Thailand)

Samutsongkram by Boonkwang Noncharoen (Thailand)

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From the Archives: The Power of Art

After a month of news that has inlcuded tragic events in Paris and Beirut, and most recently in Colorado Springs, as well as ongoing stories of struggle and suffering around the world, I was reminded of a Pastel Pointers post that Richard McKinley wrote in December of 2012, just days after the horrific shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Conn. I think his powerful words are worth sharing again as a reminder of the importance of art as a means not just for coping on a personal level but also for sharing the power of the creative imagination to restore hope and to imagine new possibilites for humanity.  — Anne Hevener

the-Journey-pastel-Richard McKinley

The Journey (pastel, 12×19) by Richard McKinley



Why We Paint: Since prehistoric times, humans have manifested the desire to express emotion and thought through artistic forms. Often this is done solely for personal enjoyment, but frequently it serves a bigger purpose by communicating personal feelings to other human beings. This desire to be heard, and hopefully understood, has led to the formation of language, the invention of a written alphabet, the arrangement of sound into music, and the placement of pigment upon a painting surface.

When we seek to display our artistic efforts publicly, it requires a level of craftsmanship and technical mastery of the chosen medium: Otherwise, gibberish and nonsense will be the outcome, resulting in a failure to communicate. Since all of us are the sum total of our experiences and no two of us see and hear things in quite the same way, our artistic expressions will either be cheered or jeered depending upon the audience. This leads most artists to pursue study and practice throughout their artistic lifetimes. As important as this educational focus may be, it’s imperative that we be reminded of the reason why we paint.

The Therapeutic Power of Art: Many years ago, I was fortunate to be part of a professional group of artists who were having a discussion, after a long day of en plein air painting, on why we painted. As the discussion traveled around the table, many practical and philosophical reasons were shared. One comment, though, has always stood out and had a profound effect on my own personal perspective. The artist stated: “The day I realized that no matter if I never sold another painting, never got into another exhibition, or never won another prize, I would still paint. That is the day I really started painting.” This simple statement pointed out that as much as the physical body requires certain nutrients to survive, so does the human soul. Painting, just like many of the arts, is therapeutic. It provides a conduit to emotional release. This is well demonstrated in how painting is being utilized today as a means of therapy and rehabilitation for traumatized individuals, such as soldiers returning from war.

As the United States mourns the tragic events of the past week, I am again reminded of the therapeutic qualities the arts provide. Orators will speak, authors will write, musicians will play, and artists will paint. Personally, I have no answers. There are no words I can find that are capable of communicating the profound grief I feel for the loved ones of those lost. All I can do is add a voice to the chorus by allowing my emotions to flow through my painting. I encourage all of you to do the same. It feeds our collective soul.





Tell Your Secret Santa About Today’s Special Cyber Monday Sales at North Light Shop. Enjoy 50% off store wide (a few exclusions apply). And use the code CYBERDEALS10 for an extra 10%. It’s a great opportunity to pick up one of Richard’s latest DVDs on composition and design, alla prima painting or impasto painting, or his newest book, The Landscape Paintings of Richard McKinley, with works in pastel and oil. Visit NORTHLIGHTSHOP.COM to start making your wish list!



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Win an Art Prize in 2016 | Watercolor Society Exhibition Deadlines

View the 2015 art-prize-winning watercolor paintings and watermedia works in this slideshow, then learn about the works in the February 2016 issue of Watercolor Artist, available now at northlightshop.com and on newsstands December 22.



Plus, win an art prize yourself! Find out when to submit your work in 2016’s juried art shows, and to which watercolor society, below.


Adirondack National Exhibition of American Watercolors
Deadline: April 18, 2016
Prospectus: www.viewarts.org

American Watercolor Society
Deadline: was November 15, 2015
Prospectus: www.americanwatercolorsociety.org

Baltimore Watercolor Society
Deadline: March 6, 2016
Prospectus: www.baltimorewatercolorsociety.org

California Watercolor Association
Deadline: was September 1, 2015
Prospectus: www.californiawatercolor.org

Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour
Prospectus: www.cspwc.com

Colorado Watercolor Society
Prospectus: www.coloradowatercolorsociety.org

Florida Watercolor Society
Deadline: TBD June 2016
Prospectus: members only; www.floridawatercolorsociety.org

Georgia Watercolor Society
Prospectus: www.georgiawatercolorsociety.com

Louisiana Watercolor Society
Deadline: January 19, 2016
Prospectus: www.louisianawatercolorsociety.org

Mid-Southern Watercolorists
Deadline: was October 1, 2015
Prospectus: www.midsouthernwatercolorists.com

Missouri Watercolor Society
Deadline: February 15, 2016
Prospectus: https://missouriwatercolorsociety.wildapricot.org

National Watercolor Society
Deadline: July 22, 2016
Prospectus: http://nationalwatercolorsociety.wildapricot.org

Northwest Watercolor Society
Deadline: January 10, 2016
Prospectus: http://nwws.org

Ohio Watercolor Society
Deadline: TBD May 2016
Prospectus: www.ohiowatercolorsociety.org

Pennsylvania Watercolor Society
Deadline: April 15, 2016
Prospectus: www.pawcs.com

Philadelphia Watercolor Society
Deadline: TBD June 2016
Prospectus: www.pwcsociety.org

Rocky Mountain National Watercolor Society
Deadline: May 23, 2016
Prospectus: http://foothillsartcenter.org

San Diego Watercolor Society
Prospectus: http://sdws.org

Society of Watercolor Artists
Deadline: March 1, 2016
Prospectus: www.swawatercolor.com

South Carolina Watermedia Society
Deadline: August 5, 2016
Prospectus: www.scwatermedia.com

Southern Watercolor Society
Deadline: February 12, 2016
Prospectus: www.southernwatercolorsociety.org

Southwestern Watercolor Society
Prospectus: www.swswatercolor.org

Transparent Watercolor Society of America
Deadline: January 15, 2016
Prospectus: www.watercolors.org

Watercolor Art Society–Houston
Deadline: January 15, 2016
Prospectus: www.watercolorhouston.org

Watercolor Society of Alabama
Prospectus: http://watercolorsocietyofal.org

Watercolor U.S.A.
Deadline: March 8, 2016
Prospectus: http://sgfmuseum.org

Watercolor West
Deadline: June 30, 2016
Prospectus: www.watercolorwest.org

West Virginia Watercolor Society
Prospectus: www.wvwatercolorsociety.org

Wyoming Watercolor Society
Prospectus: www.wyomingwatercolorsociety.com

View our watercolor society directory by clicking here.


The February 2015 issue of Watercolor Artist is available now at northlightshop.com and on newsstands December 22.



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The post Win an Art Prize in 2016 | Watercolor Society Exhibition Deadlines appeared first on Artist's Network.

Watercolor Portrait Demo: LeAnn | Mario A. Robinson

Esteemed portrait and figure painter Mario A. Robinson uses a monochromatic block-in to achieve  light, medium and dark skin tones. Follow along as he creates a medium skin tone for his watercolor portrait of LeAnn:


I painted LeAnn using a cool light to illuminate the subject. The light cooled the warm tones of the skin, as well as the shadows. Understanding how to use lighting effects when working with models can elevate the level of a painting.

watercolor_figure_painting_Mario_Robinson_Color Swatches_LeAnn | Artistsnetwork.com
Step 1: I began by adjusting the temperature of the monochromatic block-in for the painting based on the bluish cast of the light. I mixed burnt umber and a slightly greater amount of French ultramarine blue, which resulted in a blue-gray mixture. The subsequent layers of color are influenced by this initial decision.

watercolor_figure_painting_Mario_Robinson_Step1_LeAnn | Artistsnetwork.com

Step 1

Step 2: After blocking in the middle and dark values with a blue-gray tone, I applied a thin wash of alizarin crimson, raw sienna and Payne’s gray (see the first set of swatches, above) over the subject’s face and neck. After the paint dried, I glazed a second layer over the eye sockets and the shadows on the right side of the face and neck.

watercolor_figure_painting_Mario_Robinson_Step2_LeAnn | Artistsnetwork.com

Step 2

Step 3: I added a few of the darker elements to determine the proper value of the right side of the face, which was in shadow. I mixed burnt sienna and Payne’s gray and covered the entire area of both eyes and the deep shadow on the side of her nose. I also applied a wet-into-wet wash of indanthrene blue, sepia and alizarin crimson to the hair. This set up the next stage, where I moved toward the darkest darks.

watercolor_figure_painting_Mario_Robinson_Step3_LeAnn | Artistsnetwork.com

Step 3

Step 4: I wet the left side of the forehead and face with clean water prior to brushing in a glaze of cadmium red, cadmium yellow and Payne’s gray (see the second set of swatches, above). Because the water diluted the paint, this created an illusion of light on one side of the face. After the paint dried, I darkened all the shadows on the face and neck using Payne’s gray, burnt umber and neutral tint.

watercolor_figure_painting_Mario_Robinson_Step4_LeAnn | Artistsnetwork.com

Step 4

Step 5: I added darker values to the blouse and all of the surrounding elements before adding the darkest darks to the eyes and hair. I then used a mix of indanthrene blue and sepia to drybrush finishing touches to the eyes and cheekbones to build form. I used the same two colors to embellish the darkest areas of the hair for LeAnn (watercolor on paper, 14×20).

watercolor_figure_painting_Mario_Robinson_LeAnn | Artistsnetwork.com

Step 5

See Robinson’s use of the monochromatic block-in for light and dark skin tones in the February 2016 issue of Watercolor Artist, available in print and digital format at northlightshop.com, and on newsstands December 22.

The post Watercolor Portrait Demo: LeAnn | Mario A. Robinson appeared first on Artist's Network.

Everyday Scenes | Vladislav Yeliseyev Watercolor Landscapes

Artist Vladislav Yeliseyev is no stranger to beautiful scenery. In fact, he’s traveled around the world to paint interesting watercolor cityscapes and watercolor landscapes. But unlike many artists who are drawn to postcard-perfect sites, Yeliseyev usually can be found around the back of a building, along the street or in an alleyway, capturing commonplace scenes.

He embraces warm light, a warm palette and minimal detail to share the beauty of prosaic scenes, as seen below and in the February issue of Watercolor Artist, available in print or as a download at northlightshop.com, and on newsstands December 22.

watercolor-landscape-Vladislav-Yeliseyev-Boat-Depot | Artistsnetwork.com

Boat Depot (watercolor on paper) by Vladislav Yeliseyev

watercolor-landscape-Vladislav-Yeliseyev-Passing-Toulouse | Artistsnetwork.com

Passing Toulouse (watercolor on paper) by Vladislav Yeliseyev

watercolor-landscape-Vladislav-Yeliseyev-Industrial-Landscape | Artistsnetwork.com

Industrial Landscape (watercolor on paper) by Vladislav Yeliseyev

watercolor-landscape-Vladislav-Yeliseyev-Paris-Tunes-in-Little-Color | Artistsnetwork.com

Paris Tunes in Little Color (watercolor on paper) by Vladislav Yeliseyev received The Bold Brush Award (September 2015) sponsored by Fine Art Studio Online.

The post Everyday Scenes | Vladislav Yeliseyev Watercolor Landscapes appeared first on Artist's Network.

Brighton Beach Watercolor Cityscapes | Susan Weintraub Gallery

Adventurous techniques and an emphasis on value lend an evocative air of timelessness
to Susan Weintraub’s Brighton Beach watercolor cityscapes. New York City threatens to dissolve in her paintings, as buildings and figures loom softly in veils of drizzle and mist that can render concrete and steel as insubstantial as a dream. Streetlights and headlights shimmer nebulously in the murk and gloom of city nights. Cars, awash in spray and blurred with movement, speed toward rain-shrouded skylines. This vision is reinforced with Weintraub’s spectacular watercolor handling in which drips, splashes, spatters and glazes provide powerful equivalents for the experience of the moisture-laden, polluted air of the city.

Weintraub says there’s a “wealth of potential subject matter in the beach, boardwalk, amusement area, mom-and-pop stores, and especially the elevated subway system that runs above the major thoroughfares and links our area to the rest of the city.”

See some of her cityscapes, below, and in the February 2016 issue of Watercolor Artist, available at northlightshop.com in print and download format, and on newsstands December 22.

Don’t miss Watercolor Artist! Get your cost-saving subscription—and a FREE gift!—here.

Watercolor Painting_Susan Weintraub_Winter Driving | Artistsnetwork.com

Winter Driving (watercolor on paper) by Susan Weintraub

Watercolor Painting_Susan Weintraub_Driving Home | Artistsnetwork.com

Driving Home (watercolor on paper) by Susan Weintraub

Watercolor Painting_Susan Weintraub_Rollercoaster | Artistsnetwork.com

Rollercoaster (watercolor on paper) by Susan Weintraub

Watercolor Painting_Susan Weintraub_McDonald_Avenue_at_Dusk | Artistsnetwork.com

McDonald Avenue at Dusk (watercolor on paper) by Susan Weintraub

The post Brighton Beach Watercolor Cityscapes | Susan Weintraub Gallery appeared first on Artist's Network.

Watercolor Painting Inspiration: Guided by Drawing and Geometry

For those of us in the United States, today is a day to celebrate Thanksgiving. We’ll gather with family and friends to share food and drink, watch football, relax and, I hope, spend a few moments honoring that for which we’re thankful. Here at ArtistsNetwork, our team is grateful that our community stretches across continents, oceans and borders, spreading a love for art that knows no bounds.

I’d like to take a moment to let you know how grateful I am for you, as well as for our network of teachers that I get to work with on a daily basis to bridge you all together. I believe in my heart that creativity is vital to our humanity. The fact that you’re reading this tells me that, even if you’re not as adamant about that statement, you either create art or have an appreciation for it, and this, too, is so important. Thank you.

Watercolor painting inspiration | Julia Sorrell, ArtistsNetwork.com

The Glance (watercolor on paper, 26×19) by Julia Sorrell (Pin this!)

So while we’re together here, I’ll get to the point: new art and inspiration. Today’s feature is about the imaginative watercolor art of Julia Sorrell, as seen in Watercolor Artist magazine. I hope that if your day is a busy one full of Thanksgiving activities, you find a quiet moment to enjoy Julia’s work and let it do what art does best: briefly take us to another place and time.

For this, I’m grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving,

The Shape of Things to Come
by Ken Gofton

Julia Sorrell says that geometry is at the heart of her work, both in the development of the composition–the visible and suggested lines that lead the eye around a painting–and in the construction of the often-complex shapes she draws.

There’s a traditional view that, as an aid to drawing, all three-dimensional shapes can be seen as variations on cones, cylinders, cubes and spheres. Sorrell uses a similar system, mapping the outer points of a hand, for example, by constructing the flat wedge shape of the hand, and then extending out with the cylinders of the individual finger joints. She uses loose hatching to describe the curves.

Watercolor art inspiration | Julia Sorrell, ArtistsNetwork.com

Remaking of the Landscape (watercolor on paper, 10×14) shows the artist’s vision of a greener future.

“When conceiving an imagined world, it’s like a blind person who, through feeling with his hands, can have the concept of a shape and form,” Sorrell says. “Similarly, a sculptor will create a 3-D form, whether it be a pot or a figure, by the connection from his brain to his hands. In my case, I’m trying to take my mental vision and describe with loose hatching the curves I see in my brain.”

Even so, the artist appreciates being able to check her ideas against reality. She works, seated at an easel, and immediately behind her is a tall, free-standing mirror with hinged side pieces. “It was made by my husband, who designs and makes furniture and does all my framing, and it’s brilliant,” she says. “If I need to check something, like how exactly the eye sits in the socket, I just turn around and take a close look.”

See more of Julia’s watercolor figures here and read the full feature article in Watercolor Artist (October 2015).

**Subscribe to the Artists Network newsletter for inspiration, instruction, and ideas, and score a free download on Watercolor Painting for Beginners: The Basics and More.

The post Watercolor Painting Inspiration: Guided by Drawing and Geometry appeared first on Artist's Network.