A Reminder to Slow Down and Look

urban landscape
“River Cafe, Brooklyn”

In my workshops, I stress the importance of taking the time to look at your watercolor painting critically and analytically at regular intervals. When I paint in my studio, I have found that these viewings allow the painting itself to inform me. Time spent in both initial preparation and regular reviews of the work in progress allows me to return to the painting process with more confidence and I have seen it result in greatly improved paintings completed by my students and by myself.

John Salminen
“Setting Up, Bryant Park”


  1. I’m a VERY impatient watercolorist! But I have improved. I find it difficult to do a painting and leave it halfway and complete it later.

    • I understand because your never in the same place mentally or spiritually when you come back. It’s never going to be as it was the first time.

  2. I agree! Stepping back and reflecting on work in progress is a critical and important part of the process. Like u, it gives me confidenc to dive back in. Thanks for sharing. Lynn

  3. Thanks for the reminder, John. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a painting that’s going really well to take time to look at it critically. But it always pays off when I do. The same goes for paintings that seem to be going nowhere. A second look with fresh eyes almost always presents some new possibilities.

  4. I agree totally and like to remind artists to view their work often, and …
    IN A MAT, ACROSS THE ROOM, UPSIDE DOWN, IN A MIRROR! Anyway we can see our work with “new eyes”. Kathleen Conover


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