Insight Into the Artist’s Mind

“Ascension Callas” (watercolor, 11 x 15 in.)

“A watercolor offers an intimate look into an artist’s thinking,” says Carolyn Lord. “It’s easy to clean up and portable — all you need is a small paint kit, sketchbook, some brushes, and access to water. (Bonus: you can pack all your supplies in your luggage when you fly.)

“Just Joey in July” (watercolor, 11 x 15 in.)

“Plein air events aren’t currently a big part of the watercolor world, in large part because studio and photo-based painting is such a big part of what is being taught in workshops.

“California Poppies by the Orange” (watercolor, 11 x 15 in.)

“My best advice for a watercolor artist who wants to try painting outdoors is to take a plein air workshop. But first, you must be practiced in direct observation. If you do not know how to draw what you see, you’re not ready to paint what you see. Practice on your own so you have private failures and frustrations. Adjust your definition of a successful painting session. What works in the studio might not work outside; adapt your process and simplify your equipment as you gain experience.”

Carolyn Lord

Here are some plein air articles that can help you get started:

Watercolor Wisdom: What I Learned From Painting Outdoors

What’s In My Watercolor Sketch Bag?


  1. I just s started doing watercolor painting about a year ago and have learned everything from books so far.
    I was surprised that I can actually do it especially because I’m almost 80years old.
    I really want to learn more but not sure how to go about it.

  2. Creative Catalyst has some great DVD’s. Or you can stream them if that’s your preference. I love reading books but it’s quite stimulating to listen to what other painters share.Happy painting.


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