“With watercolor, you can basically work anywhere — sitting on the ground or a rock, with your paper on your lap or on an easel. But that’s not the main reason I use watercolor,” says Cindy Baron. “For me, the biggest reward comes from painting a landscape with one of the hardest mediums to master. Painting with watercolors requires a lot of thought and planning. They can be incredibly unforgiving so you have to think your way through the painting before you even pick up a brush. I love to draw, so if there are a lot of shapes involved, the watercolor brushes come out. Going coastal with all the rock shapes and cliffs, or into the woods near a creek or river, can be especially fun with watercolor because of all the detail.
“Each watercolorist has his or her own style. I tend to paint in glazes and need to let each layer dry before I add the next. Painting outside, you can’t just plug in a hair dryer; you have to rely on the sun. For that reason, I usually have several pieces going at once on site. Each painting is different, but I can work on one as the other is drying. Working this way, I’ve become very prolific, which comes in especially handy in competitions.
“I’m a firm believer that trying new things helps you excel in your craft and makes you unique. I started years ago with pastel, then moved on to watercolor and eventually also to oil. In my watercolors, you can see the influence of my oils and vice versa. Challenges I face in one medium lead me to discoveries in both.
“When you learn how to let each color blend naturally in watercolor, you can achieve beautiful harmony, especially with landscapes, that can’t be matched with any other medium. Painting outdoors with watercolor can be a challenge, but if you stick with it and put the miles on your brushes, you’ll be rewarded with an exciting adventure.”
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