This Is What Success Looks Like

Wheels of Fate (watercolor, 25 x 15 in.) by David Poxon

“Nature slowly reclaims everything,” says David Poxon. “The nuances of fragile surface textures contain the DNA of our very existence. These are the subjects that give me the greatest joy, and replicating them in pure watercolor gives me the all the painterly challenges I require. Watercolor is the easiest medium to start with, but the hardest one to master. This subject is one of a series of works inspired by a preserved and working steam railway near my home in England.

“It’s important with pure watercolor to take time pre-painting to devise a plan regarding the construction of the work. With this medium, no white paint is used; areas of white are the actual paper, so the first task is to decide which parts to preserve and how. With my work, sometimes up to 24 layers of thin wash are applied; it’s a time-consuming system, but when it works it creates wonderful depth and tonal values. Red is a notoriously difficult color to apply with watercolor. If the artist isn’t careful, it can loose its intensity and look wishy washy. With a slow meticulous system with alternating multiple layers, in this case alizarin crimson and carmine (Schmincke) achieved a powerful result.

“A large detailed painting like Wheels of Fate can take three or four weeks to complete. Always remember that the painting journey is what is important; the end destination may or may not work out! Watercolor painting is not a race; it is a search for yourself.”

Wheels of Fate won Best Plein Air Watercolor & Gouache Winner in the October Plein Air Salon art competition.


“Don’t think about it; just go for it,” says Poxon. “If you do nothing, then nothing will happen. Be positive and don’t get concerned if you don’t get an award. Consider it character building; we all know what it feels like!”

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Kelly Kane
PleinAir Magazine and American Watercolor Weekly Editor-in-Chief With more than 20 years experience in art publishing, Kelly Kane has served previously as Editor-in-Chief of Watercolor Artist magazine and Content Director for The Artist’s Magazine, Drawing, Acrylic Artist, and Pastel Journal. She has interviewed many of the preeminent artists of our time and written numerous articles about painting, drawing, art education and art history. She is now the Editor-in-Chief of PleinAir Magazine and the American Watercolor Weekly newsletter. Click here to send her an email.



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