Day 1 of Watercolor Live

Artist Thomas Schaller kicked off Day 1 of Watercolor Live on Thursday, January 26 with a live on-screen demo that included a conversational Q&A with Kelly Kane. Schaller shared not only his painting techniques but also generous words of wisdom about being an artist and learning to paint in general.

Other workshops from the day included lessons from Patricia Guzman, Richard Russell Sneary, Mark Mehaffey, Mike Hernandez, and Irena Roman. Throughout the event, our teachers are also continually adding new paintings to the faculty auction, which you can participate in here: 3rd Annual Watercolor Live Faculty Auction.

Keep reading to see some of our favorite moments from Day 1 of Watercolor Live, and click here to join us for the rest of the week! (Replays are available!)

Thomas Schaller's sketchbook
Here we see an inside peek at Schaller’s notebook, which he uses to freely make doodles and sketches as part of his creative process. “I love to draw as much as I love to paint,” he said.
From Thomas Schaller's live on camera watercolor demo
From Thomas Schaller’s live-on-camera watercolor demo

“I very much enjoyed watching Thomas paint, I love how every artist paints so differently and it all works, watercolour is so very versatile. I am impressed with how different all the demos have been so far. Congratulations Watercolor Live!” ~ Hazel S.

We also caught special presentations from today’s sponsors, including Cheap Joe’s; Blick Art Materials featuring Joy Ting Charde; Raphael featuring Andrew Cook; Laguna Plein Air Painters Association; and Royal Talens featuring Wennie Huang.

How to paint realistic portraits
From Patricia Guzman’s demo

Patricia Guzman showed us her start-to-finish process for painting a realistic portrait in watercolor during her demo, using wet-on-wet, wet-on-dry, and dry brush techniques. (“This is one of the most amazing things I’ve seen in my life.” ~ Justin W.)

From Richard Russell Sneary's demo at Watercolor Live
From Richard Russell Sneary’s demo

Plein air painter Richard Russell Sneary demonstrated a painting he originally made in 2020 on a trip to Western Cuba.

Here we see Mark Mehaffey lifting the paint from the surface of an area he wants to correct by using a wet paper towel.
Here we see Mark Mehaffey lifting the paint from the surface of an area he wants to correct by using a wet paper towel.

Mark Mehaffey gave a workshop on using an alternative surface for transparent watercolor, which is sure to lead to “brave painting.” He added that when mistakes happen on his preferred surface, it’s often easily correctable.

How to paint with gouache
From Mike Hernandez’s session

Painting a river scene, Mike Hernandez explained how to use gouache in the spirit of watercolor, giving you the “best of both worlds.”

From Irena Roman's session at Watercolor Live
From Irena Roman’s session

Irena Roman welcomed us into her home studio, where she shared her “secret ingredient” for increasing luminosity, glow, and radiance in watercolor paintings. Her methods also give you the solution to creating “instant atmosphere.”

We closed the evening with our cocktail hour paint-along session, hosted by Eric Rhoads. Follow the fun on Instagram at #watercolorlive and join us Friday and Saturday for the remaining workshops and social fun with fellow artists! Visit now and don’t miss another minute.


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