Tips for Taking Watercolors on the Go

    “The Brandywine-Chadds Ford” (watercolor, 12 x 16 in.)

    Inspired by Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent, watercolor artist Sarah Yeoman spends much of the summer following Homer’s footsteps in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State, hiking and paddling to remote locations, where she paints and collects references.

    A member of the 2018 Plein Air Convention & Expo faculty, Sarah Yeoman sketches on location in Santa Fe

    Yeoman describes her watercolor technique as “sculpting and pulling the form out of the paper,” much like a sculptor’s process with marble. As she minimizes detail, the abstract shapes and surface of the paper reveal her deep connection with the process.

    “The Castle Window-Gloucester” (watercolor, 9 x 12 in.)
    Here, she shares her best advice for painting outdoors with watercolor.

    “Keep it simple,” says Yeoman. “Work in a sketchbook (like a Stillman & Birn) or with smaller format paper, and don’t bring your whole studio with you, as that can become overwhelming. Watercolor kits, available in small travel sizes, make it easy to take your watercolors on the go.

    “Also, always think of the work that you are doing as studies, whether value studies or color studies, so that they do not become too precious. Working outside can be very challenging, but the rewards are too numerous to count.”

    “Lemon Tree—Tuscany” (watercolor, 12 x 16 in.)

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