Turn Specks Into Birds, and More Tips from Watercolor Live Day 1

People are still talking about the Watercolor Live Essentials Day we enjoyed on Tuesday, which came up again and again as we gathered for the official Day 1 this year:

“The artists were all amazing yesterday. Each one enhanced my learning curve. Thanks so much.” ~ Bonnie H.

“I always sign up for Essentials Day, it never disappoints, I learn something every time and I have been painting since I was a kid!” ~Renaté L.

“Essential Day was amazing. As a newbie I learned a ton. the presenters were amazing. I will definitely be honing my skills.” ~Rebecca H.

“Essentials Day was fabulous! Learned so much relating to transitions and edges – color mixing and so much more! ❤️❤️❤️” ~ Debbie A.

Replays are available! Here’s what we saw on Day 1 of Watercolor Live 2024: 

From Michael Holter's landscape painting demonstration
From Michael Holter’s landscape painting demonstration

Tip: If you get a dark speck of paint in the sky area of your watercolor landscape painting, consider adding a stroke to turn them into birds. We learned this and much more during Michael Holter’s demo.

From Frank Spino's watercolor live still life demonstration
From Frank Spino’s watercolor still life demonstration

Speaking over a high-speed video of his painting process, Frank Spino’s inspiring demo was of a realistic still life of fruit in a crystal bowl. He explained how he chose his colors, why he was making certain decisions, and how he became a better painter (and how you can, too).

Barabara Nechis encouraged us to bring out "problem paintings" to take them further.
Barabara Nechis encouraged us to bring out “problem paintings” to take them further.

“Let’s see that stack of unfinished paintings get smaller,” said Barbara Nechis. Working with three techniques (wet-in-wet, layering, and superimposing designs) for three unfinished paintings.

From Lana Privitera's Watercolor Live still life lesson
From Lana Privitera’s Watercolor Live still life lesson

Painting in the style of tight realism, Lana Privitera used a limited palette with a wide range of values. She said she takes hundreds of reference photos as she chooses her composition, even reversing the images in Photoshop to see if it reveals a new possibility.

From Michael Reardon's cityscape demo
From Michael Reardon’s cityscape demo

Michael Reardon gave a watercolor demonstration based on a plein air painting he created years ago in Italy. His lesson began with a wash (over a light drawing) of the sky that transitioned from orange to blue, with considerations of the light source as he moved the wash down the scene.

Tony Armendariz's demo on how to paint a portrait in watercolor using a photo reference
Tony Armendariz’s demo on how to paint a portrait in watercolor using a photo reference

Tony Armendariz demonstrated his approach to portrait painting in watercolor, including the prep work he does to ensure a successful painting when you only have a photo reference of your subject.

We want to thank today’s wonderful sponsors: Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff featuring Meghann Miller Williams; Blick Art Materials featuring Grace Manning; Royal Talens featuring Vic Hollins; Raphael featuring Andrew Cook; Workshops in France featuring Lisa Wang & Joseph Zbukvic; and Legion Paper Company featuring David Becker.

“THANK YOU STREAMLINE- it’s one of the highlights of my year!” ~ Robin W.

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 WatercolorLive.com now and don’t miss another minute.


Related Article: Watching Watercolor Live … At 2:00 AM


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