Where the Magic Happens

“Understanding timing and using gravity to one’s advantage are the most underrated skills in watercolor,” says Richie Vios.

“Gravity plays a vital role in watercolor especially when applying a wash. As watercolorists, we are dealing with a very delicate wet paper. Proper ‘slopping’ helps facilitate natural flows of water through gravity. This helps our paints to run naturally without disturbing the paper fiber. If you avoid unnecessary brushstrokes, you’ll get a pristine, clean color that floats on the top of the paper like a thin colored film. Light can then pass through, hit the paper, and bounce back. This is how you get the sense of illuminated color in watercolor.

“Timing is everything in watercolor. You have to know when to keep going or when to stop and let an area dry before making your next move. With watercolor, color and value can be unpredictable. When your paper is still wet, they will keep evolving.

“You need to accept the fact that watercolor has a mind of its own. It’s up to you to act at the right time to get the best result. Learning that timing takes a bit of trial and error. But go in with confidence.”

Born and raised in Cebu City, Philippines, Richie N. Vios hails from an artistic family where even his father, brothers, and sister also paint. Studying architecture, in 1995 he graduated with a bachelor’s degree and started immediately as a faculty member, teaching architectural design and presentation for the next seven years while also establishing himself as a newly-licensed architect. Since then he  has worked on both architecture and painting in the Phillipines and the United States. Today Richie lives in Texas and teaches nationally. He has a video coming up from Creative Catalyst. 

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