Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Best painting tip you've ever received (watercolours)

Have you received any suggestions which have made you a better painter? Feel free to add your comments below, before today's blog entry sinks below the horizon. Here are a few tips which I received which impacted me.

1. Never clean your paint tray at the end of a day's work. Your tray provides you with a visual memory of what you mixed the day before. Its hard to pick up your painting where you left off the day before, with an empty palette.

2. Keep it simple stupid. Some of my best pictures, have the least detail. A good artist studies the scene, and then decides what to exclude.

3. "Put away that damned small brush." A professional artist and teacher said to me. And with that, he literally picked a small brush out of my hand and tossed it down on the table. A small brush constricts your thinking and you work from the left brain hemisphere.

4. Paint with a restricted palette. This is rather personal, I suppose, but I try to restrict my paintings to about 5 colours. I find that the smaller the palette, for me the easier it becomes to
create atmosphere.

5. Never paint after the sun goes down. I lose my ability to discriminate colour.

6. Its your call.....add what you wish.


  1. Coupla best tips:
    "Paint wetter longer", from Bruce Cryer who is a sig mem of the fed and a friend.

    "Use lotsa water, after all they call it watercolour...", Kiff Holland, one of the best anywhere. He also told me about Naples yellow which is on of the most useful colours...

  2. Keep the bright sun off your paper as well as your palette when out side painting on location. Other wise you will misjudge your values and go dark too soon.


Thank you for posting your comments.
ATTENTION SPAMMERS: Comments with links to other websites, will not be accepted.

A message for anonymous posters: Comments will be accepted provided they are thoughtful and articulate.

Reciprocating comments between posters will not be accepted. Sorry - I have no intention of giving readers the opportunity to engage in flame wars. It won't happen.

Fredericks-Artworks Blog, copying policy

The Canadian Copyright act, section 29 reports on fairdealing, that it is not an infringement to reproduce someone else's work for research, study, criticism, review or to report. Which pretty much sums up what this site is about. All content sources, be they artists, printed references, and website url's are respectfully identified on this site. http://http//

Mission Statement
A Portrait of the Visual Arts in Canada, is intended to celebrate the richness of Canada's visual arts, and to promote the arts in Canada.

Statement of Intent
I make every effort to credit the sources of information used in this blog and to obtain the permission and cooperation of all the works presented by living artists. I try, as much as possible to use works from public sources eg. national and provincial collections, of deceased artists. If for any reason, any artist disapproves of anything written about them or their work the artist is encouraged to request withdrawal of the content.