Abstract Watercolor Painting Demo 2

Abstract Watercolor Painting Demo 2

I received SO MANY requests for more abstract watercolor painting demo’s. Thank you all for letting me know that you wanted more!

In this video demonstration, I do something a little different. I typically pain in a non-objective manner, meaning I don’t reference any subject matter. In this painting however, I will use a reference to subject matter - trees. Make no mistake, this is still an abstract painting. It relies mostly on flat shapes, and rich values to create the pattern that reminds us of trees. The layout for this painting comes from one I did many years ago. I wanted to revisit it to see what happens. Remember, if it’s your composition you can paint it as many times as you want to - I always change them a bit to make sure they are all different variations of the same theme.

QoR Watercolor; 300lb Fabriano Artistico Watercolor Paper-Rough Press (half-sheet, 22x15); 2” nylon brush; 1” Kolinsky Sable brush; 1” nylon brush; corrugated plastic sheet backing board.

The Painting
For this painting I will be using multiple sets of complementary colors: yellow and violet, blue and orange and green and red. My intention is to create a dominantly cool painting with warm accent colors.

I begin the painting by wetting the back and front of the paper, then I sqeegee out some of the water using a damp sponge. This leaves the paper damp without a wet surface.

I then begin my first wash by laying in warm and cool colors. Once complete, I take time to dry the surface of the paper with a hair dryer. Then I begin laying in the negative shapes behind the tree shapes, and the tree shapes are gradually revealed. I warm and darken the values at my center of interest area, using the dark values of the negative shape against the lightest value on the positive tree shape to attract attention to the center of interest.

While I edited the video for time, the painting only took me about 20 minutes. You saw nearly the entire process. Note that I used a 2” brush for everything except the very last details of the tree shapes. I kept the painting and colors loose and fresh, and allowed the watercolor to do what it does best.

It was great fun to paint, and I hope the demo was helpful for you.

If you'd like to learn about abstract painting, then please join me for a painting workshop: (You can view a list of 2019 workshops HERE)

  • March 15-17 Helen Day Center, Stowe, VT. For information and registration contact Danielle Naylor. Email: education@helenday.com. Click HERE for more information.

  • March 27-29, 2019 Amarillo Art Institute, Amarillo, TX. For information and registration contact Rachel Flores, Email: director@amarilloartinstitute.org. Click HERE for more information.

  • April 12-14, 2019 Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts, Florence, AL. For information and registration contact Christi Britton. Email: cbritton@florenceal.org.

  • April 24-26, 2019 David M. Kessler Fine Art Studio, Winston-Salem, NC. For information and registration. FULL-Waiting List

  • May 10-12, 2019 New Braunfels Art Center, New Braunfels, TX. For information and registration Click Here.

  • May 16-18, 2019 David M. Kessler Fine Art Studio, Winston-Salem, NC. Mentorship Workshop. For information and registration Click Here.

As always, thanks for your support!


P.S. If you you'd like to learn more about Abstract Painting in the comfort of your home or studio, I have a great course called Abstract Painting Academy available for you:

Abstract Painting Academy is the next best thing to a live workshop event. You can find out more by Clicking Here.

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New Line of Artist T-Shirts. Introducing my new line of artist (or non-artist) t-shirts. Several different graphics with several different slogans to match your artist mood. Available in standard t-shirts, women’s t-shirts, long-sleeve t-shirts and sweatshirts.

You Can View and/or Purchase HERE.