Meet Your Next Creative Catalyst Artist: Dan Marshall

December 17, 2018 2 min read

If you see Dan Marshall paint, you may notice something: his tattoos. In fact, this Signature member of the American Watercolor Society began a first career as a successful tattoo artist.

Then one day, he realized he needed a change. He turned to watercolor because the portability of the medium appealed to him.

“I became instantly and completely obsessed,” says Dan. “And that obsession has lead me to a second career in painting.”

But looking at Dan’s award-winning paintings, the start wasn’t as easy as you might think.


“Like many people who start painting in watercolor, I thought it was going to be the easiest thing to do,” says Dan. “I thought I could just roll right into the medium, and be able to start no problem.”

Dan, after all, had had a whole career as an artist, and he had invested hundreds (if not thousands) of hours into his drawing ability.


“What I found is that I created paintings that looked like a 5-year-old did them,” says Dan.

He quickly realized the problem: He didn’t have the proper technique.

“There was just a lot more to the medium than I ever would have imagined.”


And here is a reason why Dan has set out to create a video workshop.

“Most of watercolor painting is completely intuitive and there’s a lot of things that happen that are really just kind of common sense,” says Dan. “But if you’re not shown these things it will delay your progress in painting.”

This is why Dan wanted to create a video workshop. He knows that watercolor can be a beautiful medium. He’s experienced that joy first hand. He also knows, again first hand, that if no one ever shows you how to approach it properly, you’ll experience years of frustration.


Dan has devoted his life to watercolor. His approach is simple: study hard and paint all the time. For Dan, that means he’s outside painting most days of the year, rain or shine. And there’s a lot of rain.

He encourages students to spend their time indoor improving their fundamental (like the kind he shows in his video workshop) and then get outdoors to learn about color, light, and atmosphere first hand. Which is exactly what he does in his video workshop. 

Dan Marshall's video workshopCityscapes in Watercolor: Capturing Mood & Atmsophere is currently available in the CCP shop. Learn more here

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