Join artist Paul Jackson as he shows you how to capture a vibrant sunset on a river in watercolor. Jackson is a master of brush wetness and he uses this knowledge to lay in washes of paint that deepen his values while keeping his painting vibrant. For this painting, he’s combined two reference photos in Photoshop and then augments what the photo is lacking with his own imagination.
He adds masking fluid throughout his painting process to capture the silver lining in clouds and to add wripples to his water around a pair of canoers. Jackson bounces back and forth between the water and the sky slowly building up value. He shows you how to use a Mr. Clean eraser to create the brightest streaks of sunlight. Along the way, Jackson names every color he uses and constantly talks about how much water he needs in his brush for his desired outcome for his brush marks.
This is not a beginning workshop. Jackson assumes you know the basics about watercolor and how to prep your watercolor paper. He doesn’t walk through how he’s organized his palette or talk about his brush brands. (No brands are actually listed during the workshop.) His pencil drawing is done off camera.
Intermediate and advanced artists will marvel at his brush control and his deep understanding of how moisture plays a big role in pigment control. Jackson does a wonderful job explaining when he’s using a pigment-heavy but water-light brush and to what effect. He makes working in wet-into-wet look easy and we know it’s not.
He also does a great job telling you exactly what colors he’s using when. This helps students of all skill level cement their own color knowledge but also understand how the painting was put together when you’re looking at the finished piece. However, Jackson does use a specialized palette with his own signature line of paints. Most of the colors have standard brand equivalents and Jackson mentions those occasionally throughout the workshop. Intermediate and advanced artists will probably not have too much trouble translating Jackson’s colors to their own palettes. Beginners may struggle.
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