Experience the long stretch of shadows over a well worn field in Paul Jackson’s watercolor workshop. After transferring his off screen drawing to his watercolor paper with transfer paper and a ballpoint pen, Jackson uses a warm neutral on dry paper to define his value composition and to strengthen important lines. Jackson’s painting process is a push and pull.
He uses masking to create texture which he then covers with washes. For the first few passes, he’ll add a bit of masking fluid to capture various intensities of color. Later he’ll begin removing masking. His subsequent washes will then darken the painting while integrating the newly unmasked areas. His goal is to create the texture of a well worked field.
There are some rules he follows as he paints. To create perspective cues, he makes sure the area closer to the viewer has more detail and the areas further away from the viewer have less. He creates texture several ways including a mouth atomizer with both paint and then masking fluid and even a small toy tractor to mimic the tire prints of a real John Deer. He uses warm colors for most of the painting but then brings in his coolest blues to accentuate the deepest shadows of his trees.
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 but his paints are his signature line.) 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.