Watercolor from Within: Transparent Layering with Barbara Nechis - Creative Catalyst Productions

Watercolor from Within: Transparent Layering with Barbara Nechis

Artist: Barbara Nechis
Producer: Barbara Nechis
Runtime: 2 Hours, 22 Minutes

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If you've ever wished you could skip the thumbnails and dive head first into watercolor than join Barbara Nechis and paint "Watercolor from Within." Drawing technique is important, but sometimes you just want to paint.



This watercolor painting DVD focuses on building your confidence with your paint. In her DVD painting lessons, Nechis instructs students to fully use the watercolor painting technique wet-into-wet to create a stunning floral scene. Without a reference photo, physical subject, or sketched outline, Nechis demonstrates how to paint from within using a single spot of magenta paint placed confidently in the center of the page.

Using memory and emotion as her only inspirations, Nechis works outward from this center. She uses the flowing paint as her guide for what should come next. During Barbara's art lessons, students will learn how to make composition decisions quickly and confidently. Nechis emphasizes the importance of balancing repetition and variety. She shows students how to paint with both transparent and opaque pigments, and she teaches you how to play with hard and soft edges.

Nechis encourages students to avoid mixing color on the page but instead blends by using the watercolor technique of double-loading wide, square brushes and then tilting her paper to make pigment flow. As the demonstration progresses, Nechis explains her techniques for transforming a loose, direct scene into an intricate and layered composition. Instead of being locked into a predetermined composition, students will learn how to respond to what happens on the paper. This frees emotion during the creative process, and it will allow you to relay your passion for a subject on the page.

With Barbara Nechis's wet-into-wet technique, all you need to get started is the courage to make your first stroke. In this watercolor workshop, Barbara works outward from a single spot of permanent magenta using memory, emotion, and the flowing paint on her paper to guide an inspired floral design.

You'll learn to make principled design decisions confidently and quickly as you develop a loose, direct painting into an intricate, layered composition. Barbara paints intuitively, responding to to what happens on the paper rather than planning ahead with sketches or reference material. Her composition reflects her feelings about her subject instead of literally representing the flowers.

Barbara emphasizes balance between repetition and variety. She corrals transparent color with opaque pigments and contrasts hard-edged elements with wet-into-wet petals. She avoids mixing on her palette but encourages blending by double-loading wide, square brushes and tilting her paper to make pigment flow.


VIDEO EXTRA: Adding Variety to your work
In this clip from her DVD workshop, Watercolor from Within, Barbara Nechis direct paints major new elements in an abstract floral composition. Barbara uses the wet-into-wet technique to create unpredictable edges and blur the boundaries between the new elements and existing shapes on her paper. Barbara introduces new colors and changes value frequently to create variety in her design.




I call my work abstract realism. My work falls into a small category between realism and abstraction. Viewers who are wedded to either end of the spectrum are not always able to relate to my work. All of the forms are real to me and come from nature but I usually push them into shapes that could occur but are not necessarily recognizable to others. I hope that these shapes add up to a landscape that most people understand.


I don’t paint with an image in mind. It evolves as I work. The paper and paint seduce me. I rarely start with a subject in mind but anything to do with nature entices me. I never have a clear idea but I work from problems and spend a great deal of time analyzing what is not working and how I can fix it. Unlike many other mediums, watercolor does some of the work for you. It also produces unexpected effects that can’t be repeated so that each painting becomes special.

I use watercolor so that it looks fluid and creates an illusion that the paint arrived magically. By allowing the paint and water to interact and react I celebrate what watercolor does that is unique. The medium does much of the work for me.

My style keeps evolving but my growing vocabulary of shapes is subtly recognizable. There can be an advantage to having a recognizable style but it can also become a trap and if there is no evolution or change the work can look dated. I like it when people get what I am trying to say but it does not affect how I paint.

The true subject of my paintings is probably the act of painting itself. I do get turned on by the shapes in nature and the shapes that I put on the paper reflect this. I love it when I begin to make up a shape and then recognize that it imitates something I have seen in nature. It is important for me not to paint purely for aesthetic reasons. What I try to say has a spiritual component based on my awe of nature.

For me, a good painting is a balance between chance, intuition and technique.

My compositions are usually complex and involve many different objects and shapes. This results in paintings that take time for the viewer to fully discover. When a painting unfolds over time, it makes the work feel fresh forever.



Just watched the Barbara Nechis video, and I am impressed. What a great experience. Your videos are beautifully done. A complete bargain. Many, many thanks for making these artists available to us. Callie

Wonderful DVD! All aspiring watercolorists should spend time in her workshops or studying her style even if they don't want to paint that way: her approach gets right to the essence of what watercolor is all about. Look for the preview video online. Ernest

Her technique was unique. She explained her thinking in every brush stroke which was easy to understand. I had fun trying this method -not a lot of pre-planning. I love the loose style. It taught me more about my paints and good color combinations. Susan S.

I love how she explain everything. Puangtip M.

It's a really good demo, just enough to whet (ahem) the appetite of a painter who hasn't a clue what went wrong with his/her watercolor, but who knows that something dreadful DID go wrong. This DVD should sell like hot cakes. Robert.

Thanks for your letter. Oddly it came today while I was trying some of your approaches and my morale was a little wilted. I happened to have a couple of those spalter brushes with the thin edges and found it interesting to load them with two colors and also to have one side loaded with clear water on the other. I was really empathetic to your usage of the word "carving." I played your DVD a couple of times and found the audio independently interesting too. Over the years I have played George Post, Ed Whitney, and Rex Brandt for the sound even though the visuals long ago faded.
In closing I want to say how much I admire the surf picture behind you on left of the screen. 
Frank Webb

I received your DVD from CCP and watched it. You accomplished 2 very good paintings. I am inspired to try some wet in wet painting. I need to watch it again and take some notes. The first time I watched it I just wanted to enjoy it. CCP does a great job!! And so did you!!

Thank you for sending your DVD....Watercolor from Within. I absolutely enjoyed it because not only was the photography well-done, but, also you were very informative in guiding me, the viewer, through your process of painting. Surely, I will need to re-watch it many times." Thanks again.....happy customer! "i am loving the dvd. haven't been able to watch it all yet but it is nice to be able to have the different chapters so one can view it in steps...i LOVE to watch your brush strokes. you and this dvd have spurred me on to get going. i get great inspiration from your genuinely beautiful style. i love seeing your carve out the negative shapes. makes me happy to just watch it all unfold. "magic' i think the entire production is terrific. it really is like taking a workshop. the dvd has managed to make me think painting again after a year of doing nothing. your dvd arrived at the exact right time for me. thanks for your dedication to teaching all your special skills and talents. I won a ribbon for a painting I did with you in Maine. This video will be just the inspiration I need to try that technique again.

And my personal favorite
And the Academy award for best DVD ever Goes to BARBARA NECHIS FOR "WATERCOLOR FROM WITHIN!

The DVDs arrived this morning and I wanted to thank you for the quick service. Watched "Watercolor from Within" this afternoon and to say I was overwhelmed would be an understatement. It is really a brilliant DVD and I'm looking forward to viewing it many times.

I'm also reading "Watercolor from The Heart" and am equally impressed with it. My undergraduate degree was in Philosophy so I especially enjoy your outlook as well as all the valuable art information. Thanks so much for sharing your expertise.

PS: Kudos also to the people who produced the video."

From Barbara Nechis:
Here is the DVD that captures how I paint in as much detail and intimacy as if I were standing before you and painting. In it I demonstrate both a layered landscape and a wet-in-wet floral completed with glazing.
Three days of filming in CCP's state of the art studio and months of editing were well worth the wait. The process itself fascinated me. During filming one camera was focused on my brush and painting, another on my palette, and another on me so that all could be put together seamlessly.


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