Acrylic Landscape Paintings by Stephen Quiller

“Watermedia painting has a long history,” says Stephen Quiller in the August 2014 issue of Watercolor Artist. “Most of the best-known watercolor masters, including Joseph Mallord William Turner, William Blake, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Charles E. Burchfield and John Marin, used opaque gouache, wax, India ink or charcoal along with transparent watercolor in their works. I’m sure they felt that as long as these media were compatible with watercolor and added to the expression of their creative vision, then that was all that mattered. Developed as an artist’s medium in the late 1940s, acrylic is the most exciting new development in art media of our age. It’s durable, permanent and won’t crack or yellow with age. I’ve found it to be a most beautiful and exciting medium that has added to my watermedia vocabulary.”

Stephen Quiller acrylic landscape painting

Autumn Patterns Off Lime Creek study

Stephen Quiller painted Study, Autumn Patterns Off Lime Creek (acrylic watermedia on Aquabord, 16 x 12) on location at a site close to his studio. “I washed a transparent undertone starting with a cadmium yellow light at the top and gradating to cadmium yellow medium and cadmium yellow deep toward the bottom,” he says. “I did most of the rest of the painting transparently, developing the tree patterns and lifting back to the undertone. I painted the blue-violet mountain forms and tree shadows with translucent and opaque applications.”


landscape painting

Ice Fishermen Road Canyon

“In Ice Fishermen, Road Canyon (acrylic watermedia on 300 lb. rough Waterford watercolor paper, 38 1/2 x 26 1/2), I wet a large piece of heavy watercolor paper and washed in transparent warm color,” says Quiller. “In this mix I also used some transparent metallic gold acrylic, which sets off the light and shimmer of the ice and background forms. Most of this painting is transparent and translucent contrasted with the opaque shapes of sky, tree shadow and yellow-white snow clumps.”


Stephen Quiller acrylic painting

Nasturtiums and Petunias Rio Grande Patterns

Quiller’s inspiration for Nasturtiums & Petunias, Rio Grande Patterns (acrylic watermedia on Crescent Watercolor Board #5114, 36 x 24) came from a view from his studio deck. “I hung a pot of flowers on the deck and noticed its contrast with the dark spruce, water and mountain forms,” he says. “I began by wetting the board and charging in the bright red to yellow-orange of the flowers. I then built the dark tree patterns around the flowers and painted the light opaque negative patterns around the spruce.”

Stephen Quiller shares more about his approach to painting acrylics in the August 2014 issue of Watercolor Artist.

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