My approach to watercolor is a little unusual. During my years as an art student in college, the medium we used for color concepts and the illustration courses was gouache. As a result, I apply watercolors much like gouache from palette to paper, in very thick, dry-on-dry applications, then I brush and bleed the paint out and around. Although I do lots of washes and layering too, I rarely work wet-into-wet.
I love color. And I try to use only natural daylight as my light source for my paintings. Whether it’s direct sunlight or north light, it really illuminates fruit, glass, candles and wood, and creates terrific reflections in metal. Chroma, hue and value—when understood and used effectively—can make the most boring composition come alive, transforming it into an energetic, beautiful work of art.
Lemon Kiss (watercolor, 21×29)
Stephen Quiller is an internationally known painter, educator and author who lives and works in the southwest mountains of Colorado. He’s written five painting books covering color and watermedia. Visit his Web site at www.quillergallery.com.