Intuition, Emotion and Expressiveness in Watercolor

Thomas Schaller_watercolor art

Stir the Emotions!

Thomas Schaller’s watercolor paintings alone are enough to stir emotion in the viewer. But add to that his journey, and you’ll have a new level of appreciation for what he brings to the table.

Schaller is one of our featured artist-instructors, and his story inspires me to want to paint, explore and mostly live an artful life. Enjoy his work, his words of wisdom and his hard-won art tips! Cheers!


The Hand of the Artist

Watercolor painting inspiration by Thomas Schaller |
London–Fog 2 (watercolor on paper, 22×11) by Thomas Schaller. Article contributions from Cherie Haas.

I was drawn to watercolor while studying not fine art, but architecture, at The Ohio State University. I specifically valued the technically precise use of the medium as best exemplified by the concepts of the Beaux-Arts movement, wherein ideas about design and the ideals of classicism — not the skill of the artist — are of utmost importance. Any graphic expression of these ideals sought to minimize the role of the individual — in a sense, to deny the very hand of the artist.

A great many watercolors produced by masters of the Beaux-Arts movement are exquisite in their clarity, precision and luminosity, yet they’re intentionally devoid of individual expressive characteristics. It was in this vein that my work progressed for years, as I attempted to perfect the gradations and transitions of transparent, luminous watercolor washes.

Still, something was missing. Gradually, I began to long for my work to have something of the same expressive power seen in the work of John Singer Sargent, John Sell Cotman and then later, Edward Seago and Robert Wade. I no longer wanted my work to deny the hand of the artist. Technical expertise just wasn’t enough — it was time for emotion to play a part.

Exploring Emotion

So, while studying with Joseph Zbukvic in 2009–and in part with his encouragement–I began to follow a new path. I began to build on a base of technique while also exploring the role of intuition, emotion and expressiveness.

I do believe that at last, my skill as an artist is finally beginning to flourish. I still have much to learn, but it’s such an exciting journey. And I’ve never looked back.

~Thomas W. Schaller

A New Lease on Your Watercolor Skills

Learn Schaller’s watercolor painting techniques in the Design Powerful Watercolors with Thomas Schaller Collection, which is only available at North Light Shop. It is the newest collection from Schaller and is giving hundreds of artists a new lease on their watercolor art. Join in to claim those same skills for yourself!


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4 comments on “Intuition, Emotion and Expressiveness in Watercolor

  1. DAVID S says:

    Ditto. This crap does not feel customer friendly. Sorry. And I have been a big purchaser of NL books and a big subscriber to AN TV in the past, and a big promoter of both in my art groups. But no thanks. This is no fun any more.

    • Courtney Jordan says:

      Hi! Saw your comment on Artists Network.

      What you need to do is register here at the top of the page at with your same email that you used for your ArtistsNetwork TV, you will set a new password and then you should be able to access everything.

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  2. Charlie H says:

    I’ve hunted all over the place and cannot find any way to view any of the video tutorials that I paid my yearly membership fee for. Can someone please give me some assistance or some clues on how to view the videos??? Thanks!

    • Maria Woodie says:

      Hi Charlie,

      I am sorry to hear you are having trouble finding your video tutorials, and thank you so much for letting us know! Since we have merged Artists Network, Artist Daily, Artists Network TV and North Light Shop into one website, you will need to link your old account(s) with a new Artists Network account. Then you’ll be able to access all of your videos, courses and shop history in one place! 🙂 You can find more information on how to link your accounts at And, of course, if you have any further questions, please email [email protected] or call us at 855-842-5267.

      I hope this information helps! Thank you for being part of our network. Happy art-making!


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