Author Archives: Joe


About Joe

Owner and adminstration of the Painting With Watercolors website and forum. I am a professional watercolor artist, though I also use other mediums including pen and ink. I also enjoy playing with computers and the internet so this website is a bit of a hobby of mine.

Plein air painting lesson – Changing light

Autumn Poplars watercolor painting by Joe Cartwright

I recently went on a 5-day plein air painting trip to the town of Tumut in NSW. The weather was perfect, with the main challenge being the changing light. Unlike most other places in New South Wales, where evergreen trees predominate, around the Tumut region, there are plenty of deciduous trees which add lots of Continue Reading …

How to use photos for painting

Watercolor painting Coffs Harbour Sunset, by Joe Cartwright

Most artists use photos for painting at some point in their career. For some, they are the only reference they use, while for others they are rarely used. If you are going to be working from photos, there are a few things you need to be aware of if you want your artworks to succeed. Distortion in a Continue Reading …

Wet watercolor paper first or not

Watercolor painting started by spattering water at the start

A common question I get asked by new students, or while doing a demonstration is, do I wet watercolor paper first or not? Rather than giving a simple yes or no answer to this question I must first talk about what happens when the paper is wet. With watercolor painting answers are easier to find by Continue Reading …

Plein air watercolor painting

plein air watercolor painting title Misty morning Yarramundi by Joe Cartwright

Plein air watercolor painting has many challenges however its benefits make any effort you make well worth it. Not only has my work improved dramatically through painting outdoors but I also find the experience very relaxing and beneficial mentally. Only working from photos, especially those you did not take yourself, can be very limiting as Continue Reading …

How to photograph watercolor paintings

Camera set up showing how to photograph watercolor paintings

I am often asked how to photograph watercolor paintings. This involves a number of topics such as the right camera and lens, placement of artwork, lighting, and how to adjust the final image. This article covers my equipment and the key points only. As I take a lot of step by step photos as I Continue Reading …