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 …»

Simple watercolor painting using candle wax

Image of completed simple watercolor painting using candle wax

Candle wax can be used to protect the highlights or white passages in your watercolor painting. I have used it to create the impression of waterfalls, white foam on the sea, and to save highlights on rocks. This simple watercolor painting using candle wax was done with only a few colors and some quick watercolor Continue Reading …»

Mastering Watercolors – a practical guide

Mastering Watercolours by Joe Cartwright

My three year project to write a book to assist artists with their watercolor painting is now complete. Both a paperback and eBook version are available from Amazon. Watercolor is a magical and often challenging medium. However, once mastered, it will reward you with  the pleasure of creating striking works of art of infinite variety. I Continue Reading …»

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