Laurin McCracken

Laurin McCracken: Watercolor Realism - Silver & Crystal


Video Length: 4 Hours 40 Minutes
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Discover The “Laurin System” To Creating Hyper-Realistic Watercolor Paintings That Mesmerize Viewers

You’re about to experience a painting system that has been refined over the past 8 decades. Now perfected and streamlined, simply watch and apply the system and you too will start painting highly detailed and accurate watercolor paintings in just a few weeks.

This best-selling video is one of a kind.

The brilliant award-winning artist Laurin McCracken devised a step-by-step system to help artists of all levels create fascinating hyper-realistic watercolor paintings.

Watercolor is NOT easy to manipulate, so if your goal is to have maximum control - this is the video to watch.

No matter your level of experience, this system will give you the proper foundation and principles realism requires.

You’ll discover insights and strategies to improve your photo realism even further,turning your art into a masterpiece that transfixes art lovers. 

Only a handful of artists out there know about the techniques in this video. This is an opportunity for you to learn skills that could easily set you apart.

Laurin is well-known to be an amazing and articulate instructor. You’ll love his step-by-step guidance on how to use the tools and techniques to produce a high degree of realism that captivates viewers and collectors.

He’ll demonstrate his award-winning realism techniques by showing you how to paint a still life of silver and crystal with pears on fabric, plus key strategies on how to mix a deep black, and how to apply it successfully.

Adapt them to your style of realism, and you’ll see an almost immediate improvement to your paintings.

This video is NOT just about painting silver and crystal accurately… It's an in-depth tutorial on Laurin McCracken’s brilliant system.

You only have to learn this once. After that, you can apply his system to any painting. Truly a gem to have in your library!


What You’ll Discover Inside:

  • A step-by-step walkthrough on the “Laurin System” of painting, and how to apply it to your art successfully
  • The EXACT brushes Laurin uses, how to use them effectively, and why some brands are way better in helping you achieve the hyper-realistic effect you’re looking for…
  • Fresh new painting skills that may not be in your repertoire (or your peers, you’re going to know something they don’t!)...
  • How to paint rich blacks that almost instantly enhances any painting… and how to mix and apply rich, dark backgrounds with full coverage…
  • Priceless lessons on how to best use watercolor tools to their greatest effect…
  • The RIGHT way to set up and photograph a still life (Laurin also shares his preferred light, camera, and lenses)...
  • Laurin McCracken’s unique DUAL-BRUSH technique…
  • How to involve the viewer in the painting (this is by far the most effective way to hold their attention)...
  • The “Surgeon Technique” - Laurin’s favorite tracing paper mask technique…
  • How to WAKE UP your paint by using the second law of thermodynamics (yup, he’s going to take you on a trip down memory lane back to high school!)…
  • How to keep your darks dark while you’re painting (MUST watch!)
  • Why Laurin insists on painting from the top left to the lower right…
  • PLUS: The ONE technique to achieve VELVETY black background (Laurin’s renowned because of this ability!)
  • and so many more incredible techniques that will set you apart from others!


Meet Your Instructor, Laurin McCracken!

Laurin McCracken combines many of the skills he learned as an architect with his experiences of studying art history, drawing, taking photographs and visiting many of the world’s leading museums to use as a watercolorist.

Born in Meridian, Mississippi, he studied at Auburn University and holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Architecture from Rice University and a Masters in Architecture and Urban Planning from Princeton University. He currently lives and paints in Fort Worth, Texas.

He’s a signature member of more than a dozen watercolor societies including the American Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society, Transparent Watercolor Society of America, Southern Watercolor Society, Watercolor West, and Watercolor USA Honor Society. And he’s an Elected Member of the Allied Artists of America in their Watermedia Category.

His paintings have been included in multiple shows in China: Shanghai Zhujiajiao International Watercolor Biennial Exhibition 2010 & 2012, the Beijing International Art Biennale 2010; 2012 and 2015; the Shenzhen International Watercolor Biennial 2013 and 2015; and the Qingdao International Watercolour Salon, 2014. 

His paintings are included in the permanent collections of the National Museum of China; of the Asian Museum of Watercolor Art in Haikou City, Hainan Province, China; and The Watercolor Museum in Fabriano, Italy.

His work has been published in many national and international magazines and books including: Watercolor, Watercolor Artist, Artist’s, Drawing, American Artist, International Artist and Southwest Art. His work has been included in books such as Splash 9-20; Strokes of Genius 2 & 3, Secrets of International Watercolor Masters, Volume #1 published in China, Masters of Realistic Imagery published in Germany and Masters of Watercolor published in St. Petersburg, Russia.

His work is represented by Southside Gallery in Oxford, Mississippi, and Cassidy Bayou Gallery in Sumner, Mississippi.


Chapter Breakdown 

01- Introduction

02- Paper & Brushes

03- Set Up & Photograph Your Still Life

04- Create the Drawing

05- Mask the Painting Surface

06- Prep the Paints

07- Paint the Crystal Bowl

08- The Pears, Part 1

09- The Pears, Part 2

10- Touch Up the Pears & Bowl

11- Paint the Fabric

12- Paint the Silver Teapot, Part 1

13- Paint the Silver Teapot, Part 2

14- Paint the Background, Part 1

15- Paint the Background, Part 2

16- Final Adjustments



  • Exhibit of Works for your creative inspiration
  • High Speed View for your painting convenience
  • Materials List PDF Download


Customer Reviews

Based on 5 reviews
Barbara Carlson
Excellent teacher, clear and concise information.

I gained a great deal of information about methods and materials. The quality of the video is also excellent with visuals that are clear and distinct. Very pleased.

Diane G. Simon

Fabulous painting. I've taken a live workshop with him and he delivers every time. Bravo bravo.

Michael Perdue
Great Watercolor realism

I keep learning from this video every time I watch it. Or go back and review just individual parts of the video. Great service from Creative Catalysts.

Bonnie Hildebrand
Watercolor Realism: Silver and Crystal

If you plan to paint detailed paintings then I recommend this DVD. Laurin explains why an accurate drawing is important to the final result. He explains his method step by step, including how he paints his very dark black background. I was amazed to watch the silver teapot come to life under his skilled hand. This is a DVD that I will view frequently and hopefully one day I will attempt to paint my own watercolor realism.

Jenny Lee
A great course

I am a watercolour artist. I bought this course because I wants to learn what I could learn from Laurin's system. I have to say that his system is very efficient and effective, such as isolating the parts with tape to paint, and painting dark background just in as little as one layer. It solved my problem of painstakingly painting hundreds of layers to achieve a dark background. Thanks for Laurin's patience to explain everything in detail, so I picked up a great deal of little tricks and skills of his to put into my own practice.