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Capture the energy of a city at night in watercolor with artist Paul Jackson.
In this video workshop, Jackson uses the technique that most captures the essence of watercolor: wet-into-wet. After transferring his off screen drawing to his watercolor paper, he adds masking to save his brightest highlights.
Keeping his reference photo close by, he works through a series of wet-into-wet washes, adding intense colors to capture the reflected lights of a wet street scene. As a master of brush moisture, Jackson easily adds complementary colors side by side on wet paper without runs or blooms. He moves between foreground (pavement), midground (figures) and background (the city) to make sure that the city lights and their reflections bounce throughout his painting. He makes sure to use his details in his focal area and reminds you to not spend too much time doing unnecessary detail work in areas that aren’t suppose to draw the eye. He builds up his values slowly, softening hard edges with clean water and making sure his darkest darks are in his focal figure. As he layers, he’ll occasionally remove masking fluid so that he can reintegrate the bright whites back into his painting.
This is not a beginning workshop. Jackson assumes you know the basics about watercolor and how to prep your watercolor paper. He doesn’t walk through how he’s organized his palette or talk about his brush brands. (No brands are actually listed during the workshop.) His pencil drawing is done off camera.
Intermediate and advanced artists will marvel at his brush control and his deep understanding of how moisture plays a big role in pigment control. Jackson does a wonderful job explaining when he’s using a pigment-heavy but water-light brush and to what effect. He makes working in wet-into-wet look easy and we know it’s not.
He also does a great job telling you exactly what colors he’s using when. This helps students of all skill level cement their own color knowledge but also understand how the painting was put together when you’re looking at the finished piece. However, Jackson does use a specialized palette with his own signature line of paints. Most of the colors have standard brand equivalents and Jackson mentions those occasionally throughout the workshop. Intermediate and advanced artists will probably not have too much trouble translating Jackson’s colors to their own palettes. Beginners may struggle.
This isn’t a workshop that focuses on design. Jackson is using a reference photo for color choices and placement. However, it is an excellent workshop on moisture control and wet-into-wet and he gives great panting advice as he moves through his workshop.