All art copyright (c) Mike Kloepfer
"The level of achievement that we have at anything is a reflection of how well we were able to focus on it."
-Steve Vai

Sunday, October 5, 2014

"Ways With Watercolor" by Ted Kautsky

I was watching the Friday Night Live session with Robert Watts painting the picture of Captain Teague from POTC (AWESOME, btw!!!) and Robert mentioned the book "Ways With Watercolor" by Ted Kautsky. I looked it up on Amazon. The book is inexpensive, and so I ordered it.
Sure, it looks like another one of those semi-cheesy little 'how-to' art books you find in the hobby stores. But don't let that fool you!
I was delighted to find that is is chock-full of good information, if you're looking for it.
The book contains a great amount of practical advice and exercises, structured in a very orderly and logical progression to take you from "never done that" to painting full pictures.
I was also delighted to find that there is (as Robert mentioned) a cornucopia of good information on composition, staging, and invention. And he talks a lot about doing value studies and sketches, experimenting with different lighting scenarios, etc. It's a great book!
I am taking the time to go through the exercises, and finding that it is helping me with brush control and dexterity - which can only help in the long run.
There is something fun about stripping away all the other concerns of art-making and just focusing on one specific aspect. Slowing down and just concentrating on making a nice, even, solid wash sounds like it would be dull, but it's a heck of a lot more of a challenge than it would seem. I found myself fully engaged and having a great time, just doing flat and gradated washes.
I am excited to continue going through the exercises, and I am certain this will be a benefit to my painting knowledge and skills - be it watercolor, gouache, oil, or whatever!
Thanks again to Robert for this suggestion. This book is a wonderful find!
An unassuming, deceptively
simple-looking book -
chock-full of good stuff!

Practicing flat washes.
(Oh sure, it seems easy enough...)

Practicing gradated washes.

Practicing washes and
brush strokes.

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