Watercolor – Birds on my Counter – and Historic Still Life props

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Birds on my Counter 5×4 Watercolor on paper (sold)

Artists’ Still Life Objects

The cast iron birdbath curio in this petite watercolor has been rendered in enough still life paintings and printmaking projects that I’ve lost count (see examples here, and here, and here). When studying photos of artists’ studios from long ago, I search for the objects on the shelves that might be found in their paintings. It’s an artist’s game of Where’s Waldo. I wonder if the items were gifts, or happened upon, or handed down through the family. Every artist’s still life clutter has a story to tell. Do you use special mementos in your still life work?

A Cezanne still life painting, and the same cord-wrapped vessels in his studio
Laying in the first light glazes of watercolor with a DaVinci number 12 brush
Giorgio Morandi’s studio shelf, and one of his paintings
N.C. Wyeth’s studio, and a still life titled The Dusty Bottle. (You can see a video of his gorgeous studio on the Brandywine web site here.)
Slowly building darker values with additional layers of transparent glazes
Bonnard in his house near an arched handle wicker fruit basket, and a painting with the same item

Painting Still Life in Watercolor

Painting Still Life is one of my favorite genres for watercolor, and I learned a lot about actual paint application from this book by New Zealand artist Adele Earnshaw. She paints mostly in oils now, and her work is beautiful in either medium. Who has taught you the most about watercolor so far? Share your mentors in the comments.

The Bird Bath curio posing on our kitchen counter many years ago

Speaking of Watercolor…

Jane Blundell has tirelessly documented and tested swatches of watercolor pigments from all sorts of manufacturers. For example, you can read comparisons between same-name blues by various manufacturers so you’ll understand that not all cobalt blues are the same. This week, she reviewed Shin Han watercolor and gouache here. I bet you a dollar you’ll learn something when you peruse her blog.

Thanks for stopping by today, and I’ll see you in the next post. Paint something soon!


P.S. Did I mention that I’ve included free domestic shipping on all framed original art in my Etsy shop? Yip. ? Have a look here.

P.P.S. Marketing Impact Academy peeps are posting a Live Class with tips for growing and monetizing your social media presence tomorrow, Thursday May 9, at 5:00pm Pacific Time. It’s free. ?? Sign up to learn – and take the opportunity to see if their style of teaching resonates with you. Check it out here.

Art Quote

Everyone has talent. What’s rare is the courage to follow it to the dark places where it leads.

Erica Jung
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