The Artist's Road  World Map

Timing is Everything - Perspectives No. 321

Timing is Everything

Perspectives No. 321

Watercolor of Sailboat on the Water by Joseph Zbukvic
Watercolor © Joseph Zbukvic


  Time, or at least my sense of it, seems to have changed in my lifetime. As a kid, I can remember not needing a watch. The sun was my time piece. Once I got a job, I also got a watch, but only to make sure I showed up on time. Clock-time was never my strong suit—art-time was. Since those days, it seems that life has sped up and everything is run by the clock.

   But, humans have an innate and nature-based time awareness developed from marking time slowly by watching the sun and seasons over tens of thousands of years. That is the clock most useful to making art—art-time. Artistic exploration and creation takes whatever time it needs. This is the time-space where we can thrive and sometimes experience that wonderful feeling of being in the zone and losing all sense of clock-time whatsoever. Great things can emerge from this.

   Watercolor is the same way. Working in watercolor is all about timing and patience. It has its own clock, based on the natural, but local rate of evaporation. The speed of execution of the painting must be tuned to that—or else! Everyone who has seriously pursued watercolors has had to develop a watercolor clock in their heads. Noted master watercolor painter Joe Zbukvic even goes so far as to create a kind of system for understanding the timing required in producing a successful watercolor painting. (See our interview with him here.)

   Zbukvic deftly explains how paper wetnesses, from dry to damp to moist to wet, create effects in combination with the variable pigment/water saturations in the palette. He calls these palette consistencies tea, coffee, milk, cream and butter. He then shows how to combine variables like damp paper with coffee consistency pigment or dry paper with tea consistency pigment to create a myriad of effects. Visit Zbukvic's website here.

   The only way to become facile with all the possibilities is to paint, paint, paint—practicing all the combinations to see all the interactions. One thing that will make your practice easier is to discover the paper that you prefer. Experiment with all of them, but once you discover your favorite, stick with it and get to know it thoroughly. Then, and only then, will you and the watercolor clock become one.

Save




Copyright Hulsey Trusty Designs, L.L.C. (except where noted). All rights reserved.
Become an Artist's Road Member Today!
The Artist's Road LogoClick here to become a Member and enjoy access to all the in-depth painting and travel articles, videos and tutorials. Guaranteed!
Search the Site
Pay-Per-View Articles

New! If you're not a Member of The Artist's Road, some of our articles are available as Pay-Per-View.

Click here to find out more!

Perspectives

Not ready to become a Member yet? Subscribe to our free email postcards, "Perspectives". Enter your email address here.

The Artist's Road Store
A Primer on Night Painting - Nocturnes

Nocturnes - A Primer on Night Painting

Filled with inspirational examples by the masters of nightime painting, this little book is sure to fire up your creative energies. Never tried painting at night? We show you how it's done with a step-by-step-oil demo and a tale of night painting in the wilds of Rocky Mountain National Park. The Primer on Night Painting - Nocturnes is a 7 x 7" PDF download with 40 pages of text and images. It includes a gallery of paintings by masters of the nocturne, information to inspire and encourage you in your plein air nocturne painting, an illustrated step-by-step demo and tips for working in pastel and oil. Also available in a softcover edition. Check out the tools and other products that we use in our own art and travels in The Artist's Road Store. We only offer things for sale that we enthusiastically believe in.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

New Member Content

Photograph of John Hulsey Painting with Long Oil BrushOil Painting Brushes


Voic
Landscape Painting - Roasted Reds, 16 x 20", Oil, © Greg LaRockes of Experience:Greg LaRock

MorniMorning on the Pond I, 36 x 36", Oil, © John Hulseyng on the Pond I
A Pai
nting Knife Oil Demonstration

Nocturne - LaRoque Gageac © John HulseyNocturne:LaRoque Gageac
A Watercolor Demonstration

Mustang Sally's, 16 x 20", oil on panel © Patrick SaundersVoices of Experience:Patrick Saunders

California Gold, 1924, William WendtCalifornia Impressionism


How E
John Singer Sargent, A Dinner Table at Night, 1884dges Make a Painting Sing


Eph
Troubadours, 30 x 40", oil, © Ann Trustyemeral Beauty:Painting the Floral Still Life

 
The Adirondack Guide, Winslow Homer, Watercolor, 1894
Watercolor Brushes - The Real 411

 

Fishermen Hauling the Net on Skagen's North Beach, 1883, Peder Severin KroyerThe Nordic Painters of Skagen


WatDetail of Afternoon Glow watercolor by John Hulseyercolor Mixing Secrets


Landscape with Sunrise by Claude MonetThe Perspectives Archive

and MUCH MORE!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

About Us

Photograph of John Hulsey and Ann Trusty in Glacier National Park
We are artists, authors and teachers with over 40 years of experience in painting the world's beautiful places. We created The Artist's Road in order to share our knowledge and experiences with you, and create a community of like-minded individuals.  You can learn more about us and see our original paintings by clicking on the links below.
About Ann
     About John
 Hulsey Trusty Studios

We are also regular contributors to the Plein Air blog at Artist Daily.

TAR logo