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Hi There

My name is Joshua Elek. I created this website to track my progress as I attempt to improve at watercolor painting. I post every painting I make, good and bad, and write up lessons that I learned from the painting. On rare occasion, I write about something else entirely. I have two big goals with this website:

IMPROVE: Forcing myself to write something about each painting helps me learn. This turns every one of my paintings into a valuable personal learning experience, which I hope will help expedite my learning process.

ENCOURAGE: I regularly create terrible paintings. Instead of hiding these, I post them so beginners like me will see them, and be encouraged to know that we all have to push through failure to discover successes.

Epiphany Paintings

Frequently (though not as often as I might like) I have a lightbulb go off while I’m painting. I like to think of these moments as something becoming “unlocked.” They aren’t always succesful paintings. In fact, they are often pretty terrible, but these are the ultra valuable ones to me, because these are the paintings where I really learned something.

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Successful Paintings

I can often feel like I am not progressing, or like all of my paintings are failures. These are some of the paintings I have made that I think were successful.

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Failed Paintings

It may seem odd to highlight my failures so prominently. But I find that the failed paintings are often the most expeditious teachers. And, I sincerely want others who are starting out to be encouraged by the fact that improvement is only possible by way of repeated failures.

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Helpful Resources

Watercolor on Reddit

There is an active community of watercolor artists here. I’m u/c0ffeebreath.

Rick Surowicz

Rick Surowicz’s content has been continually helpful for me. His Podias and YouTube channel have been especially helpful.

Seamless Expression

Stephen Berry’s blog contains many posts about technique and recent paintings.

Handprint.com

Bruce MacEvoy’s webpage contains more information on watercolor, color theory, and pigments that any other place I’ve found online.

The Artist’s Guide to Painting Water in Watercolor

Ron Hazell’s book is the first book I painted through. I still find myself using these techniques when painting water.

Liron Yanconsky’s YouTube Channel

I have found Liron’s videos helpful, especially his master studies.

Mastering Atmosphere & Mood in Watercolor

Joseph Zbukvic authored “The Watercolor Clock” regarding how to control water content.

The Mind of Watercolor

Steve Mitchell’s YouTube channel is regularly updated. I have found a lot of helpful content here, especially regarding materials and techniques.

10 Minutes to Better Paintings

Marco Bucci’s YouTube channel includes this excellent playlist detailing fundamentals of good paintings.

Mural Joe

Joe is a muralist in Flagstaff Arizona whose videos provide some really great content, especially regarding color theory.

Tim Wilmot

Tim’s YouTube channel is stocked full of wonderful tutorials and paint alongs. 

Stan Miller

Stan’s YouTube channel has some of the most formative fundamental content I’ve found on YouTube.

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