JOSHUA ELEK: WATERCOLORS

Category: Exercises

  • Proko Challenge: Landscape #5

    Proko Challenge: Landscape #5

    I wanted to write up each Landscape thumbnail that I painted, but I ended up needing to dedicate the time to the challenge itself in order to finish on time. I am very pleased with the results that I got from doing this, and I think I’ll be working thumbnails like this into my workflow […]

  • Proko Challenge: Landscape Thumbnails #2

    Proko Challenge: Landscape Thumbnails #2

    This is the second post about the Proko Landscape Thumbnails challenge. The challenge was to submit five landscape paintings, each 2 inches wide by 2 inches tall. I started this painting off wanting to paint trees in the distance using wet-in-wet. I tend to do this often, but in my mind, there is this technique […]

  • Proko Challenge Landscape Thumbnails: #1

    Proko Challenge Landscape Thumbnails: #1

    Proko has a challenge going right now, and I decided I would try to enter. I hope I can finish in time. The challenge is to paint 5 thumbnail landscapes. They can be painted in any medium, but they must be 2” x 2” large. The biggest focus of the challenge is to learn how […]

  • Barn: #1

    Barn: #1

    December is nuts. Thanksgiving, then three birthdays, then Christmas… it’s busy. And my favorite time of year. But that means I don’t have much time to dedicate to writing these posts. Tonight, I finished a painting I’m pretty proud of, so I figured I would post it. This is my attempt to put into practice […]

  • Bluebirds & Random Drawings

    Bluebirds & Random Drawings

    I honestly don’t feel like writing about these, because I just typed a metric tonne about that Homer drawing. But I also want to publish these paintings, because I want to document my progress. Like I said, I’m really tired after working all day, then painting, then writing a ginormous blog post… I want to […]

  • Bargue Plate: Homer

    Bargue Plate: Homer

    It’s been a while! I haven’t posted recently because I got Covid, and I’ve been playing catch up ever since. If you are curious, read on. Skip ahead if you don’t care about Covid. TL/DR; Covid is real, and really dangerous for some people – but I’m fine and I never got terribly sick. My […]

  • Drawing Practice

    Drawing Practice

    I have decided to put a more concerted effort toward being a better draftsman, because of all the things I have tried, nothing has improved my paintings more than practicing drawing. I don’t know “how” to practice drawing. I have seen a thousand videos of people drawing. I’ve watched dozens of tutorials explaining perspective, edges, […]

  • Farm Road: End of Year 3

    Farm Road: End of Year 3

    Well, I’ve been painting for three years now. It’s time for me to do my little progress check. When I first started painting, I decided to try to paint the same thing every day for one month. It was the first watercolor painting I had ever really tried, and I figured painting it over and […]

  • Lobelia Cardinalis: #1

    Lobelia Cardinalis: #1

    This painting has been haunting my mind for years: This is by Oleg Kozak, a Ukrainian watercolor artist who unfortunately passed away in November, 2017. This man had the ability to capture light in a way that I haven’t seen in many other painters. I decided to try to look deeper into his paintings to […]

  • Bluebird: #2

    Bluebird: #2

    I have been feeling stuck in a bit of a plateau for a while now. I decided to take a break from painting for a bit because my lack of progress was troubling me. I then watched a video on YouTube that convinced me that I need to put more effort into understanding construction and […]

  • Ray Hendershot Exercise: Lighthouse #1

    Ray Hendershot Exercise: Lighthouse #1

    I have been absolutely stuck for the past few weeks. Every time I sit down to paint, nothing comes to mind. Nothing inspires me, I have no intention. But, just as an act of discipline, I paint anyway. The results are nothing to write about. It’s all very ugly, muddy, cliche… just nothing that I’m […]

  • One Pigment Challenge: #1

    One Pigment Challenge: #1

    I decided to challenge myself to paint something with just one pigment. If you want to join me, here’s the challenge: use one pigment, and one pigment only. That means the paint you choose must be a single pigment paint. You can use water, ox gall, masking fluid, whatever, but when you are finished there […]

  • Master Study: Michal Jasiewicz, Part 2

    Master Study: Michal Jasiewicz, Part 2

    I went into excruciating detail about my proposed process for recreating this painting by Michal Jasiewicz in the previous post. Today, I’ll explain how I took the lessons I learned from that exercise to try the painting a few more times, and experiment with different options. This was my first attempt. A few things I learned […]

  • Master Study: Michal Jasiewicz – Part 1

    Master Study: Michal Jasiewicz – Part 1

    A user on Reddit posted this image, asking how the artist (Michal Jasiewicz) achieved the effect on the distant cliffs. I am not sure how he accomplished it exactly, but I posted this as my best guess. I don’t know how they did it, but here’s what I would try. Forgive the over explanation, I […]

  • Ray Hendershot Exercise, Clapboard Siding: #1

    Ray Hendershot Exercise, Clapboard Siding: #1

    This weekend I decided I would take my own advice, and paint from the book. I decided to paint from one of the books that I have because trying to learn from my own failures has been pretty discouraging. I’m only about a quarter of the way through Ray Hendershot’s “Texture Techniques for Winning Watercolors” […]

  • Ray Hendershot Exercise: Birch Trees

    Ray Hendershot Exercise: Birch Trees

    Tonight, I painted the next exercise in Ray Hendershot’s book. I don’t know why Birch trees feel like a very trite subject to me – but they do. I think every painting of birch trees is essentially the same thing – masked off trunks with something colorful or dark behind them. I think Ray Hendershot […]

  • Ray Hendershot Exercise: Fully Foliated Trees

    Ray Hendershot Exercise: Fully Foliated Trees

    The next exercise in Ray Hendershot’s “Texture Techniques for Winning Watercolors” is to paint fully foliated trees. This exercise demonstrates what appears to be a great strength of the pedagogy in this book. The distant trees exercise is useful for this exercise, but it isn’t necessary. Because Mr. Hendershot encourages us to paint loose representations […]

  • Ray Hendershot Exercise: Distant Trees

    Ray Hendershot Exercise: Distant Trees

    I purchased a book by Ray Hendershot entitled “Texture Techniques for Winning Watercolors.” I appreciate how Mr. Hendershot manages to achieve the impression of a photorealistic image, but includes just enough Impressionism to give the composition a level of emotion that I feel photorealistic paintings often lack. (Steven Kozar does an excellent job of proving […]

  • Just Keep Swimming

    Just Keep Swimming

    I’m feeling fairly pessimistic about my ability to paint these days. I know, it’s a journey… if it were easy everyone would do it… you have come so far so fast… you are so much better than my friend’s cousin’s dog’s roommate’s nephew… other platitudes. Save it. My mind keeps saying you’re not good enough. […]

  • Backrun Exercises

    Backrun Exercises

    I wanted to explore some exercises to learn more about how I might be able to control and use backruns. What is a Backrun? Call them what you want: blooms, blossoms, backruns, cauliflowers, it doesn’t matter, we are all talking about the same thing. (You could argue that a back run is different. Fine. Be […]