Monday, August 6, 2012

Watercolor Warriors


(Direct link to video) Painting outdoors with watercolor is a tough challenge, even for highly trained professionals. In this episode Jeanette and I square off against dangerous wasps, rain, and wind in an attempt to paint an abandoned farm tractor.

Tools: Schmincke Watercolor Pocket Set Caran D'Ache watercolor pencilsMoleskine Watercolor Notebook, and a 1/4 inch flat watercolor travel brush, Matthews Century Stand Artist Umbrella and a fridge super magnet (thanks, Steve), shot on a Canon VIXIA.

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30 comments:

Stryke said...

haha :D

Eileen Keelan said...

Loved this blog James! Ha ha! Gotta love the weather and its unpredictability! It can be a nightmare here also,in Ireland, for the plein-eir painter as we could have all four seasons in one day at times! You did well considering the weather.

Steve said...

You two are intrepid. Great work under trying circumstances! Good to see the magnet performed under rigorous field conditions. Should anyone care to acquire their own, Lee Valley Tools sells a wide range of rare earth magnets.

Dan Gurney said...

Water coloring belongs in the Olympic games.

Ernest Friedman-Hill said...

I would watch the heck out of this show!

Stephanie said...

Just goes to show, it takes attitude to be a plein air painter! And the magnet is a great idea--thanks for sharing.

Novice Naturalist said...

Reality Water Color Painting! Now THAT is a reality show I would watch. Great video fun here. Thanks for posting!

James Gurney said...

Thanks, everyone. I figure there are five keys to good documentary TV, whether it's "Swamp Loggers" or "BBC Earth":

1. "If we blow this chance it's all over."
2. "One mistake and it might be fatal."
3. "The clock is ticking; not much time left."
4. "You chump, you're doing it all wrong."
5. If something screws up, get it on camera.

Apply that to gardening, cooking, flower arranging, or watercolor painting, and you've got something worth watching.

Daroo said...

Maybe add a Survivorman twist: After being stranded in the wilderness without art supplies you are forced to craft your own pigments from berries and tubers -- just to stay alive... you know "alive" in an aesthetic, pictorial sense ... er ... okay maybe this pitch needs some work...

Good call Steve on the magnets: I made a travel WC rig by putting tube colors into those plastic weekly vitamin/pill holders with magnets in them. The pill holders then sit securely on a small metal butcher tray (7"x10") which I use for mixing.

etc, etc said...

I figure there are five keys to good documentary TV

You're forgetting the commercial break pseudo crisis/cliffhanger!

jeff jordan said...

I can't remember if you're Abbott or Costello........

aftermathcomic said...

James, I love your blog. My favorite on the internet. Never commented yet, but I saw Ernest's comment above, and I TOTALLY AGREE. You should have a TV show/documentary/TV special. Your videos are really entertaining, you're a great host, and whenever you flash the watercolors, my already high expectations never match how incredibly good the real thing is... Amazing.

Amelia said...

But what about Jeanette's painting? How did it turn out?!

James Gurney said...

Amelia, thanks for asking. She wanted to work on it a little more, so if she finishes and allows me, I'll share it tomorrow.

Unknown said...
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NthDegree256 said...

Love it! I'm impressed at how fast you work; I drove my sister nuts while visiting her in Germany last week by fiddling around with my watercolor pencils for far longer than she was reasonably able to put up with.

Katherine said...

Ha ha ha ha! That was great. Delightful.
I've just returned to your blog after a long absence. I regret being away!

JOhn York said...

There's no way I'm gon'na try that. I was going to do some watercolor painting outside but you've convinced me that it looks nearly impossible!

Anonymous said...

I love your blog - nice video! Can you tell me what portable chair that is that you're sitting on? It looks comfy & light. And if there are any other favorite stools/chairs of yours that you might like to comment on it would be nice to hear about those as well (I'm wanting to get one for my sketching adventures).

Nicholas Avallone said...

That's reality TV worth watching.

SVSART said...

Too CUTE....LOVE THE MAGNET WATER CUP IDEA!


LOVE ALL THE VIDEOS!!!

Amber said...

That wast the best, you two! I've yet to see anyone else portray watercolor sketching/painting as action packed as you just did!

Plus I LOVE the tip regarding the helix clip and rare earth magnet to keep the water cup in place...brilliant!

Carol said...

a lot of humour to wrap once again a lot of good advice. Very funny. Carol and Michel from France.

parisdreamtime.com said...

You guys are sooooo funny, I love it! And never miss one post here:) and thanks so much for sharing all your tricks and materials etc, Greetings from Paris, Andrea!

Laura said...

For some reason this reminded me of an episode of "American Pickers". *Totally* made my morning. Thanks. :)

SVSART said...

FYI, It's fun seeing Jeanette in the videos painting with ya

Brad Teare said...

Man, spilling water on your pants was traumatic! I'm just grateful it didn't splash onto your painting.That's why I don't paint watercolor en plein air. Thanks for showing us the hazards! Love this by the way!

Sean O said...

This is hilarious!

So I went out and bought a koi pen and some watercolor pencils to try my hand at this "dangerous feat" you call watercolor painting outdoors: )

Tom Hart said...

I don't know if you're able to go back and comment on these older posts, James, but I've been wondering about the effect of that clip in the metal flap to the watercolor case. It seems like it might bend it. Is that a concern?

James Gurney said...

Thanks, everyone.

Tom, if the metal clip spreads wide enough, it can grab the entire watercolor journal. If it only grabs a partial group of pages, it might make a mark on an opposite page. But I didn't have a problem with it.