web analytics
  • Blog

    Loose painting

    Are you spending hours on a painting, but still unhappy with the result? Many painters, including myself, chase that elusive loose style that looks free and easy. In these four articles, I’ll share my approach to achieving it. First, let’s define loose painting. It’s like a patchwork of shapes, washes, and brush marks that come together to create the illusion of the subject. This simple sentence reveals how we use the medium, helps us observe our subject, guides our thinking while painting, and outlines the criteria for a successful artwork. Throughout these articles, I’ll walk you through the primary principles of watercolor, the foundation for any good painting, and the…

  • Blog

    ALVARO CASTAGNET In JÖNKÖPING

    This summer we were invited to participate in a workshop in Jönköping with Alvaro Castagnet, fantastic, isn’t it, in Jönköping!! At first we thought it was a joke, but, no, he was going to hold a workshop there for two days. Julie Karlsson had arranged this in Folkuniversitet’s premises. My wife Margaretha and I thought it was exciting, and signed up. We gathered in Folkuniveristet’s premises, there were twenty of us, all enthusiastic about painting with Alvaro for two days. First a little talk and then he played a Jönköping motif. A picture he took the day before depicting a street corner with Konditori Bernard. First, Alvaro sketched, then a…

  • Blog

    Online Workshop with Alvaro Castagnet

    At the beginning of November 2022 I found a notice about an online workshop with Alvaro Castagnet. It cost only $99 and you would get to paint online with Alvaro for four hours. He would start at 5 in the afternoon in Australia which meant starting at nine for me, and going until one in the morning, okay, a bit late for me, but it would work. A few days before the workshop, we received two photographs, this so that we could sketch the two motifs first. It’s good, but can sometimes be a bit tricky because it’s important where you place the different objects in the image. You have…

  • Blog

    COLORS AND BRUSHES

    Hello watercolor friends,One question I often get before a workshop is what colors and brushes I use. Of course, it is personal which ones you prefer, but it can be good to know if you are going to participate in a workshop and want to try to do exercises fully. My tip is to buy good paint of good quality, they are more expensive and are more light-resistant, it will be cheaper in the long run. I use Schmincke Horadam, very good colors, at a good price (and I am not sponsored by them in any way).  I do not have many different colors and could manage with fewer. An…

  • Blog

    Joseph Zbukvic, day 5

    Today we painted Girona. Joseph chose a bit up the river with the Eiffel red bridge and a church in the background. He worked for a long time with the many sunlit roofs. Here it is important not to make it monotonous, to vary all the time, both colors, strength and shapes. It’s a very difficult thing to paint this geyser of a house roof, it easily becomes just dots and spots. On the other side of the river, the buildings stretched all the way past us. Joseph chose to finish with a house wall. The dark wall looked very good at first, but apparently Joseph was not satisfied and…

  • Blog

    Joseph Zbukvic, day 4

    Today we went by bus to Calella de Palafrugell. We went down to the beach. Joseph warned us about painting in the sun. It looks good when you paint, but when you see the picture at home, it will be way too dark. He unfolded his board, put a piece of iron wire there as support and got a small roof against the sun. Very clever. He painted the beach with boats both in the sea and on land. He was careful with one of the boats that was swaying. Joseph said that if you make one boat look good, the others will look good too. The boats on the…

  • Blog

    Joseph Zbukvic, day 3

    Today we painted Girona, a very beautiful city with old buildings and narrow streets. Joseph took us to a narrow passage with a long ancient staircase leading up to a large green church gate. A very difficult subject. He drew the gate quickly and easily, straight on, seemingly without much thought of composition. He was careful about the wide staircase, saying that there is no shortcut for stairs. You have to draw them, all the steps. He painted everything with a faint grey-beige color, leaving small white areas here and there. Then it was allowed to dry. Then he painted from top to bottom, sometimes a broad brushstroke, but mostly…

  • Blog

    Joseph Zbukvic, day 2

    Today we took a bus to Besalú, half an hour’s drive from Girona. We were actually going to the beach for a seascape, but there would be thunder and rain today according to the weather forecast. Besalú is a small town, with walls for protection and a stone bridge with gates over a small river. Joseph started painting down by the water. He sketched the tower and some offthe bridge that led into the city. He emphasized not trying to include too much, draw what you see without moving your gaze. He sketched quickly, without lifting the pen too much. First put on a light layer over almost the entire…

  • Blog

    Joseph Zbukvic, day 1

    We had the privilege of attending a workshop with Joseph Zbukvic, one of the world’s best watercolor painters. I have been trying to get a place for many years, but his courses have always been fully booked. Last year around Christmas the places for a workshop in Girona were to be released. At exactly three o’clock I managed to press the button and pay the advance on time. It was lucky, the waiting list to join in the event of a possible cancellation is over 350 people. So who is this popular artist? Joseph Zbukvic was born in 1951 in Zagreb, in what was then Yugoslavia. He is self-taught and…

  • Blog

    Workshop Alvaro Castagnet, day 5

    Today we were supposed to paint inside the hotel but Alvaro went to the square in Bugibba. There he quickly sketched up one street. Talked a lot. Alvaro added a first wash where the colors were allowed to flow together. When the image dried, he first painted some dark palm trees in one corner. So he started with something that was really dark. Tough, I think. Then he completed the picture bit by bit, he finished painting one house wall, completely finished, before continuing on another part of the painting. Had problems with the car which he removed a few times and rebuilt. The colors didn’t turn out so well, he…