Watercolor Critique: "Down the Valley" and "Early Snow"

This week, Colin J. Callahan talks about staying loose while conveying a scene.

These are both beautifully done watercolors, especially the scene looking into the valley. The loose combination of colors and the subtle focus of the light field is well done, but the artist should be careful not to let the water in the foreground distract the eye. In the snow-filled painting, some of the rolled bales could have been done a little more loosely so they blended into the snow a little more at the bottom. All in all, however, the artist has a really nice sense of control with this tricky medium and he clearly understands the relationship of light and color.  He might find it helpful to look for one of the recently published catalogues on the travel studies done by William Turner. They are a great example of how to stay loose and still convey a scene.

Down the Valley
2004, watercolor, 8 1/2 x 12 1/4.

Earl Snow
2007, watercolor, 8 1/2 x 12 1/4.


About the Critic
Colin J. Callahan
teaches painting and art history at St. Paul's School, in Concord, New Hampshire, where he also runs the school's gallery. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from College of the Holy Cross, in Worcester, Massachusetts, and he studied painting at Centro Barbieri, in Rome, Italy. Callahan is represented by Anderson-Soule Gallery, in Concord, New Hampshire. To view the artist's work, visit www.colincallahan.com.

Have your artwork critiqued!
Send scanned images as JPEGs no larger than 2mb with the title of the artwork, year, medium, and dimensions. Limit: 3 submissions per person every 90 days. We will not notify those selected for critiquing, nor will we notify those not selected. Submission of artwork to the e-mail address critique@myamericanartist.com constitutes permission to reproduce your painting or drawing, online or in print, in conjunction with this service.

Tap into the experience and knowledge of our featured artists today. Submit your artwork to: critique@myamericanartist.com.

Related Posts:


The Critique Blog

About BrianRiley

Brian Riley is the managing editor for the American Artist family of titles (American Artist, Watercolor, Drawing & Workshop) and has been part of the AA team since 2003. He first became interested in art as a child, specifically drawing, but drifted away from the visual arts as he grew older, gravitating towards writing while in college. His position at AA has offered him the opportunity to reinvigorate his early passion and continue his education.