Watercolor Fundamentals

Roses and Delphiniums
by Janet Walsh, 2009, watercolor, 201⁄2 x 16.

Janet Walsh recently stopped by our New York office to deliver a new set of watercolor paintings to be photographed for her next article in Watercolor magazine. The images will illustrate the next installment of her popular Watercolor Fundamentals articles that offer detailed examples and complete instructions on painting flowers and still life arrangements. Because Janet is an experienced teacher and a past president of the American Watercolor Society, she has a special gift for helping artists master the exciting and challenging aspects of transparent watercolor. She is able to explain a complicated process in ways that are easy to understand and apply.

Janet is one of several professional artists who contribute to Watercolor on a regular basis, and we are grateful to all of them for helping to make the magazine a valuable, must-read resource for artists who love watermedia painting. Their step-by-step demonstrations and clear explanations are helpful to eager beginners as well as seasoned professionals.

I often hear people say, “Watercolor is difficult because you can’t correct your mistakes,” and I respond by pointing out that the articles in each quarterly issue of Watercolor can help artists avoid mistakes, salvage unresolved paintings, and master the medium. The beauty of watercolor is that it is at once simple and complicated. The three basic tools—paper, brush, and paint—can offer a lifetime of challenges and rewards.

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M. Stephen Doherty

About M. Stephen Doherty

I've been interested in art since I was a child,  and I was fortunate to be able to take Saturday art classes at the Cincinnati Art Museum from the time I was 9 years old until I finished high school. I majored in art at Knox College and graduated summa *** laude, Phi Beta Kappa (proving artists can use both sides of their brain!).  I then earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in printmaking from Cornell University; taught art in public schools, a community college, an adult education program, and a college; worked in the marketing department of a company that manufactured screen printing supplies; and was hired to be editor of American Artist in January, 1979.

Thomas S. Buecher introduced me to plein air painting and it immediately became a passion of mine because it got me outdoors and allowed me to continue learning when I traveled to judge art shows, attend conventions, give lectures, and interview artists. Over the years I've exhibited my paintings at Bryant Galleries in New Orleans, Trees Place Gallery on Cape Cod, and in a traveling exhibition titled From Sea to Shining Sea.

I've written 10 books on artists and art techniques and contibuted articles to magazines, websites, and exhibition catalogs. Now as I prepare for semi-retirement, I'm trying to hone my painting skills -- especially those related to painting portraits.

I've been very fortunate to have met thousands of talented artists who have enriched my life with their art, their friendship, and their advice. I am grateful to Jerry Hobbs and Susan Meyer who hired me in 1979, to the talented people who worked with me on the magazines, and to the artists and advertisers who supported American Artist, Watercolor, Workshop, and Drawing  magazines and the related websites.

I've also been blessed with a supportive, talented wife, Sara; a daughter, Clare, who works for an insurance agency; a son, Michael, who is a computer enginner in Austin; a son-in-law, Shawn, who can fix and carry anything; a granddaughter, Amanda, who has me wrapped around her finger; and my mother, Dotty, who has advised and encouraged me from the beginning.

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