Painting with a Magical Medium

Think Like a Watercolor Painting

Embracing the Magic of Watercolor | Think in Watercolor | Watercolor Painting | Emily Falco | Artist Daily
Astor Place by Emily Falco, watercolor painting, 14 1/2 x 14 1/2, 2009.

It warms my heart when I hear artists expressing excitement about their chosen painting medium. Artists are the ones in the business of knowing all the ins and outs of their materials, whether it is watercolor painting, acrylic or oil–among others.

For them to articulate such positive responses about their paints, pencils and brushes validates the artistic process and stirs an equal amount of enthusiasm in me.

Emily Falco works in watercolor, and according to her, she “thinks” in it as well. “It’s a magical medium-the paints can dry out but be used again; the light is contained in the paper, and the colors blend and separate in the most unique and surprising ways,” notes Flaco.

From Acrylic to Watercolor

Embracing the Magic of Watercolor | Think in Watercolor | Watercolor Painting | Emily Falco | Artist Daily
Q Train by Emily Falco, watercolor painting,
9 x 12 1/4, 2009.

Falco’s success in working with watercolor is all about embracing the washes she can achieve and their corresponding drips and fluidity. For her, this started with large-scale acrylic paintings, though she eventually transitioned to watercolor art to save space.

“I was drawn to the idea that I could keep many paintings in a portfolio—which takes up the same amount of space as one canvas,” she says.

To never miss an inspiring scene, Falco always travels with a camera. “I often combine elements from different photographs in a single painting,” she says. But, she also savors the opportunity to paint en plein air as well.

Likewise, she has learned to go with her gut. If something catches her eye and moves her, Falco acts on it with her work—but she never tries to force or speed up the process. “I’ll walk away for a few minutes,” she explains. “I like every painting to happen in its own time.”

Year-Round Watercolor

To explore watercolor painting in many great ways–365 ways, that is–check out the “Daily Tips, Tricks and Techniques” in Watercolor 365. You are sure to find techniques and tips to get all you can out of this wonderful, magical medium. Enjoy!


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Courtney Jordan

About Courtney Jordan

  Courtney is the editor of Artist Daily. For her, art is one of life’s essentials and a career mainstay. She’s pursued academic studies of the Old Masters of Spain and Italy as well as museum curatorial experience, writing and reporting on arts and culture as a magazine staffer, and acquiring and editing architecture and cultural history books. She hopes to recommit herself to more studio time, too, working in mixed media.   

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