Watercolor painting ideas > Brazilian watercolorist Eudes Correia shares his inspiring story, advice for other artists, and his step-by-step painting process in this exclusive interview with Realism Today.
Cherie Dawn Haas: What motivates or inspires you as an artist?
Eudes Correia: First God. He is my principal font of inspiration. After, the sea, the life, and the human being.
CDH: How has your art life changed, or how have you adjusted as an artist, during 2020?
EC: As an artist I had to think of a new way to continue my work. Before, my job was to travel to participate in exhibitions and workshops. I was always meeting new people and experiencing new cities, new countries, and new cultures. Most of my works were fruits of these trips.
Because of this pandemic, all of my events this year have been canceled. I was forced to stay at home like most people. In the first months I made it a time for myself, to enjoy my home, my family. But then that time went on and I had to start looking for new ways, discovering new solutions for my work. The internet is a great ally, as it allows us to be connected and keep in touch with people from all over the world. I started to explore the internet more; I took online courses and invested in my website and other media. The world stopped, we found ourselves stranded and during that time I was able to rethink my life, make new plans, and put them into practice.
CDH: Why watercolor?
EC: Because the watercolor is alive. The watercolor is fascinating. It works in harmony with the artist. You take one step, it takes two. Watercolor is versatile, dynamic, dries quickly, and is easy to clean. If you carry a small case, two brushes, a pad of paper, and water, anywhere can become your studio: a café, a restaurant, an airplane seat, an airport. There are no limits. You can register an interesting place in a few minutes.
CDH: What’s your advice for other artists starting out?
EC: Study hard, then study some more and be your biggest critic. Be happy with your result, but never satisfied. Always seek to improve. You can always get an even better result. Be open to criticism, other people see it from different angles and that’s why they see what you often don’t understand.
CDH: What’s a common question you hear (and the answer you give) about painting in general, or about your style or media?
EC: “Do you live only from art?” I always answer yes. Many people tell me that they would like to live on art too, but they never had time to study arts or practice, because they worked too much. This is just an excuse; I also had another profession, and at that time I painted as much as I paint today. Whenever I arrived at my house after dinner, I expected everyone to go to sleep and then I would paint and paint for hours on end.
CDH: Please tell us about the inspiration for one of your paintings.
EC: I was participating in a worldwide watercolor meeting, in Torres Vedras, Portugal. At that moment I was talking with three other artists in a free market. Among artists, whenever we see a scene that has to do with the style of any of us, we call each other’s attention to that scene.
These two gentlemen were talking and smiling, so one of my friends caught my eye and said: Eudes, look at your theme behind you. I watched the two talk, they smiled and were telling interesting stories between each other. I imagine that their friendship was many years long. They were very intimate. So I took a picture of them, without them noticing, to record the scene in the most natural way possible. Then I asked them for permission to take a picture, so I took one more. But I painted what they didn’t see me take.
CDH: What’s a common artistic challenge you face, and how do you overcome it?
EC: Making live paintings, in a public demonstration. I always have to do them at every event I attend. It is always a challenge. My work is very spontaneous and I never know what the result will be. But I always try to show security (although I never feel safe) and in the end, it almost always works. Sometimes it doesn’t, but generally I only know if it was as I would like it to be or not.
On Creating a Watercolor Painting
BY EUDES CORREIA
1. My work starts when I go to the streets to do a plein air painting; I draw sketches and take pictures. It’s in these moments where I search for references. Lots of times, my paintings come from the pictures I took and lots of times from previous sketches I did.
2. After that, I come back to my studio and select my materials. There, I separate everything I’d like to paint. I put everything in a computer folder and when I feel like painting it, I just choose whatever attracts me more at that moment.
3. I often make small studies to search for a few solutions in compositions and, other times, I start to paint right away. Usually, the best paintings, and the most expressive ones, are the ones with no previous planning.
4. I do a little pencil sketch. I trace every line from the most notorious, to the little details, always trying to keep the paper as clean as possible.
5. Next, I begin to paint. I make the first layer more freely, I use lots of water, and it’s in this time where I try to be as free as possible, the most expressive as possible. In this first layer, I always seek to keep the colors connected and at low opacity, and at the same time try to create volumes and textures, preserving light.
6. Then, I do a second and last layer, working on the shadows and details. In this step, I work more slowly. I start with a freer searching for shadows and contrasts and then I slow down and work on the little details on what I’m trying to focus on.
My Background As An Artist
I think I started as most artists. Since I was five, I liked drawing little things, and even now I’m trying to improve. Of course, nowadays, I have way better results; 40 years of training led me to where I am today, after all. I was also very influenced by one of my older brothers, Manuka, who could draw very well, and was my inspiration.
It’s funny, because I never imagined I could ever be an artist and make a profession out of it; things rearranged and I was pushed until I reached this point.
When I reached my teenage years, I was already known in my school for being an artist, but I never dreamt of becoming one; all I wanted to do was to draw all day, and not think of what I’d become in the future. For the most part, my siblings worked in banks, and I thought I’d be a bank officer as well, and even got to work in a bank for two years. After I went unemployed, I had to search for another job, and the only thing I could do besides working in a bank was to draw, so, I searched for a job as an artist in serigraphy, and worked my way up, and never stopped until I reached this point I’m at today.
I worked for 25 years as a graphic designer and advertising illustrator, but I always found time to draw and paint. Although my contact with watercolor was when I was still a child, at the age of 12, I started dedicating watercolor professionally about 10 years ago. My work started to gain notoriety in Europe and in several parts of the world. During that time, I received the invitation to be the English Brand Ambassador Winsor & Newton. Now, after six years living in Europe, in 2021 I will be moving to the USA.
My plan is to continue painting with everything I connect with, to continue painting everything that I fall in love with. To continue to share my emotions through my work. To continue painting everything that touches my soul.