Watercolor Live - Learn More

How Eric Rhoads realized he needed a travel alternative to oils, and why now is the time to try watercolor – the medium that makes it easier to paint anywhere.

Years ago, I took my paints on a business trip to Russia. But back then, things were pretty crude. I got into a cab and tried to communicate with the driver to ask him to take me to an art store. (There was no Google at the time.)

It would have made a funny comedy sketch … me trying to explain “artist” and “supplies,” and him trying to understand me. After about an hour, we finally figured it out, thanks to my ability to draw for him.

$200 later, I hadn’t found an art store. But once we finally did, everything was behind a counter, and I didn’t know how to say “mineral spirits” or “turpentine.” I pointed to bottles, opened them, smelled them, but never found what I was looking for. Frustrated, I left without making a purchase.

And though I tried to paint without something to clean my brushes, it was a hot mess. It was at that moment in time that I decided I needed a travel alternative to my oils.

Over the years I’ve tried and had success with lots of products, like water-mixable oils, slow-drying acrylic, gouache, casein, and watercolor. And though I use them all, my one standard is watercolor or gouache (a form of watercolor).

Related > Browse our watercolor features at RealismToday.com

In fact, if you were to look in my carry-on bag on any trip, you’d see I have a small watercolor kit with me. I’d rather spend my business trip nights in a hotel room painting than at a bar, and on occasion, I’ll sneak in a painting between meetings. I don’t have to wait for them to dry. I can just throw them in my bag.

Many artists are moving to gouache or watercolor part of the time. Scott Christensen did a gouache demo at our online art conference, PleinAir Live. And on my daily Facebook show, Steven Quiller did a demo in casein, a similar medium. And of course, Sargent was a master watercolor artist, as were many others.

At each of our Plein Air Conventions, we offer a watercolor stage, but this year at PleinAir Live, due to technical limitations, a watercolor track was not possible. That’s why we’ve just announced Watercolor Live. A virtual conference devoted to water media. Watercolor Live - Learn More

Experimenting with water media is fun, but we all know that learning from the best of the best is the best way. We’ve put together a world-class faculty to teach you, including a Beginner’s Day.

We already have most of the faculty posted, with a few more to come (see the current list of faculty below). We would love for you to consider it. Simply visit WatercolorLive.com.

It would make a great Christmas or Hanukkah gift, and, like PleinAir Live, it’s a way to learn a lot quickly. The dates are January 28-30, 2021.

Sign up today before the November 30th price increase.

Eric Rhoads
Publisher & CEO of Realism Today, Fine Art Connoisseur, Plein Air Magazine, Streamline Publishing

Watercolor Live faculty