Rod Adams Watercolors

Watercolor Blog

"This will be a constant work in progress"

I began drawing and painting at a very early age. I was born in 1948 with all sorts of infant medical problems. No, not a third eye, or joined together at the hip with a tube of paint, or anything like that. I suffered mostly from lung problems. So when I got a little older I spent a lot of time in the hospital with pneumonia. There were Twenty-six hospitalizations by the age of 16. These bouts left me in the hospital for 2-3 weeks or more, which allowed me plenty of time to draw. The only time I couldn't draw was when I was in an Iron Lung.
I started painting in the medium of transparent watercolors about 30 years ago. I realized right off, watercolors weren't something that came easy to most people. So accepting the challenge, and realizing the fact that I couldn't mix oils, I jumped right in with both feet, and almost drowned right off the bat. First off was that bigger than life, full white sheet of expensive arches watercolor paper.  God, what a sight! I was so intimidated, that the paper sat for days waiting for that first graphite line. I knew I wanted to paint pictures that people would never say, what is it, or which way is up. My grandmother had the Robert Wood Series known as the Four Seasons hanging in her living room along with piles of old issues of the Saturday Evening Post. The covers, illustrated by Norman Rockwell always caught my attention. So those artists were my childhood inspirations. They both painted in oils. My grandfather worked in the paper mill and had a closet full of rolled paper. He use to sit me down and have me trace the newspaper comics, including the type, while he played solitaire. I just figured it was to help me work in a more structured way, instead of just coloring on the walls. Did you know that during the great depression the top comic artists made in the neighborhood of $1500 per week. Just thought I'd throw that little tidbit of information in.
I only paint in transparent watercolor. The only white I use is the white of the paper, either by masking, or just plain avoiding the white of the paper.

Basic Watercolors 101

If you add opaque white, that becomes the third layer. The light travels through the watercolor to the paper, reflecting back to your eye, creating a crisp clean image. By adding opaque white, the light is blocked and creates the dull look. Get it?
More to come!

Cardboard: Refrigerator box

Stretcher Bars: How to!

Tape: Scotch brand or cheap tape

paper: Arches 300 lb Cold press

paint: Winsor & Newton . Coteman is a student grade watercolor.

brushes: The very best sable brushes if you can. Winsor & Newton Series 7

X-Acto Knife: 1

pallet: As many as you need! I use about 3. But i'm a nut!

Water containers: 3

Special effects: Glazing, Washes, Maskoid

October 27, 2006

I was sitting around yesterday trying to get motivated enough to start my latest painting. Now when I say sitting around, that means with brush in hand, some water, and my nifty Winsor & Newton travel pallet. Even when I don't feel like painting I paint a little. I have a few watercolor blocks that I mess with new ideas on. I have been recuperating from an Aortic Aneurysm that required emergency surgery, and a long stay at the hospital. It was not a bit of fun. So I’ve been trying to get up enough energy to sit long hours at my drawing table.

January 12, 2007

Well I'm about 98% healed up from the Aneurysm, and I must admit that it took a lot out of me. Not as tough at 58. I thought the Doctor was kidding on the recovery time. The joke was on me. My drawing table looks like a drop zone for everything that needs to be put away. I've been putting off painting for several months now. Artist block? Well whatever the case may be, you should be able to start seeing some new works in the next month or so. Until then, keep on painting out there! I'll do my best to catch up.

Tip for January:

The plastic container your CD's come in make great masking tape holders. Just a place to store your tape so the rolls don't collect dust, or bugs.

Tip for February:

If you'd like a little texture in your watercolors, do what I do. When doing little detail things that need some texture I take a had bristle oil painting brush with clean water and scrub the paper a little. Then I add the paint. Try it, you'll like it.

Tip for March:

Have done a few small paintings this and last month. Been gearing up for tthe one I'm working on now. It's 29" x 12". Click the image to see a larger view.

March 19, 2007 // // Well I finished the painting. Click on the image to see the details. Now the hardest part for me is to start a new painting. I have a couple ideals and will start something today. What did I learn from this painting? I learned several things actually. The most important was to keep painting, and not get distracted. I un-plugged the phone for a starter. Also several oil type brushes for scrubbing out areas. just be sure to always use clean water, and keep those brushes clean!!!

April 21, 2007

Do you ever get in the mood that no matter what you do it will never be enough. You'll never finish that one thing that will signify your total creativity. I paint and paint, never seeming to get to the point where I'm totally satisfied that I did my very best. Instead, I paint in a inside a shell, never seeming to reach my full potential.

What inner strength keeps an artist forging into the depths of creativity? The constant putting oneself down, so maybe next time they'll reach that point where they can take a deep breath and say to themselves, I finally made it?

I've never even came close to that point, but instead walk around with a lump in my stomach every time I finish a piece, that it will be accepted.

Here's my latest watercolor titled "Raising The Dust". 29" X 12"

September 13. 2007

As you can see, I've been out of touch for a while now. Surgery and illnesses have pretty much kept me away from the painting. But the weather has changed and I've gotten better so here we go again. I'll be starting a commision painting in a day or so plus some other works. I'll be adding some new tips and tricks from my personal experiences. So sit down, hang on and have fun!! -Rod-

March 7. 2008

Well I just finished a new painting called V-8, which depicts the grill of a 1953 ford truck.

The weeds and vines almost drove me crazy. I didn't use masking fluids on this one so it took some time. I have this technique where I go from light to dark just making up the depth as I go.Now that I look back on it, I wonder if I had used some masking fluid would it have speeded up the process. I paint pretty fast, so there really is no way of measuring it. Now the hard part begins! Figuring out what to paint next.

Aspen 101

I have decided to do a large Aspen or Birch depending where you live. Here's a shot of it as of 3/13/08. I have the right side done now. I used masking fluid for the trees and some smaller ones in the background. That's all for now.

It's about 35" x 14"

I finished the aspen painting today. I think it came out as well as expected. Now onto something new, and really complicated. I sold this painting!

IN PROGRESS / March 26, 2008

Newest Painting of a Black Angust in creek.

Well it's not all that complicated, but I like it so far. A lot of dry brush work on this one.

I finished the Angus Crossing painting last week.. I'm happy with it.

To View The Final ANGUS painting CLICK HERE


Here's what I'm working on now! April 9, 2008

I finished this painting two weeks ago. You can see it by clicking here!!

Click on painting to see the final work




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