Instructional Example



Click on images for larger view.

Step 1
Step 1

Step 2
Step 2

Step 3
Step 3

Step 4
Step 4

Step 5
Step 5


Additional Finished Drawing
Finished Drawing of Step 1

Additional Finished Drawing
Finished Drawing of Step 2

Additional Finished Drawing
Finished Drawing of Step 4





  1. When attending an art workshop, keep an open mind and be willing to try new approaches and concepts. Don’t expect to master them overnight. Generally speaking, it takes weeks and even months of practice before you will find success. After a period of time, you can discard any introduced theories of thought that do not appeal to you and at the same time, try to capitalize on the concepts that will further develop your own personal style of painting. Be willing to make errors and keep in mind that the reason you took the workshop is to advance your knowledge.
  2. Learn to work with the largest and most functional brush as possible.
  3. Paint fluidly.
  4. Paint quickly and spontaneously. As Ed Whitney always said: “Paint like a rabbit and think like a turtle.”
  5. Learn to capitalize on your mistakes.
  6. Be patient and be willing to allow the painting to evolve as a whole.
  7. Understand and appreciate the use of implied lines, edges and shapes.
  8. Develop the largest possible shapes first and gradually get smaller as the painting evolves.
  9. Don’t just go through the motions of filling in a designated area without thinking… intentionally leave some unexplainable abstract voids.
  10. Remember, as an artist you have a license to be creative and you don’t always have to justify or explain your thoughts, emotions and expressions.
  11. Think design instead of just recording facts.
  12. Be willing to change directions at any given time.
  13. Learn to link your painting together with lost and found areas.
  14. Work wet into wet when possible and allow the fusion of color to occur naturally.
  15. Generally speaking, you paint in the same manner as to how you apply the drawing to your painting surface… in other words, a tight and detailed drawing usually influences the artist to paint in a similar manner and therefore an abstract or incomplete rendering promotes a less detailed painting.
  16. Tantalize the viewer’s imagination… don’t spell everything out… you can always put in more detail but it is hard to eliminate it once it has been introduced.
  17. The brush strokes should reinforce the contour surfaces of the object or subject.
  18. Too many times the watercolorist goes too dark, too fast, too soon. The artist should work in the dark areas of the painting first but in a light to dark manner. Areas of preceding values and colors should remain visible each time the artist introduces new layers of color.
  19. Offset the center of interest but try to avoid having it lay on the vertical or horizontal axis. The center of interest should be placed at unequal distances from the corners of the picture plane and not too close to the outside border.
  20. Try to avoid painting directly from photographs. Painting from photographs is sometimes necessary but until you learn to use them creatively, I highly recommend that you paint from a sketch that you made from the photograph. Taking it one step further, it may be in your best interest to do a sketch of the sketch of the sketch. Each time, readjusting various elements for the sake of the composition.  Learn to become innovative and free yourself from just recording facts.
  21. Don’t use a ruler!
  22. Don’t paint flat... paint on an angle even if it is a very slight degree.
  23. Paint in a standing position when possible.
  24. Be open-minded to constructive criticism. Interestingly, students generally learn more when they listen to what the instructor has to say about another student’s painting.
  25. In most instances, every painting should have a center of interest.
  26. Learn to draw with the paintbrush.
  27. Try to avoid tangents that cause confusion or become distracting. Refer to the following website for more information regarding tangents:
  28. Resting spots help place more emphasis on the center of interest.
  29. If you have a problem understanding perspective, a good book I highly recommend is: Creative Perspective for the Artists and Illustrators by Ernest Watson website © Frederick C. Graff. All rights reserved. Hosting by

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