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BeckerArt Float-Your-Pigment Blog Newsletter, Style and Design #211

Welcome to the FLOAT-YOUR-PIGMENT Newsletter #211 Style and Design

Hello from Las Vegas, Nevada! I am here this week demonstrating to many of the art supply stores in the country. I am demonstrating for Legion Papers on Stonehenge Aqua Black Watercolor paper. This is a brand new paper that many of the art stores will be ordering to get some of this new paper in their inventory. Look for it at a store near you soon! When I get back next week I plan on heading up to the Kenosha Public Museum on Wednesday 6-26-19 to take a look at the TWSA exhibit. I will get there in the morning at 10am and then probably have lunch up in Kenosha afterwards. If you want to join me just show up on the 26th at the museum at 10am.

See you all soon. David No Class at the Civic Center in Libertyville, Thursday, June 20th 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm No Class at the BeckerArt Gallery in McHenry, Saturday, June 22nd 9:00 am to 11:30 am


Style and Design

After visiting the Transparent Watercolor Society of America's exhibit last week I got to thinking about Style and Design when it comes to watercolor painting. As an artist, I love when I see other painters put their mark on a painting. What do I mean about their mark, I mean a style or design element that an artist will paint into their paintings that will identify that painting to a particular artist.

Check out the paintings I picked out below, the first one is by Charles Reid (may he rest in peace). If I would ask most artists who they thought painted this piece they would pick Charles and it is because of the style and design of his work. Charles always had drips and messy spotty backgrounds, it's just something he always did and it became his style.

The next painting is by an artist I have never heard of before last week. I love his work and I especially love the extra brush marks he put in the painting below. I'm not sure if he does this to all his works but it is a design element that just works so well for this piece.

Last painting below is a painting by Ted Nuttall who I met while we both were teaching at the Scottsdale Artist School. I love it that when I see a portrait of Ted's I know it is his right away. If you look close you will see very light circular brush strokes that tell me instantly that Ted Nuttall did that piece.

I bring up this topic of design and style because I feel this adds so much to a work of art and makes the piece creative and many times identifies the piece to a certain painter. When I see a painting that looks exactly like a photo I normally don't know which artist had painted it and I don't get as excited as when I see a watercolor that has a design and a style to it that you don't see in a photo. I like it when the painting looks like a watercolor painting and I can identify the artist that painted it. This is not to say that either way is right or wrong or better or worse, I'm just bringing up my own personal taste for a watercolor that has a design and style like no other.

Some of my students have asked me how would they get a style that is all their own and my answer is... Do a lot of painting and every now and then try different things, like different papers, mediums, teachers, techniques and subject matter. Then when you come across something you like, stick with it for a bit and paint paint paint! You can also be influenced by others and take all those influences from others and figure out how you can make a style all your own. I also tell my student I too am working on a style and it isn't the easiest thing to do, I just keep on plugging away and hopefully one day I will come up with a design style that is all my own.




Morris Watercolor Guild CLASS, Liberty ARTS Festival, Morris, IL. July 20th

For information Click Here

Vermont Art Event WORKSHOP Classes, VT, July 29th - August 2nd, For information Click Here

Wallack's in Ottawa, Ontario WORKSHOP half-day classes, August 10th

Information to come

Art and Soul Watercolor Group WORKSHOP, Baldwinsville, NY, August 12th - 14th, For information Click Here

Cheap Joes WORKSHOP, Boone NC, Sept. 9th - 13th For Information Click Here

Dillman's Watercolor WORKSHOP, Lac du Flambeau, WI, Sept. 23d - 26th For Information Click Here


Product of the Week

The product I am posting this week is a Ruling Pen that you can use for a number of things when it comes to watercolor.

The thing I love using a ruling pen for is making straight lines. Many artists drop some paint into the tip and start writing. Some artists also use it for drawing in with masking fluid. These ruling pens can make some amazing thin lines.


Question of the Week

Questioned Asked:

How do I know when my painting is finished?

Questioned Answered: When someone asks this question I have come to realize that the students go into their painting without a plan. If you do a preliminary or value study before you start a painting then the answer to the question above is you are finished when you have everything in your value sketch finished. There will be details that you will put in your paintings that won't be in your value studies but after you get those details in your work you can usually stop. I also recommend you stop when you don't know what more to do, then put it aside and then come back to it the next day to give another look and critique and if you see something fix and finish it and you are then done.

If you have a question that you want answered, write me at


Artist of the Week

I'm guessing you already heard that the famous watercolor artist Charles Reid had passed away on June 1st.

Way back when I was a student I remember skimming through one of his books and thinking, man o man, one day I hope as good as him.

I always loved his drips in his paintings, kind of like a signature style with drips.


BeckerArt Brushes


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