Watercolors by
   Bill Hudson      

Monthly Newsletter 
The Watercolors of Laurin McCracken .....  by Bill Hudson  
One of the rewards of writing a monthly Newsletter is reading your responses and realizing that the articles have some interest and value to many of you. There are about 2500 subscribers, so the comments I receive vary widely from people who are artists themselves to people who are simply drawn to art, to nature, and to the thoughts of those who create art. 

Last month I was pleased to receive an email from Laurin McCracken who, like me, fondly remembered his first set of model trains and the tunnels he made from old shoe boxes (ref Jan 2018 Newsletter “There’s Magic In Those Trains”). Although we had never met, I recognized Laurin as a very accomplished, well-known watercolor artist who produces stunning, incredibly realistic paintings of elegant crystal and silverware against near-black backgrounds that one would think impossible to achieve with watercolor alone.

I asked Laurin if he would be willing to share some of his techniques. He didn't hesitate! Like most artists who want to help others enjoy the experience of art, he quickly and generously offered some of his blog posts that can be found on the new Daniel Smith website, DanielSmith.com . I chose to include the post shown below in this month's Newsletter.
Born in Meridian, Mississippi, Laurin studied at Auburn University and holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Architecture from Rice University and a Masters in Architecture and Urban Planning from Princeton University. He currently lives and paints in Fort Worth, Texas. He has combined his architectural skills with his experiences studying art history, drawing, taking photographs, and visiting many of the world's leading museums to evolve his style as a premier watercolorist.

His success as a painter is an example of what can be accomplished later in life. He is now a retired architect who took his first watercolor lesson the year he turned 60. He now travels the world lecturing and exhibiting his paintings. 

He is a signature member of more than a dozen watercolor societies including the American Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society, Transparent Watercolor Society of America, Southern Watercolor Society, Watercolor West, and Watercolor USA Honor Society of which he is President. He is an Elected Member of the Allied Artists of America in their Watermedia Category.

“Not every painter can see things uniquely, but it is imperative that a painter see things differently and with a certain clarity that the average individual might not see. That is the value we bring to our craft. It is the combination of those abilities and a fundamental mastery of the craft that makes us artists.”  Laurin McCracken   www.lauringallery.com
Laurin McCracken: Step-by-Step Watercolor Technique

The Process of Creating 2 Yellow and 1 Red on Foil 20″ x 26″
1. The photograph of the still life of two yellow pears and one red pear on aluminum foil.
2. The drawing – This was done in 2h Lead, therefore this image has been made very high contrast to show detail
3. Wetting the brush – The start of the painting
4. The Pears have received their basic color washes, detail will be added last
5. Masking the highlights in the foil with Daniel Smith Artist Masking Fluid, here you can see that I paint from a large photo
6 . Painting the foil – “Inch by Inch”, I cut the photo into pieces so I can get it close to the area I am painting
7. The first foil emerges behind the pears, I remove the masking fluid as soon as possible to prevent any damage to the paper
8. The foil marching around the pears, showing the masking of the next section to be painted
9. I am laying in the colors that are under the primary reflections
10. The foil has wrapped all the way around the pears
11. The folds in the foil are painted using the classic “British Two-brush” technique
12. This is the under-painting of the background with the refection of the pear, note the masking of the other reflections under the foil
13. I masked the pears with light-weight tracing paper to protect them while I paint the background, here I have laid on the black in one layer of thick wash
14. I have removed the tracing paper mask and painted the reflections under the foil by lifting in some areas and blending the masked highlights into the shadows
15. Adding the finishing touches, such as the bruises to the pears
16. The finished painting: “2 Yellow 1 Red on Foil”

Thank you Laurin McCracken.

Recent Painting
                   .......  by Bill Hudson
Mail Pouch
Original Watercolor & Casein, 14" x 20"
With Custom Frame $1,550

Remember the days when Mail Pouch tobacco painted farmers' barns in exchange for advertising space across the countryside.
  • Art Instructor, Laguna Methodist Art Association, Mondays in January, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm.   Contact Gail Lattime at gklattime@gmail.com
  • Indian Wells Arts Festival, Mar 30, 31, Apr 1, 2018
  • Art Demonstrator, Loma Linda Cultural Arts Association, Oct 7, 2018
  • Workshop Instructor, City of Brea Art Gallery, Saturday, Dec. 1st 2018, 9:30a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Contact breagallery@cityofbrea.net