Creativity Inspiration

Welcome to the Creativity Workshop

Welcome to the Creativity Workshop

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Since the launch of our Creativity Workshop column several years ago, Watercolor Artist magazine readers have responded with a flurry of submissions that demonstrate the benefits of bringing a little levity and imagination into the painting process. We’ve hosted an impressive series of well-known and emerging watercolor artists who have inspired readers to simplify, bring creativity into their painting practices, experiment with new processes and products, and much more.

Not only do we publish a selection of reader-submitted paintings on our website, but we also reward the artists behind our favorite submissions with fabulous prizes. Browse the results of each painting challenge to see what watermedia artists like you are painting at home.

Below you’ll find links to our wide catalog of Creativity Workshop activities. Find out how to enter your paintings for a chance to win the prize at the very bottom. Happy painting!

  • Bev Jozwiak’s “Mix It Up” demonstrates how to add pizzazz to your paintings by mixing your own neutrals.
  • Amy Dean McKittrick shares how to pour diluted watercolor paint directly onto paper to create luminous darks, strong contrasts between light and shadow, and seamless color transitions.
  • Jan Fabian Wallake‘s “Put Line In Your Design” celebrates preliminary sketchwork in a final painting.
  • Lian Quan Zhen‘s “Pour, Blend Repeat” demonstrates a color pouring and blending technique for various effects.
  • Andy Evansen‘s “The Value of Studies” reveals how to use value studies to remove the guesswork—and white outlines—from your watercolor painting process.
  • Deena S. Ball‘s “Watercolor Texture” features easy watercolor techniques for achieving luminosity and special effects.
  • Richard Stephens‘ “Loosen Up” offers tips and a painting exercise for creating loose paintings that exude a fresh, bold confidence.
  • Bev Jozwiak‘s “Test Kitchen” shares watercolor techniques for figure painting and for exploring bold new territories.
  • Ken Call’s “The Enlightened Brush” demonstrates an interesting way of capturing the allure of light in a step-by-step demo.
  • DeAnn L. Prosia’s “Etch-A-Sketch” combines the linework of etching and the brushwork of watercolor painting in one fantastic technique.
  • Carole Berren’s “Material Metamorphosis” invites readers to take a creative journey via YUPO.
  • Don Tiller’s “Paint With Abandon” reveals a fresh, new acrylic painting technique to try.
  • Judy Morris’ “Word Perfect” reveals the artist’s unique technique for adding texture and verve to watercolor paintings.
  • Myrna Wacknov’s “Gesso You Know” challenges readers to gesso to re-invent and re-invigorate the painting process.
  • Carol Z. Brody’s “Mix and Match” shows you how to bring the textures and patterns that enliven acrylic paintings and collages to your work in transparent watercolor.
  • Kris Parins’ “Fresh Take” shows readers the key to preserving the luminosity of their subjects.
  • Brenda Swenson masters the art of negative painting to bring subtlety and spark to watercolor paintings.
  • Nancy M. Grigby turns trash into treasure with a new watermedia technique.
  • Marilynn Derwenskus finds renewed inspiration by choosing a new format and pouring paint to create a beautiful, textured surface.
  • Robert O’Brien shows you the benefits of painting with drybrush techniques.
  • Debi Watson’s “Snow Time” demonstrates techniques for achieving refined details with loose strokes in a wintry landscape.
  • June Rollins’ “Rough Starts” shows you how a rough, wet beginning can lead to rich, textured results.
  • Heidi Lang Parrinello’s “Inspiration at Your Feet” invites you to find new painting subjects in unexpected places.
  • Angela Barbalace’s “Big City, Big Color” pairs a limited palette with strong geometric design.
  • Mary Todd Beam’s “Dynamic Design Tools” shows you how to use design tools to enhance the impact of your composition. Meet the winner and runners up by clicking here.
  • Deborah Secor’s “Emergency Inspiration Kit” shows artists how to make a grand statement on a small scale.
  • Pat San Soucie’s “Pour It On” invites readers to create interesting shapes and textures with poured color, tissue paper and other tricks.
  • M.E. “Mike” Bailey’s “Play It Again” challenges you to find liberation in painting in a series.
  • Eric Wiegardt’s “Got Rhythm?” argues that freedom from the literal and the introduction of rhythmic patterns to compositions are the keys to making a composition really sing.
  • Nicholas Simmons’ “Beyond the Ordinary” encourages readers to explore the creative possibilities in their work by introducing Photoshop to the composition process.
  • Joyce Gabiou’s “Beyond the Brush” invites readers to introduce elements of collage to watercolor paintings.
  • Chica Brunsvold’s “Hide and Seek” challenges readers to allow images to emerge from within their paintings.
  • Bev Jozwiak’s “Best of Both Worlds” encourages readers to go from dark and dramatic to light and loose in the same painting.
  • Kathleen Maling’s “Off-Road” challenges readers to take their work off-road.
  • Kathy Collins’ “Speedy Delivery” challenges readers to find a fresh new look in just one sitting.
  • Wendy Hill’s “Background Check” challenges readers to loosen up with a spontaneous background.
  • Nancy Collins’ “Process Experiment” challenges readers to try a new painting process or a new surface, and she demonstrates the burnishing technique that opened a world of possibilities for her as an artist.
  • Melissa Adkison’s “Secret to More Creative Portraits” challenges readers to experiment with elements of storytelling in their portraiture and she explores the creative possibilities of painting with gouache.
  • Cathy Johnson’s “Simplify, Simplify” challenges readers to harness the creative power of simplification by focusing on the basics.
  • Nita Leland’s “Get Real but Not Too Real” challenges readers to bring imagination and invention into the painting process.

To enter your Creativity Workshop responses, send a JPEG image (with a resolution of 72 dpi) of your painting to [email protected]. Be sure to type “Creativity Workshop” in the subject line to ensure that your entry is processed properly.


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