My name is Jan Min. I’m 65 years old and am a passionate watercolorist, living in the Netherlands (follow me on Facebook!).
As a child, I already made drawings on a daily basis, but 15 years ago, I picked up this passion again. After five years of academic schooling in diverse techniques and following masterclasses in watercolor, I decided that watercolor was the ultimate medium for me!
With my paintings, I want to capture interesting subjects in a mystic and colorful atmosphere. The representation of lights and color tones play a central role in my work, inciting an emotional connection between the spectator and the subject. I have found that, for me, the ultimate medium to achieve this is watercolor!
My favorite subjects are cities and seascapes!!! The last, because I sailed all my life and the thrill of it is a great challenge !
I can paint plein air, or make at least one or more tonal sketches before I make a work. Good photographs can also be of interest. I prefer using strong colors, warm and cool, often using a lot of pigments to get the maximum in light. When travelling or having a walk, I never forget my little sketchbook (very valuable!!) Make and sketch what you feel!
My favorite paper is Saunders waterford or Arches rough, both 300 g, and Escoda brushes in all sizes. Colors I use: Cadmium red, cadmium yellow, cadmium orange, cobalt blue, cerulean blue, yellow ochre, neutral tint, alizarin crimson, burnt sienna, lavender, cobalt turquoise.
The advantages of watercolor is that there is a great diversity of technique: wet in wet, wet on dry, dry on dry, dry on wet and all kinds of edges like sharp, soft, lost and found and dry brush strokes. The more diversity, the more attractive the painting! Add good cool and warm colors and shadows and the light gets in by itself!
HOW TO PAINT A FISHING BOAT IN ROUGH SEA
I start a study/sketch in b/w (2B)
I paint the sea and waves with a wet in wet method
Then add some yellow ochre and blues to obtain contrast in colors
When the sea is almost ready, I paint the boat. This is the easiest part of the painting!
And finally, with all the details (but never too much!)
Making shadows always gives the joy of light!! Look at the next examples…
I do paint every day, trying to improve techniques and looking for subjects, helped by the stimulating factor of being a member of the committee of IWS Holland (International Watercolor Society) ,which has the goal to stimulate watercolor in our country, but also worldwide. Many meetings with all of the other international members really does stimulate and offers good learning moments!
Secondly, it’s also a good change to do exhibitions worldwide (USA, India, Albania, Indonesia, Denmark, Bulgaria, Italy…) Teaching and doing workshops are my pleasure and give me a very good opportunity to learn! This summer, I’ll be teaching a workshop in Greece! Click below to join me!
First lesson to my students: never want to be perfect… what is more beautiful is a perfect imperfection! Paint with your heart beyond the technique! The water will do the work! Make good variations, put in different kinds of edges and kinds of strokes. Choose a subject which has an emotional part in your soul!
The spectator will automatically feel your passion!!! Many times, people have said to me, “I feel how excited you were when you painted this!” Can it be more clear? The spectator meets your own enthusiasm! In other words: we give our own feelings to others through the paint!