GUEST ARTIST: “How Watercolors Changed My Life” by Angela Moulton

two chickadees 205 watercolor by Angela Moulton

My name is Angela Moulton and I was born in Indiana, raised in Chicago Suburbs, and now reside in Idaho. I started my watercolor journey as a child playing with the portable pan sets required for school. A brand new paint set seemed so pure and clean. I have always been filled with joy at the sight of water mixing with watercolor paints. The process seems to make time stand still. I even like watching the water while cleaning a brush. The whole experience seems magical.

While studying music and accounting in college, I came back to watercolor painting as an adult. I also took up oil and acrylic painting. Watercolor actually came after I had been painting with oil and acrylic for a few years.

I remember being surprised how the process was different than with oil and acrylic. I remember how my planning seemed to get me in trouble if I tried to mimic my oil and acrylic painting processes. It seemed often it was necessary to reverse the painting process with watercolor.

But the more I used watercolor, the more I realized what a great medium it was for creating! There was a magic to the effects and movements in the paint and flow. They seemed to take on a life of their own. Although I also remember sometimes looking in horror as a very perfectly laid plan fell apart. When a new wash of color penetrated a pigment wall and flooded the area, I learned patience was needed and more dry time between layers.

pink flowers in blue vase watercolor by Angela Moulton

As far as my process, I usually paint indoors on watercolor blocks. I sometimes use watercolor sketchbooks outside. I have also tried stretching larger sheets of watercolor paper. I would like to play around with that more in the future.

My favorite brands of watercolor paint are Winsor & Newton, Old Holland, Blockx Aquarelle, Holbein, and Maimeri Blu. I also like some modern paints like Mission Gold, Daniel Smith Luminescent colors, and QoR. I really like my Koi Watercolor Pocket Field Sketch Box by Sakura Color Products.

My absolute favorite brush is my round Isabey natural-hair portable brush. The padded and copper wire-wrapped ferule absorbs and carries loads of water and paint.

My creative process starts with an idea or inspiration. But if I am not finding any inspiration, I can prime myself with a challenge from art groups like this one. I keep a notebook page full of ideas to paint. There are actually many more ideas than I have painted!

garden sweet peas watercolor by Angela Moulton

I enjoy painting from nature or nature-inspired art. I do enjoy painting abstract art with watercolor as well. The medium is so perfect for small abstract works. The paints seem to shine and there is a freedom and playfulness that can experienced by letting go and watching what happens.

Besides nature, I am inspired by other talented artists. I am inspired by both living artists and artists from the past.

I just came out with a book with Quarto Publishing and Walter Foster called 15-Minute Painting Effortless Watercolor. The book is a great place for beginning and intermediate artists to get guidance and projects to paint. The projects progress from easy to more complex. The invitation is to start and stay as long as one likes. I think some people get intimidated by the process. So starting small and simple with a time limit can be helpful.

I usually do my watercolor sketching in pencil. But I have used markers and pens also. I really enjoy experimenting with all facets of watercolor. I have tried using frisket and gouache and mixed media. I encourage people to push the limits of what they think is possible. It is important to enjoy and take ownership of the painting process. While pushing the limits with trying new things can be fun, sometimes the challenge is to limit materials and colors. There are endless ideas for creating with watercolor.

Angela Moulton
My Books

Recommended3 recommendationsPublished in Featured Artists
  1. Mugdha 4 weeks ago

    Hello Angela,

    Your work is gorgeous! You have a gift for painting birds. I really liked all your bird paintings a lot! Thank you for sharing your journey. Will definitely look up your book.


  2. Mary Roff 3 weeks ago

    Lovely loose watercolors! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Sandra Strait 3 weeks ago

    Your work is an inspiration! Thank you for the links, and for sharing your beautiful watercolors with us!

  4. scrittoralinda 3 weeks ago

    Beautiful works — I love that clutch of croci (crocuses)! Interesting too how you would take music and paint, and also accounting, engaging both brain hemispheres. I enjoyed your article and thank you.

  5. Erkin Yılmaz 3 weeks ago

    Nice to meet you Angela. Your works are amazing!

  6. M. L. Kappa 3 weeks ago

    Love your work!

  7. Walter crew 3 weeks ago

    I have been painting for over 25 years and I started with Watercolors and I did well but I decided that I wanted to also experience other mediums – Oil – Acrylic – Pastel – Scratchboard ETC. I do sell my works but I’m not a hustler and I got away from Watercolors partly because I see them selling for about 1/2 of what other mediums sell for and a good WC frame – quality WC papers -mats & non glare plastic covering as well as good brushes & good quality paints are expensive. I would like to get back to Watercolors before long and I do enjoy them . Thanks W. Crew

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