GUEST ARTIST: “A Long Break Brings A New Perspective” by Kenley Jones

My name is Kenley Jones and I am originally from Coastal North Carolina, currently residing in Central Pennsylvania.  If you were to ask me, even just two years ago what I thought about the watercolor medium, my response would have been mixed.  I knew what it was, but art was just not happening in my life at the time.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Kenley Jones - Doodlewash

Here is a preface to the now.  I grew up loving art, and drawing, even at an early age.  My favorite subject to draw were airplanes.  My dad was in the United States Marine Corps, and worked on them.  The A-4 Skyhawk to be exact.  He would take me on base to his shop and give me some GI computer paper, and GI Mechanical Skilcraft pencil.  I would sit and draw airplanes for hours.  As I got older, I drew more things.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Kenley Jones - Doodlewash

I remember Christmas would net me drawing pencils, drawing pads, and sometimes, a whole Art kit.  In high school, I took Art class all four years.  We would have to turn in one good sketch every week.  My main passion was just drawing.  I did do a couple paintings with acrylic which were very abstract (One actually won 3rd place and ended up hanging up in the local Holiday Inn for some time).

After high school, I never really thought about art much, or drawing.  That was over 20 years ago.  Until, my first son was born.  My wife had asked me to do some nursery wall art for the room in a nautical theme.  She knew I knew how to draw.  I had this big prismacolor set in the basement that I never used.  So, at the end of 2015, my first attempt at Art was a top side view of a Blue Crab, in colored pencil.  I was actually pretty surprised at how well it turned out.  I never did this good in high school, 20 years ago.  I went on to do some more sea creatures in colored pencil.  I liked colored pencil, but man, it took a long time.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Kenley Jones - Doodlewash

Now, before I get to the good part, watercolor, I will explain the title of this post.  It has been over 20 years since I have sketched, or did anything artistic.  I do think that you can get better with practice, but I didn’t practice.  I think that being older, and having life experiences, has the answer to the question of how I am better now, than way back when. As age defines a person for what they become, new perspectives take shape as well. But most of all, I just think that it is a gift from God, despite all other opinions.

In the beginning of 2016, I was at the point of wanting to try something new.  I thought “watercolor”!  I always see these coastal themes and seascapes, and think, man if I could do something like this!  So, I go to the store (you know the one), and buy a set of watercolors, some brushes, and watercolor paper.  I want to keep it simple so I opt for more sea creatures on a white background.  I love the simplicity of it.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Kenley Jones - Doodlewash

I love how the water and pigment goes on the paper.  I love the crispness of it.  Being from the coast, I really love doing these type of paintings with tuna, mahi mahi, pelicans, etc..  My favorite paper that I use most often is Arches 140lb cold press.

How I paint

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Kenley Jones - DoodlewashI simply start with a sketch of the subject using 2h to 5h pencil.  Though, I might start using a 2b in the future.  Then I decide what colors I want on my palette (I use a new palette each time with new paint).  After my sketch is done, I go in with the watercolor.  At first, it was hard to wait for the paper to dry, but I don’t mind it now.  I don’t use a hair dryer (yet).  I often go from light to dark colors as I paint.

My style now, is that my watercolor is sort of tight and detailed. One of my most treasured pieces is the “Blue Crab on a Pier”.  The outcome was what I was striving for, and all of the stippling was well worth it.   I love trying out new techniques that I learn.  I am still in the beginning stages of a watercolor artist, so I love learning new things.  And anything that I learn, I love to pass on as well.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Kenley Jones - Doodlewash

One of the most important things I have learned is to allow mistakes.  Sometimes, these mistakes can add something, and they can teach you something.  As I move forward, I want to try new things, new subjects, and perhaps, get a little more relaxed with a loose style. I am on a mission to learn and to reign in on my new perspectives.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Kenley Jones - Doodlewash

I never, before, would have seen myself in love with this medium, but I do love it, and the elegance of it as well.  I look forward to seeing the art here on Doodlewash, and to meet other people in the same art medium.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Kenley Jones - DoodlewashOne golden nugget that I have to offer is this.  Support your local art store.  You will not only be in the midst of awesome products, but in a bank of knowledge from people that are more than willing to give, especially if you buy even one of those Tombow Drawing pencils (which is what I use), or not.  ASK for a discount!  They are not blind to the fact that you might have a 50% off coupon saved on your phone’s image storage for another big box store down the street.  The place I often go to gives me a, get this, “Professional Artist Discount”.  Whether or not I consider myself a professional artist, they do, and they respect my business.

Kenley Jones
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Etsy
Doodlewash

Recommended8 recommendationsPublished in Featured Artists

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!

40 Comments
  1. Thomas Blanchard 12 months ago

    Lovely work Kenley! I’m glad you are part of doodlewash!

    • Kenley Jones 12 months ago

      Thank you very much Thomas, I am very glad as well.

  2. Cindy C 12 months ago

    Beautiful Art! ….. from a fellow Marine brat

    • Kenley Jones 12 months ago

      Thank you Cindy! Cheers back to a fellow Marine brat. (Though, I served in the USAF)

      • Cindy C 12 months ago

        Thank You for your service. My apologies, your Bio stated your Father was a US Marine 🇺🇸

      • Kenley Jones 12 months ago

        Haha, yes indeed, he was, and my older brother, but I still reigned in on the USMC way of life, and moving around, though we spent most of our time at Cherry Point before he retired.

  3. Posey Gaines 12 months ago

    Nice work Kenley…and a good story as well!

  4. Mary Roff 12 months ago

    Nice work, Kenley. Love the lighthouse!

    • Kenley Jones 12 months ago

      Thank you so much Mary. Yes, I can see more lighthouses in the future! They are fun to draw and paint.

  5. Rod Fletcher 12 months ago

    “One of the most important things I have learned is to allow mistakes. Sometimes, these mistakes can add something, and they can teach you something”. I will try. Love your quirky images.

    • Kenley Jones 12 months ago

      Thanks heaps Rod. I appreciate your comment and kind words.

  6. June Hadaway 12 months ago

    Very nice…your paintings and sharing.

    • Kenley Jones 12 months ago

      Thank you very much June. I appreciate you commenting and kind words.

  7. midisparks 12 months ago

    I like the bit about improving from life experience, not practice. I am discovering that going out more, and obsessing less about my creative work, is having a positive impact on my work.

    • Kenley Jones 12 months ago

      Midisparks, Thank you for the comment. I nice break away can definitely recharge one’s artistic batteries.

  8. Jill Gustavis 12 months ago

    Fantastic work! Looking forward to seeing more of your work in our community here, I have a lingering love for detail stemming from a childhood of mostly drawing. I like all the different styles in watercolor but there will always be a special place in my heart for sharp details.

    • Kenley Jones 12 months ago

      Thank you very much Jill for your comments. I look forward to providing some detail! Happy Face!

  9. Jennifer McLean 12 months ago

    truly beautiful art. I love your blue crab too! One of my best friends did a lobster and I loved him too. I think I have a thing for seafood. I think I’d need some drawn butter though. ;o)

    • Kenley Jones 12 months ago

      Jennifer, I will have to paint some butter with those I suppose. Thanks for your kind words!

  10. Sandra Strait 12 months ago

    Your art is amazing, and I agree. While practice hones your skill, time and experience can do even more.

  11. Teri Casper 12 months ago

    Fabulous paintings and wonderful story of your art experience.
    Thank you.

  12. Laura Hale 12 months ago

    Thank you for sharing your art with us. It’s beautiful.

    • Kenley Jones 12 months ago

      Thank you very much Laura. Appreciate your kind words!

  13. Sharon Nolfi 12 months ago

    I have been admiring your work for a few days now, so I’m glad to learn your story. Thanks.

    • Kenley Jones 12 months ago

      Sharon, yes, I believe you were the first person to send me a friend request. Thanks, and I am glad that you are glad to have had the chance to learn of my story. I can not wait to see what the future gives us.

  14. Clelie 12 months ago

    I love your flamingo!!!…and the rooster…AND, the blue crab! Continue to hone that gift God gave you…it is a joy to see your work.

    • Kenley Jones 12 months ago

      Clelie, thank you so much. I am glad that you love the creatures. God Bless you!

  15. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 12 months ago

    Kenley, I’ve really enjoyed seeing your beautiful artwork and reading your story. You are an inspiration to others who want to try to paint but aren’t sure how to begin.

    • Kenley Jones 12 months ago

      Thank you so much Sharon. That really means a lot. I am most grateful to be of any help. And will share what knowledge I have in a heartbeat.

  16. prior.. 12 months ago

    Love his work and the two crabs are my fav of the post.
    🙂

    • Kenley Jones 11 months ago

      Thank you for your comment, and I am glad that the crabs are your favorites.

  17. Susan Cuss 12 months ago

    I enjoyed reading about your art journey, and seeing your beautiful work. I definitely agree that time and experience can bring something special to one’s art. Thank you.

  18. Yvonne Reeder 12 months ago

    Kenley, thank you for sharing your artistic journey and your wonderful artwork with us! I so enjoyed meeting you. 🙂 I really love your work and that seascape is just divine!

    • Kenley Jones 11 months ago

      Thank you ever so much Yvonne! I appreciate your comment and your kind words.

  19. Pamela Smith 11 months ago

    Love your story Kenley and your art is great..Thank you for sharing..

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