GUEST ARTIST: “Vibrant Realistic Watercolors Created By A Color Blind Artist” by Al Vesselli

Watercolor painting by Al Vesselli - Doodlewash

Color blind, as many people know, is a misnomer. I do see colors. Just differently than the average person. At times, it is difficult for me to tell the difference between certain colors. I have to choose my colors wisely when I paint so that my color blindness is not an issue.

I was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. I was definitely a “city kid”. We played stoop ball, stick ball, and on hot summer days we cooled off under a open fire hydrant. My childhood heroes were Willie Mays and Binney & Smith. Now, I knew Willie played center field for the Giants and could hit & catch a baseball like no one else.

Watercolor painting by Al Vesselli - Doodlewash

However, I didn’t know if Binney & Smith were men or women. I only cared they were responsible for my Crayola Crayons box of sixty four.I really can’t remember my life before drawing & painting. I’ve been creating art since Eisenhower was in the White House and Jawbreakers and Hostess CupCakes were my sweets of choice. Today, I still have the same passion for art that I had back then. I feel very fortunate to have found my niche in life so early and I still love Hostess CupCakes.

Watercolor painting by Al Vesselli - Doodlewash

Actually, I have only been painting with watercolors for about three years. Even though I have been an artist all my life. For a very long time my medium of choice was color pencils. It’s funny, I went from a medium which allows you total control (color pencils) to one that offers a great resistance to being controlled (watercolor).

Watercolor painting by Al Vesselli - Doodlewash

I usually paint from photographs that I have taken. Choosing the right photo for a painting is for me one of the most important parts of the process. Through experience, I have learned which photos will translate into a good painting. Which is essential, since I can spend up to six weeks on a single painting.

Some people will probably say my work is photorealistic. However, I would disagree. A photo reference is just a starting point. A beginning. My final painting doesn’t usually look very much like the original photo.

The watercolor brand I use is usually the one that’s on sale. As long as it’s a professional grade watercolor I will use it. I really do not have a favorite brand. I’ve used Winsor & NewtonRembrandt, Da Vinci, Holbein, Daniel Smith, etc. I’m of the belief it’s the “archer not the arrow” that’s responsible for hitting the target.

I am very particular about the substrate I paint on. I always use Strathmore 500 Series, hot press board. I really like the way it accepts watercolor.

Watercolor painting by Al Vesselli - Doodlewash

To achieve my very bright colors using watercolors I use many, many glazes. Sometimes, 20 to 30 layers of translucent colors. I work many different ways during the course of creating the same painting. Some areas of a painting I will work using a dry brush technique.

Watercolor painting by Al Vesselli - DoodlewashSome areas, I will use wet-on-wet and let the paint be my partner. Watercolor has taught me that being in total control is not always a good thing. Sometimes, you just have to let the paint flow. Watercolor certainly has a mind of it’s own. You can see more of my work at the links below!

I would certainly like to thank Charlie O’Shields for this opportunity to showcase my work.

Al Vesselli

Recommended2 recommendationsPublished in Featured Artists
  1. memadtwo 5 years ago

    Fabulous work. Thanks for posting. N.

    • Al 5 years ago

      Thanks so very much!

  2. Melanie 5 years ago

    Beautiful work! 😃

    • Al 5 years ago

      Thanks Melanie.

  3. Yvonne 5 years ago

    Thank you Al for such an interesting interview! (Thank you, Charlie too for these guest artists!)

    What I enjoyed most is hearing that your Watercolour journey is still relatively recent and that you came into it from CP! I’ve just started my introduction to WC from CP too, although I did work for quite some time in Oils. I’m struggling with WC – water is tricky – but I have hope 😀

    • Al 5 years ago

      Thanks Yvonne. I would suggest at first using watercolor in a dry brush method (very little water) so you have more control. And then slowly start using more water. Good luck. Stay with it.

  4. Mark 5 years ago

    Great article, great work Al. Thanks for sharing. Thanks to Charlie too for highlighting these great guest artists.

    • Al 5 years ago

      Mark – Thank you very much!

  5. Kaye Boggs 5 years ago

    Your glass work is incredible; your colors are brilliant; your work is amazing. I am dumbstruck by your beautiful works of art. Thank you for sharing!

    • Al 5 years ago

      Kaye – Wow! Thanks so very, very much. It’s very nice when my work touches someone. It makes all the hard work worth while.

  6. June 5 years ago

    Really beautiful paintings and article. Thank you for sharing.

    • Al 5 years ago

      Thanks so much June!!!

  7. Rocelee 5 years ago

    Amazing artwork and great article.. interesting interview thanks for sharing. I just love it 😍

    • Al 5 years ago

      Rochelle – I am very glad you liked my work and enjoyed the write up.

  8. Thomas Blanchard 5 years ago

    Lovely work!! So vibrant and alive with … well mostly calories 🙂 Love them all. Your work with glass reflections is great!!

    • Al 5 years ago

      Thomas – Thank you. You certainly are correct. I put on a few pounds while painting the M&Ms.

  9. GeorgieMoon 5 years ago

    These paintings are really wonderful, I love them!

    • Al 5 years ago

      Georgie – I’m very glad they touch you. Thanks.

  10. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 5 years ago

    Al, are you really color blind? That’s incredible as you’ve mastered color in your paintings. Your work bursts off the page, and the color intensity makes the art seem like I could touch it. And I’d love to eat some of it, too!

    I was also raised in New Jersey (Trenton) for many years but my cupcake of choice was TastyKake!

    • Al 5 years ago

      Sharon – I am really color blind. I suffer from red-green color deficiency. It also effects the way I see other colors. Purple is a tough one. Sometimes it looks Pink, sometimes it looks Blue.

      Sorry Sharon, but Hostess is the King of sweet junk food!!!

  11. Laura 5 years ago

    Wow! What beautiful art work. Thank you for sharing your story and your talent with us.

    • Al 5 years ago

      Laura – thank you. You are very welcome.

  12. Jean marmo 5 years ago

    What a wonderful read. Such gorgeous works of art!

    • Al 5 years ago

      Thanks so much Jean!!!

  13. Elizabeth Metz 5 years ago

    Wow! The way you use light is just incredible. Seriously. <3

  14. Sharon Nolfi 5 years ago

    Your paintings are amazing!

  15. Jennifer McLean 5 years ago

    it’s amazing that these are done with watercolors. You’re incredible.

  16. Pamela Smith 5 years ago

    Amazing work…. the shine and the colors,…. WOW, Thank you for sharing

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