Hello, I am Rob Nopola from the north metro of Minneapolis, Minnesota (follow me on Instagram and Flickr!). I have been drawing digitally for over 25 years, as a mechanical, electrical and now graphic designer. I also enjoy digital photography.
All these years sitting in front of a monitor for work and pleasure tapped out my creativity. Last autumn I decided to get back to my pencil and paper drawing roots in my high school days and have fun. Enter analog art. I bought a number of Moleskine Arts notebooks and an assortment of Derwent and Pentel graphite pencils. Of course this was only shades of gray; color was missing.
As a newbie to watercolor painting, I find it a fun and frustrating challenge. When I think I figured it out, something goes awry, one wash bleeds into the next. Be patient, let the wash dry. But that’s its beauty and the fun is in the learning.
I am painting on 300g/m Strathmore Watercolor paper with Winsor & Newton and Da Vinci tube watercolor paints and various brushes. I also paint in Moleskine Watercolor notebooks. Currently, I am going through my photos to sketch on paper with 2B pencil or Micron pens. I am finding watercolors an extension of sketching, layers of washes creating tones of color. I do like the simple colorwash sketches but to paint a composed scene is quite thrilling.
Inspiration comes from many forms. Everyday life provides many vignettes worthy of capture. My cell camera is perfect for these captures for later reference. And yes, it does get spattered with watercolor wash.
Instagram has been a fun source experiencing so many wonderful artists and their art. Its like having an art community and art crawl every day. I find watercolors fascinating with their translucence and the differing styles from sketches, detailed paintings to impressionism. I’m anxious to explore the different styles. But first, let the wash dry.