GUEST ARTIST: “Painting Tutorials” by Michael Salmon

These lovely doodlewashes come from Michael Salmon in Morro Bay, California (follow him on Google+). Many people have asked about video tutorials on how to make a doodlewash, so I thought why not let a talented guest artist show you how it’s done?!

Michael has created a video for each of the paintings above so you can follow along and make your own version! (be sure to subscribe to his YouTube channel as well!) Here are the videos, starting at the top left and moving clockwise in the image above:





Michael started painting about a decade ago as a way to relieve stress during his lunch hour. He’s a computer technician and says, “I thought forcing myself to deal with something that is completely analog and not digital would be a way to keep me from getting stressed out during the day.”

When you paint every day, the number of paintings you have stack up, so he would hang them in his office. People stopping by to see him would often comment on them. “They could see me getting better and would offer words of encouragement.”

Buoyed by their comments, he kept right on painting and trying to do something new each day or each week. He painted this way for about six or seven years. Eventually he made a small studio in his garage which is where he paints now. He goes out to his studio and paints for an hour or so each night.

“I have no formal artistic training,” he says. “In fact, the last painting class I took was in a junior high school art class. Much like everything else I’ve learned in life I’ve read about a thousand books on the subject of watercolor.”

Looking back at his early work, he thinks it is some of the best work he has ever done. “I didn’t know what I was ‘supposed’ to be doing when I painted,” he says. “So all the ‘accidents’ I had were, to me, exciting. I tried to incorporate these into my paintings.”

Over time, he found he was trying to include everything he was reading about into his paintings. “It got to be so much,” he says, “I was unsure of what I was doing. Instead of doing things my way, I was painting everybody else’s way. It got to be maddening.” So he took a step back for a couple of months and didn’t paint anything at all.

“I really just wanted to get away from it all,” he says, “but the draw of painting and sketching was too much and I had to start again. This time, when I started, I wanted to do things my way. I try not to follow anybody’s method. I know that I make a lot of mistakes. Some of those mistakes are maddening, and some are wonderful.”

Michael started posting his paintings on his blog so that his family in the Midwest could keep up with what he was doing. “They knew I was painting and kept asking,” he says, “so I caved and put them up. I continue this, and since I get asked about it, many times I post my rationale for painting a particular subject, or how I went about painting it.”

For Michael, YouTube is a very recent thing. “I started making my own videos not only to help anybody learning to paint, but to reinforce in my own mind what I was doing… if I can help somebody to feel as good about painting as I do then I think I’ve done something good.”

“I’ve recently been bestowed with what I feel is a tremendous honor. I have been told that if I have the desire to, I would be given the opportunity to lead a watercolor painting class at the university at which I work.”

That’s exciting news, Michael, and thanks so much for sharing your wonderful videos with us! Be sure to follow him on Google+, YouTube, Facebook and his blog for more! 

Recommended1 recommendationPublished in Featured Artists, Tutorials

11 thoughts on “GUEST ARTIST: “Painting Tutorials” by Michael Salmon

  1. I’m supposed to have my internet back later today so hopefully I’ll be able to watch tonight! I’m addicted to YouTube so this is perfect!! Will follow on G+! Thanks!

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