Grapes Watercolor Painting by Prerana Kulkarni - Doodlewash

GUEST ARTIST: “Journey to Magical Watercolors” by Prerana Kulkarni

My name is Prerana Kulkarni. I am an artist based in Southern California, USA. I love to create vibrant and colorful paintings. I am a self-taught artist who has taken short workshops and online classes with master artists like Susan Sarback, Camille Przewodek and Geri Medway to enhance my skills.

I grew up in India and during my school years, I always loved art class. During summer vacations, I used to try out different mediums – watercolor, acrylic, fabric paints etc. – all on my own!! But I never had formal instruction. Later, I got busy with studying engineering college, job, life…

In 2008, I took my very first oil painting workshop in a community college and fell in love with the painting process. Within 3 years, I started getting selected in local juried shows. I was inspired by the feeling that even others had started liking my paintings!!

The experience of creating brought profound joy to me and it almost felt like I got addicted to the smell of oil paints and palette knife painting. Each year, I took intensive week-long workshops with master artists and for the rest of the year practiced in my studio. And this journey continues… painting became my passion!!

Leaves Watercolor Painting by Prerana Kulkarni - Doodlewash

In 2016, I rediscovered myself with watercolor painting. I just started to experiment on my own and was stunned by the results! Specially, I liked my flower paintings better in watercolors. So I continued to paint even in larger sizes and started getting into national juried shows!

Bird Of Paradise Watercolor Painting by Prerana Kulkarni - Doodlewash

So now, I paint both in oils and watercolors. In whatever medium or subject I choose to paint, I first try to find an interesting composition of light and shadow shapes. Then, I study the effect of light and try to capture the light in my paintings. I paint from photographs for the most part. But for still life paintings, I like to paint from a live setup.

My Inspiration is light anywhere and everywhere! I paint pets, flowers, fruits, still life, portraits – and inspiration has always come to me by the beauty of the natural world, as well as fond memories.

For my oil paintings, I paint in an impressionist style using a palette knife. One, I like the texture of the painting when a palette knife is used and two, cleanup is a breeze. Just wipe with kitchen towel and you’re done! It also produces a clean paint on the canvas. The oil paints I use are M. Graham Artists’ oil colors and I use canvas panels. The last couple of years or so, I am working on watercolor paintings and developing a series on florals.

Orange Rose Watercolor Painting by Prerana Kulkarni - Doodlewash

Interestingly, my watercolor florals are created in realist style. Don’t know how that happened! I mostly use Maimeri Blu Artist Colors. I do have a few Winsor & Newton and Holbein colors too. The paper I use is natural white Arches Paper, either 140 lb OR 300 lb coldpress. Typically, for a painting bigger than 16×20 inches, I like to use 300 lb Arches coldpress since it is a bit heavier.

In terms of techniques, I never mix 2 or more different colors on my palette. I use the palette only to mix water into a color to vary its intensity. Instead, I use a glazing/layering technique a lot to achieve a desired color in my watercolor paintings. In other words, all my “color mixing” happens directly on the paper.

This technique allows me to work on my paintings over multiple days, a little bit at a time. I find this very useful since I have limited time to paint at the end of the day after my day job and house chores.

While doing all of the above, I do teach private students or conduct workshops on demand. I feel teaching someone is a very valuable experience and very satisfying to see a student making progress in their desired medium.

My Artistic Challenge And Fun Project

I like to take up challenges, my last one was live painting in an opening ceremony at the Anaheim Convention Center. The stage was huge, with live musicians on one side and my painting setup on other side. In the center of stage were Indian Classical dancers.

The music was Indian Classical music, representing the theme “five elements of nature”. My challenge was to create a 5 x 9 foot painting on canvas in 12 minutes, in the designated theme and presenting a magical experience in front of a 4000+ audience. It was an absolutely fulfilling experience!!

I hope my paintings bring JOY and COLOR into your life!!

Prerana Kulkarni

Recommended8 recommendationsPublished in Featured Artists

38 thoughts on “GUEST ARTIST: “Journey to Magical Watercolors” by Prerana Kulkarni

  1. Prerana, your work is gorgeous in both oil and watercolor, each revealing depth and light so beautifully. Your eye for detail is evident in both mediums but the dense texture of oil gives way to the fluidity of watercolor paints. The performance piece, literally a live performance of art creation, is truly amazing to watch.

  2. Love all your work, Di, however my favourites are your florals! They are truly mesmerising! It’s really difficult to take my eyes off them! So proud of you and everything that you do! Looking forward to more awesomeness from you!

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