Seascape Watercolour Painting by Tony White

GUEST ARTIST: “My World In Watercolour” by Tony White

My name is Tony White and I’m from Tasmania, Australia. I wake up, having dreamed about painting and make my way to the kitchen to make a coffee. As the dark, golden espresso drips consistently from the spout, I steam my milk. It transforms from thin to a luscious, velvety liquid that pairs perfectly with the double-shot of espresso that awaits.

As I pour the milk into the coffee, to create one of the best ‘marriages’ in the culinary world, it occurs to me that I need to do a painting, using only espresso, with no paint. I did that and although the coffee painting was a long time ago and unsuccessful, it was a turning point.

Landscape Watercolour Painting by Tony WhiteAs a kid, I always drew stuff. I was never very good, but perhaps better than the kid next to me, most of the time. I remember having a set of water paints given to me as a gift. They were little round cakes of barely-there pigment. It came with a little brush that had about 5 hairs in it. I was around 9 years old. It was great fun. I remember being upset when certain colours ran out.

Rural Landscape Watercolour Painting by Tony White

It was then that I accidentally started to learn how to mix colours. When I was a teenager, an elderly English lady moved next door to us and became fast friends with my Mum. I hadn’t painted since the old cakes ran out years earlier, but when I found out our new neighbour (Beatrice) was a watercolourist, I was immediately hooked again.

She was great. She bought me a set of Winsor & Newton Artist quality paints with the proviso that I paint with her in her studio. I did. It was amazing. She taught me so much about paint being fresh and expressive and vibrant. I loved those days.

Abstract Flowers Watercolour Painting by Tony White

Unfortunately, she moved away, and I stopped painting. This whole time, I also played guitar, so music took over for the next 20 years or so.

I was inspired one day to pick it up again, so I got some materials, set up a spare room as a studio and away I went. I was hooked. Again. It was around this time that the coffee incident happened. It is true that I dream about painting. I did then. I do now. I love it. It is infectious.

I began attending workshops of some of the greats in the field and I was soon inspired to teach a workshop myself. My local Art Society hosted it and it was full and a great success. I used to teach guitar, so I have always loved the teaching side of things, so it was a natural fit. I love it.

Materials I use are Schmincke paints, Saunders Waterford 300g ROUGH paper and various brushes. I have been paying a lot of attention to my Youtube channel that is slowly growing. I love teaching. Making tutorial videos for YouTube is very satisfying as it gives me direct contact with other artists and students all around the world.

I am lucky enough to have begun gaining a strong reputation as a tutor and having quit my day job a little over a year ago, I am keeping busy, teaching all over Australia and starting to head overseas with it as well.

Street Scene Watercolour Painting by Tony White
Tony White Watercolour Artist Photo Watercolor

I am inspired by light. Even in the most innocuous of scenes, if the light is dramatic and the mood is misty or sharp or rainy, then I’m in. I believe a painting should move you emotionally and if you have to explain it, then it isn’t doing its job.

If I had any advice for anyone out there, it would be to immerse yourself totally into your painting. Be a student of the greats. Copy them for a while but be very conscious to develop your OWN style and vision. It takes time and it is forever evolving. Keep going. Paint. Paint. Paint.

Tony White

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38 thoughts on “GUEST ARTIST: “My World In Watercolour” by Tony White

  1. “I believe a painting should move you emotionally and if you have to explain it, then it isn’t doing its job.” This is a very profound and accurate statement. It’s true of any visual medium. Your work is lovely. I really like the rich neutrals. They’re delicious.

  2. I’ve always enjoyed Tony’s work having followed him on Instagram for a long time now but it’s great to learn so much more about him via this feature! Thanks so much for sharing Charlie, all the very best!

  3. Such a great article! I love the story about the neighbor who inspired you to paint again. I remember those watercolor cakes in pans with that same kind of brush we used in kindergarten. I really like your style and the play with light. Let us know in the US if you will be coming this way to teach!

  4. Your work is amazing! I started watching one of your videos and I am mesmerized by your skills. I wasn’t able to finish watching it, but will definitely return! I did enjoy your quick video on quick tips. Too funny, but down to earth! Thanks for sharing your work and story.

  5. Wonderful reading your evolution into a watercolourist. …and exactly for those reasons that you’ve written ….light quality, rain, mist….that I love watercolours. Your work is superb.

  6. Thank you to everyone for the kind words and support of my work. Too kind. I really appreciate it. Please subscribe to my Youtube channel if you haven’t already. I’ll be posting there a lot more often starting now…. 🙂 Thanks again and thanks to Charlie for featuring my story and work.

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