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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ted Nuttall Workshop at RAL


Ted says "fear is part of the process" and as artists we must accept and embrace the fear.

I spent three days at Rehoboth Art League last week at a workshop taught by the award-winning watercolor portrait artist, my friend Ted Nuttall. Ted and I met each other years ago, when we were both graphic designers in Phoenix, AZ and have been friends for a long time. Ted was one of the top designers in our field, with such a strong sense of design, composition, color and conceptualization, it was no surprise to me when he turned his hand to watercolors that he would become one of the top award winners in the country. He now devotes his time to teaching workshops and painting the most stunning portraits of every day people, capturing their character, personality and emotion with his well thought out drawings, luminous washes and meticulously placed "sloppy dots." He starts each day with a slide show of works he admires and concepts he wants to share, answering questions and telling stories to bring home his points in a most entertaining way.

I suggested to Rehoboth Art League, where I am a member, that they bring Ted to Delaware for a workshop. The 3-day workshop was sold out with a waiting list, he has that kind of following. Student/Artists came from Virginia, D.C., and New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware to attend and were interested in bringing him back next year for another. I snapped photos as he worked and here are a few.

Ted uses the finest tools - his "palette" is hand-made in England and his brushes are pure sable, Raphael Kolinsky


His watercolor portraits are amazing and so inspirational! While his work appears loose and spontaneous, he is actually a very thoughtful, careful painter who takes his time to create the illusion of spontaneity.


He is such a generous teacher, telling us and showing us how he creates the feeling of light and shadow


Ted said he loves to paint hands. It shows.


He turns the brush to get the effect he wants and never finishes a painting in a workshop.


He is able to talk and paint at the same time. Here he is mixing a puddle of color while he explains what he is doing and why.


He lets the paint drip down the painting - but controls where he wants it and where he doesn't


Ted demonstrates how he lays on washes for the background


If you have an opportunity to attend one of his workshops, I would recommend it highly. I am still trying to absorb what he said and how he approaches his painting and achieves what he achieves. If I can retain even a portion of it, and try to incorporate it into my own work, I'm certain it can only make it better.

About Ted Nuttall
His website states that: "Ted is a signature member of the American Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society, Transparent Watercolor Society of America, Watercolor West and Western Federation of Watercolor Societies. He teaches watercolor workshops in portraiture and figure painting for arts leagues and organizations throughout the country. His workshops and private classes have been enjoyed by many who have benefitted from his personal and insightful instruction.

Ted's paintings continue to win awards in juried exhibitions throughout the country. This year his painting "Whispering Smith" was selected to hang in the 139th Annual Exhibition of the American Watercolor Society and was the recipient of the Edgar A. Whitney Memorial Award. The Western Federation of Watercolor Societies awarded Ted's piece "In the Twilight of the Forest Noon" and award of excellence. His painting "Her Eyes" was awarded first prize in Watercolor West XXXV Annual show and "Winter Sun | Red Bandanna" won the coveted Skyledge Award (Best of Show) in the 28th Annual Juried Exhibition of the Transparent Watercolor Society of America.

American Artist magazine's 2008 'Watercolor Highlights' featured Ted's painting "Waiting" on the cover and included an article about his background and painting methods as well as examples of his work. In addition, his painting "A Garden in Her Face" has been published in North Light Books' Splash 8 and, another piece, "Ella, San Gimignano" appears in Splash 10." He is also featured in the summer 2010 issue of American Artist Watercolors magazine. To purchase it click here

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