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Friday, May 18, 2012

Charles Reid

Charles Reid is an artist, teacher and author known around the world. He has authored eleven books on painting which are directed toward students at all levels. His use of beautiful clean color and his capture of light creates a look of freshness and spontaneity that immediately grabs your senses and brings you into his work. His drawing skills are masterful.

Charles, you paint equally well with oil and watercolors. Could you say that watercolor is your priority?
I learned to paint in oils and spent several years doing large figurative paintings and was admitted to The National Academy of Design . I won some prizes.
Then to earn a living for my family I became an instructor a t a correspondence school -The Famous Artists School. My wife Judith had been supporting as she had to go back to teaching school.

Charles Reid. Joseph in his Cavalry Jacket. 17x24. 2006

How did you meet watercolor media?
My supervisor at Famous Artists needed a someone to do WC figure painting and that's how I became a WC painter. I adopted my oil technique to watercolor. Starting with mid darks and darks as one does in oil then adding my lighter tones. This is the basic idea but I often start with lighter values but I never think of glazing with overwashes from light to dark.

Charles Reid

What is your color theory? How do you manage with a limited palette to create such a colorful world?
People find my approach unique which is odd. I simply try for a final result in the most direct way possible. The more one mixes water colour pigments the tired they get so why not use them in their freshest

Charles Reid`s painting box

Do you re-paint some areas or only one attempt is aloud?
I try never to correct-if some opaque white helps- that's fine but I like Fabriano paper which is wonderful for first washes but is too soft for much correcting.

Do you always paint from live models or you can also use reference photos?
I have done lots of illustration work from photos and think thats fine . I n recent classes I've used turn of the century Black and White pictures as reference. The class has to imagie colors and the old pictures help to simplify the light - midlights.

Charles Reid. My Favorite Painters. 26x20. 2007

What is the part of imagination in your work? Do you attempt to make your audience to use it`s imagination?
It seems some good painting should leave some work for the viewer. What's the fun if everything is spelled out?
I say "Some" since so much current WC painting is done in the studio with exact reference. I don't know how these pictures are done. Some are excellent so I can't pass judgement.

Charles Reid

How do you determine the point when the work is complete?
I know when a picture is done when I make a false stroke . In a watercolor each stroke counts and the artist should keep count of the strokes they make.

Charles Reid. Quite fresh painting from Spain.

How the audience affects you during the demonstration?
I'm fortunate to be friends of Tony Bennett and Gene Wilder and we all agree that a supportive audience is crucial .

Charles Reid. Close-up painting.

How long it take to understand the needs of a new audience in a new place?
Every group I work with has a unique personality but I just try to be myself.

Could you do without watercolors?
I couln't be without my wife Judy and without painting in that order.

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