10+ Hours of Watercolor Painting in an 8 Minute Video

10+ Hours of Watercolor Painting in an 8 Minute Video

Can you fit 10 hours of watercolor process into 8 minutes of hyperactive painting? Why yes, yes you can. With a little computer magic and some help from my friends, I’m happy to present my first watercolor painting video.

Summary: 10+ hours of painting in an 8 minute video? I share watercolor painting tips and concepts in a time lapse painting of three storybook characters. Check it out, and share it with your friends.

I am very grateful that I was able to spend the month of January focusing my efforts on a personal storybook project. In the midst of preparing the art work for the story I decided to try something new and to record my painting process. 10 hours of HD video later, I brought the painting to an finish. This of course is when I had the challenge of editing down all that video down to a reasonable size! The film is sped up by 2000%, and has been edited down to less than 8 minutes. (not bad if I do say so myself.) The video focuses on the development of one specific character and contains Pro tips like:

  • Blotting and Scrubbing
  • Graduated Washes
  • Color Harmony
  • Mistakes Made Invisible with Blending
  • Painting Upside Down
  • and Polka Dots!

As luck would have it, a cousin of mine Tim Kulig, of AmbientMusicGroup.com was recently visiting California and made a passing comment that he’d like to work together on something. I took him up on his word, and he was really great to work with. Initially we talked briefly about what we thought would work with the art, I pointed him towards two or three influences. Tim took my suggestions and began working on a tight timeline. He put together a rough cut of the music to be included on the video, right away I knew we were on the same wavelength. The music he created is wonderful on its own and this is partly the reason that I don’t talk over the whole video; I didn’t want to cover up all that good music. I hope you enjoy this process video and will share it with your friends. Remember to go for maximum viewing pleasure and watch it in HD!

I want to hear from you. Let me know if you have any questions about what is happening in the painting. I am considering putting out a few more videos, and I want to answer your questions. You can leave a comment below, use the contact page, or hit me up on twitter, but feel free to get in touch. Thank you for your time.

19 Responses to 10+ Hours of Watercolor Painting in an 8 Minute Video

  1. Thank you so much, what an incredible video. It shows how very talented you are. I love your technique, but most of all I think your compositions are perfect. All the wonderful movement and juxtaposed lines.

  2. Hi Dayne, Thank yo so much for your kindness. It is nice to hear that some of those underlying illustration principles are being appreciated from time to time.

    I am hoping to do some more of these videos, is there anything you’d like to see?

  3. Nicely Done Brian,
    As you know, I’m a big fan of using the time-lapse recording as a means of gain further insight into one’s art. You’ve done a stellar job of capturing this exact usefulness here.

  4. Thanks Patrick! It was sure a lot of fun to film the process. It’s as much a mystery to me how the painting came to be the way it is, so it’s fun to go back and watch it develop. Sometimes I find myself saying things like, “hunh, so that’s what I was doing.”

  5. Hi Paul, thanks for the question. I don’t actually use frisket all that often, but you’re right, that’s a great idea for a quick video. Thanks for the suggestion!

  6. Loved this! Particularly your comment on wishing you could paint faster – so with you there – it takes me 10 – 20 hours on a full painted piece in watercolour. Okay, I’ll ask the geeky question: What paper are you using that allows for such great subtractive technique and what brushes?

  7. Hi Anne,

    Paper, ah yes, the paper. After trying a number of different types. I finally went with the Arches Hot Press blocks. They’re easy and put up with a little scrubbing and what not. By far the best paper/board I’ve used particularly for subtractive work has been the Strathmore 500 series plate finished bristol 4ply, it’s not quite like painting on glass, but it’s close.

  8. Really great video Brian, I shall recommend your site to my students in the UK, shows the levels of detail and the time to layer up and get a really wonderful result! Thanks for taking the time to share!

  9. Loved the video. Easy to watch & learn from. Every now & then the music smothered your voice (at least this fan has less than perfect hearing). Otherwise it was perfection!

  10. Thanks Linda, yes, I was so stoked on the music that I wanted to let it be heard, but you’re not the first to make this comment to me. So, in the event that I produce another video, I’ll endeavor to make things a little clearer.

    I am so happy that it was helpful in some way. If you choose to use any of the tips be sure to let us know!


  11. Brian, absolutely beautiful work. Thank you for some much needed inspiration!
    Also, I like the track you chose.
    Keep all this up.

  12. Thank you so much Chamisa!

    The music you’re listening to was specially created by my good friend Tim especially for this video! Thanks for noticing it.

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