Category: resources

The Outer Limits – Income Beyond the Art Gallery

The first few years of my university art education were spent thinking that if I could not sell or show my work in a gallery, then I could not be an artist of worth, nor able to earn an income. My future seemed inextricably tied to a particular community which I never felt that I fit into, being primarily a fantasy artist. Angels and elves never quite fit right next to abstract expressionism and moody landscapes. Fantasy was not ‘fine art’ nor ‘classical’ and was therefore unworthy of being shown in galleries (though this is thankfully changing in recent times!)

It seemed foolish and hopeless to think that an artist could be worthwhile or make a living any other way. A worthless dreamer was I who could not find a place in a gallery without tearing up bits of journals pages and pretending some kind of political or personal agenda was imbued into each piece of work. This sort of work has its place, but I did not feel that it was mine. I reserve my emotions for other means of expression.

Years passed. I started moving in different circles. Research began for my MA thesis on e-marketing for artists. My field of vision began to widen as I found more and more cases of artists such as Valentina Trevino, more commonly known as Val of ValsArtDiary.

A relatively young artist in her 20’s, Val was like many artists who come out of school feeling hopeless, unable to find gallery representation, and working meaningless jobs to pay the bills. She became independently successful after setting up her own website and marketing herself via social media. She is most well known for her videos on YouTube that showcase her painting process. Each video ends with a link to an eBay auction where one can purchase her paintings. Within 2 years, she had had found success and sold every single one of her original paintings.

It is with Val’s example in mind that I am hopeful in pursuing my own path outside the Gallery market. My Thesis research revealed a myriad of options from art licensing to selling face to face at art fairs to video and online marketing a la Val’s strategy. All of which I hope to talk more about here as I prepare to do some ‘field research’ for my own art career.

Welcome to the outer limits of the art world, my friend! I hope to stay awhile.

Resources – Watercolors


– Check out my latest offerings at Esty. Lots of new pendants up! Plus a special offer for those on DeviantART.

– New paintings in my Fantasy & Scifi Gallery

+ Verdant Muse
+ Angel of Purity

Lately, I’ve been brushing up on my reading to make sure my skills are sharp for my current projects and it struck me that I should put my obsessive-compulsive researching to good use! I have a fortunate (or unfortunate) habit of collecting art books, links, and all manner of things and figured I would share what I have with you all. In turn, I hope you will suggest other good sources so I can add them to my lists!


Painting Weathered Buildings in Pen, Ink, and Watercolor by Claudia Nice
Nice’s books on watercolors are some of the best I’ve seen with plenty of suggestions on how to create textures in watercolor by blending media, using rubbing alcohol, sewing threads, and plenty of unexpected things!

Creating Textures in Pen & Ink with Watercolor by Claudia Nice
More of the same quality as the last book with tons of illustrations and a focus on creating natural forms and textures.

Dreamscapes: Creating Magical Angel, Faery & Mermaid Worlds In Watercolor by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
This is technically meant for fantasy artists, but I find that the techniques concerning texture and design are applicable to all artists interested in watercolors. Flipping through the full color pages jammed with fantastical creatures always gets me inspired. Pui-Mun’s work also possesses a particular grace that’s often absent in most fantasy-themed art instruction books,which are generally very cartoonish with generic character designs.


The Handprint Watercolor Guide – An excellent, extensive, and easy to understand guide about everything from brushes to paints and methods.

The National Watercolor Society – A great place to consider joining. They host open exhibitions, activities, and other such things that are good for career building. – A handy compilation of images, info, and free tutorials.


Bob Davies’ Tutorials – An awesome beginner’s video tutorial by bob Davies. Be sure to check out the rest of his easy to understand tutorials on watercolors, watercolor pencils, etc. I really enjoyed his voice and laid back sense of humor as well.

Watercolor Tutorial by Clap-San – A glimpse into doing a more light and airy style with watercolor by DeviantARTist, Clap-san.

Want more? Keep an eye on the Resources Section of my forum. Suggest your own resources too! What are your personal favorite resources concerning watercolors?