Fun With Watercolors in NYC

March 23rd, 2010 | Posted in General

Hermann at work

I just got back last night from a quick weekend trip to NYC where illustrators Ed Steckley, Ray Alma and I got the rare opportunity to work with the fantastic Hermann Mejia while he shared some of his watercolor expertise with us at Ed’s pad in Sunnyside (Queens). I haven’t really worked much with watercolor before (took a class once a million years ago), so this was a pretty new experience for me. I loved getting a chance to hang out with these talented artists, experiment with a new medium and especially to watch a true master of watercolor work his magic.

Ed slings some pigment

Herman shows how to lay down a large color area

Hermann works with the slow student…

Ed’s wife Heather’s put on a lavish spread of food!

I did a few color studies and basically dabbled about with the paints:

Overworked the hell out of this one…

This one was looser and much less labored over…

I liked the medium quite a bit, and I’m sure we’ll see some watercolor “sketches” now and again for the “sketch o’the week”. Actually some of the stuff I learned I’ll out to use doing my ink wash caricatures of the LOST cast… which continues tomorrow!


  1. jert says:

    wow, looks like a well spent weekend in new york! Awesome!

  2. Ed Steckley says:

    Yah- You can take Tom out of the Queens, but you can’t take the queen out of…. Oh wait, forget it.

  3. Kamal Dollah says:

    What were you coloring with during the pre-Wacom age? I always assume its watercolor.

  4. Caryn says:

    Wish I didn’t have to work that day . . . glad you boys had fun.

  5. Mike says:

    wow! these are great!!!

  6. corbett says:

    Sounds like a great time. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall.

    I’ve been doing a lot of watercolor caricature lately. The end result is decent enough but overworked due to my painfully obvious lack of painting instruction.
    What I’d really like is to zero in on a technique similar to Elder and Davis, with a strong pencil drawing (and shading) underneath, with watercolor on top.

    Stuff looks great, Tom. Look forward to seeing your watercolor work evolve.

  7. Artisticulated says:

    This just goes to prove once again that if your drawing fundamentals are strong, playing with other/new mediums is not too big of a stretch.

    Ooo, I just thought of a metaphor: Drawing is the rhythm section of visual art. Think of jazz music. Lay down a good beat, and it’s easy to play around and still make good music on top of it.

  8. jert says:

    Wow, I can’t believe Ed actually had food in his apartment

  9. Wow, incredible stuff Tom! What a treat to sit down and paint and snack with Ed and Hermann!

  10. Great work, Tom! You’ve inspired me to explore this a bit. Fascinating!

  11. Greg Oakes says:

    a gathering of greatness!!! those are fantastic tom; hermann’s a great teacher eh!? 🙂 ps. watercolour is like meditating i find; the beer just adds to the ambiance! 😉 lol

  12. I really enjoy water color and it give us Caricaturist a break from line work! Great choices of beer, and love the arrangement of culinary delight! Did you ever add any high lights with gouache?

  13. Chari =0) says:

    Some of my most favorite people (and most talented cartoonists) all in one room. Amazing!! Glad you guys got to catch the fabulous NYC weather…fantastic work, as always!

  14. Elizabeth Pankey says:

    What a treat seeing your watercolor play. This is the kind of play we should be doing at the ISCA conventions. Learn by doing, not just watching. Herman Mejia is SO talented and a gentleman.

  15. Mugshotz says:

    You gotta tell Hermann to put a DVD out there with some basic watercolor technique. I haven’t touched that media as well, in years and this gives me some inspiration as well. My watercolors used to look really washed out and ran all over the place. I’d love to learn some proper technique.

  16. Daniel says:

    How do you get rid of the pencil lines in your sketch my watercolor never hids you just draw them lightly? Thanks

    • Tom says:

      Yes, the lines are drawn lightly and a lot of the form is suggested in line rather than completely drawn out. They melt away under the paint.

  17. Kelton Hamm says:

    Watercolor tutorial? hmm???

  18. sharprm says:

    I really like the Matt Damon! More please 🙂

  19. jimh says:

    Really nice stuff Tom – what a treat!


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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