I have reached a roadblock with my goals as an artist. My main medium for many years has been watercolors. I have created hundreds of detailed watercolors in the right sets, colors, and styles.
Recently I have had a challenge when being accepted into the art print market. For example I go to a top print manufacturer that has 100,000 or more images they use. I type in "watercolor" in the search box to get an idea of the market. What came up was a whopping 6 watercolor paintings.
My point is, there is a customer base that prefers watercolor prints, but watercolorists have been closed off to pursue certain avenues from the publishers. This is not the case for some watercolor illustrators, I am not an illustrator but more of a traditional artist.
Out of hundreds of watercolors on my online gallery at http://www.derekmccrea.50megs.com I have very very few acrylics. The acrylics I did honestly were simple, easy, and not very time consuming. Many of my watercolors took weeks, and sometimes months. Still I receive the most praise from viewers on the acrylics.
I went to a juried art show last weekend in Auburn, Alabama. At the show I had a mix of about 90% complex watercolors and 10% simple acrylics. Based on the customer reaction the acrylics won hands down. Then I had an inside juried show at the Salon Exhibit in North GA, oils won 5 categories and photography won the other 2. Did I mention 1/2 of the art on the wall was watercolor?
Why do customers and publishers prefer acrylics so much over watercolors? I mean that "main" print company had 6 images out of 100,000+ that were prints from watercolors. That is not even 1%.
Needless to say, I may be spending more time on acrylics in the future, I know I can produce acrylics in the right color, style and what is hot. But why should artists need to do that to continue growth in certain markets? There are niches for every media, why is the watercolor medium earning so little respect?
Give me your honest opinions!
Art by Derek McCrea
US Army by Profession
Visual Artist by Choice
I suspect that the reason people prefer oils and acrylics is that the colors in those media are more intense. I am not saying that it should be that way, just that it appears to be so. I notice in your watercolors a great diversity of moods. There is also subtlety in watercolor as, for example when colors are layered or when they fade.
Just my thoughts,
Thanks for your feedback--that is what folks have been telling me, but I have still stuck to watercolors mostly, more a hobby than to make a living. Honestly what has been the best is commissions of my subjects where customers send me a photo, ie cabins, houses, storefronts, boats, lighthouses, but customers have not been buying by already painted hundreds of paintings. I think it is the economy, and people will spend the money for a keepsake that has sentimental value like a painting of their grandparents home. This week I painted a painting of the house on the Tom Hanks movie, "The Green Mile." It was an honor to paint that painting.
People are numb and looking for inspiration wherever they can find it. The new artist has to find a way to speak to that dead part and create a spark, a green sprout. Most people think it's color because color is emotional. They're wrong. We know that because the 'color' artwork they picked for their sofa is invisible within days.
The dilemma for the artist was always to feel first and then paint. The new artist has to feel it to the bone, then make the appreciator feel it, too. It's more about language of emotion and how that translates to line, color and subject. I don't envy you, but will be happy to applaud if you can pull it off. :)