New DVD finally released!

Four years ago I started work on a water-colour painting and filming the work-in-progress, step by step. It was to be a chapter in a new art educational DVD I planned to produce.

Filming the work in progress in my studio
Recording ambient sound in the woods
Little did I know then of how my life would turn out and how many other plans would radically change.
Nevertheless I couldn't let this project go and I kept coming back to it. I painted other watercolours, filming the work as the paintings progressed. Then in the time consuming editing process I wasn't satisfied with the result, I wanted this video to be something special. So other paintings came and went and the DVD project kept being put aside.

At last I decided to make a big effort to get it finished. Choosing four of the paintings I was most satisfied with, I edited the large amount of footage taken during the work on these. I could finally compile the chapters for a 74 minute DVD called Depth and Detail in Watercolour.
I can't count how many times I had promised my distribution agent Peter at Pulsar Productions Australia that the DVD was soon to be finished. I am so very grateful for his patience and encouragement through the years.

So here it is folks, the trailer for the DVD. The full length film (with on-screen text describing all the colours etc) is now available world wide both as a physical DVD and as streaming on-line video.  Get the full version DVD here


(If you have a good connection choose to watch this trailer in HD quality) 

PS I have just received this testimony from a customer:
I love Elizabeth's grit and unique style.  This DVD was so much more than I expected.  She shows you how to use every resource and that you don't need a shiny new box of paints to create a masterful work of art.  Thank you
Crystal Lindenberger


Waves on stones

Sunny days with cloudless skies are not always an advantage when painting watercolours. Especially here in Greece when the sun burns like a furness, mercilessly from dawn to dusk. The colours dry too fast, the heat is sometimes unbearable and it's not always practical to find a place in the shade or rig up a large parasol. In the first light of the early morning though or just after sunset the remaining light has a fascinating, almost magnetic attraction. On the beach at this time there is also the advantage of fewer people around to disturb.
My method of working is often a combination of sketching/painting plein air and photographing the subject to work on later when the light changes. For detailed work I  usually take a few items like stones, weed etc. back with me to my "floating studio".
In these latest works I wanted to experiment in depicting breaking waves and the movement of water juxtaposed against the hard, static, shiny wet stones.
After masking the upper edges of where the stones should be I literally poured diluted blue colours onto wet paper and tilted the drawing board in different directions to render the flow of the waves. By working wet into wet I avoided any hard edges and kept the impression of the sea in soft focus. When this was dry I could continue with the details of the wet stones, carefully keeping small patches of dry clean paper as highlights. 
To get the effect of splashing water in soft focus over the background stones I painted diagonal stripes with clean water and absorbed surplus colour with paper napkins.



"Resting pebbles"                                             watercolour 42x 66 cm                                              © Elizabeth Tyler 2015

Pebbles on the beach have always fascinated me. They are universal, they can be seen anywhere in the world. This happens to be on a Greek beach but the stones, pebbles and sand all amount to the same thing, or do they? 

Not unlike human beings, every single one of them has it's own personality, shaped and coloured by the environment they happen to be situated in. Some are firmly set and embedded in the underlying sand where they have been for years. Others roll around and dance with every wave and even pretend they can float on air. Some have a rough, structured surface, bleached by the sun, others are polished smooth, almost transparent, every day absorbing and reflecting the warm glow of the sun.
That's the fascinating thing about people - I mean pebbles...


Feedback about my ebook "Watercolour in Detail"

I would like to share a couple of the warming, positive comments I have received about my ebook "Watercolour in Detail". (If you're wondering: No, I haven't written these myself!)
Larali wrote: I hope someone realizes you belong in Art History.  To immortalize your techniques, your genius and your passion for beauty will inspire and enable generations to come to follow their dreams.  Thanks for sharing, in this digital age, your amazing talent and provide us, the contemporaries, a glimpse of a Master.
Crystalheart9 wrote:
This ebook is a fantastic resource of watercolor technique and information. I have just recently purchased it and have learned some wonderful new ways of using watercolors. Anyone who wants to paint with watercolor should purchase this beautiful ebook.

For those of you who haven't seen the presentation video about the ebook, here it is
( if the video above doesn't start automatically click on this link instead:  )
This is a short presentation about my ebook which is available online for instant download.
The description of the book is as follows:

This ebook in PDF format is primarily written for those who have worked with watercolour for some time, but also new beginners will find help and inspiration. In the course of giving tips and ideas, practical advice and instruction many rules are broken in a different approach to the traditional concept of watercolour painting
“Watercolour in detail” has 106 pages with 224 illustrations.

Apart from methods, tools and techniques the 14 chapters cover a wide range of subject matter including flowers, animals, people and buildings. Also how to paint the sky and the sea, fruit and vegetables and subjects on the beach. What to take with you when travelling with watercolours and how to find unusual subjects by taking a closer look. A chapter about painting watercolours in large formats covers  important things to consider before starting. The book also dedicates a few pages to mistakes and how to avoid them or correct them when things went wrong anyway.
Finally there are some hints and words of advice about how to look after your finished work.

Sell Digital Goods from A Plus Download File Hosting Service If you would like the book it costs 19.95 USD and payment is processed securely by Paypal. Note: The pdf book works on any computer. For iPad just download to your computer first, then transfer it using iTunes.
You can also see more about it at


Seagull in storm - work in progress

During the latest winter storm  here in Sweden, I drove to Kullaberg, a beautiful high and rocky headland which reaches out in the Kattegat. This is a favourite destination of mine where I knew the waves would be just about as high as they get around here. The sea is quite deep and the coastline exposed to the north westerly winds.
I took a great number of reference photographs for this painting and combined them to compose this view of a seagull hovering over the waves. The dark rocks served as a backdrop to set off the gull and a contrast to the blue-green foaming waves.

Scroll down and see some step by step shots of the painting in progress...

I started by drawing some guidelines to keep track of the composition. The outline of the gull was taped before painting the dark brown background.

The different shades of the waves blue and green colours where roughly blocked in using thin washes of Ultramarine, Paynes grey, Pthalo blue green and cerulean blue.  Titanium white was painted where the foam should be. I used my fingers to smudge the transitions.

I spent some time painting the different shades of brown in both the rocks and the gull.

The markings and shadows under the gulls wings where rendered in blue, umber and burnt sienna. I added white highlights where the low lying sun touched the outlines of the gull.
 I worked for hours on the details of the frothing waves, using small brushes and feathering any hard lines with a soft dry fan brush.

Covering the gull with a thin wash of
white to bring it forward and
create a contrast to the background 


Drama in New York!

On the second day of my New York visit I wasn't feeling well but tried to ignore it and met up with May for another tour of galleries in the city. After that it was a great privilege to be invited to the Manhattan home of May and her husband Bob. I was able to study May's impressive works of art while Bob entertained on the grand piano. I really and thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful music, amazing artworks and an awesome view of the sunset over the Hudson river.
Unfortunately though my stay in New York didn't turn out to be so perfect as it started off. In the evening, back in my room at Queens, my stomach pains got unbearable. I was alone in the apartment so I rang May to ask for advice, she told me to ring 911.
It was definitely not on my bucket list to be dashed across New York in an ambulance with flashing lights and and howling sirens, but that's what happened next! 

A rough sketch of the ambulance
I was taken to New York Presbyterian hospital in Manhattan and after 24 hours in the emergency department the diagnosis was: acute diverticulitis. After that It turned out that I couldn't tolerate the antibiotics they prescribed so I had to stay for another 5 days. 
That was my week in New York!
So for the 2nd time on this trip I missed my flight, this time it was my trip home that wasn't possible.

Skyline of Manhattan just before sundown

On the very last day of my extended stay in New York I was grateful to be collected by car and taken to Staten island for dinner and sightseeing. Thanks to the great initiative and effort of Lynn and Tom and the kind hospitality of Josefine. 

I did finally get to see a glimpse of the statue of liberty (far left) from Staten island.

Fortunately I had a travel insurance. They payed the hospital bill, arranged and payed a hotel room after my discharge from the hospital and a new flight home. All in all a bill of 33,000 USD!!! 
I will never ever travel anywhere without insurance!

Arrival to New York

From Washington I took the Amtrak again to New York, a trip of just 3 hours. On arrival to Penn station I just had to take the subway to Queens where my Airbnb apartment was booked. The plan was OK in theory but I wasn't prepared for the reality of actually standing alone in bewilderment on a typical New York street. The noise, the lights, the traffic, the crowds, everything impacted on my brain like being hit by a train! 
I had to find the subway and looked for any sign with SUBWAY on it. I wandered around trailing all my baggage behind me and finally found a big neon sign SUBWAY. 
Making a mad dash through the traffic I realised then that no trains whatsoever would be leaving there and no tickets could be bought either, 
only sandwiches and coffee.
Finally I found the real subway and took the train to Queens. 
Another misunderstanding happened when I got tired and really needed a rest. There were signs with restrooms in many places but they had only a toilet, no sofa or bed to lie on....
The next day I had arranged to meet my Facebook friend and colleague the artist May Trien Rolstad for the first time in real life. We met up at the MOMA to see several exhibitions including Matisse 
Later May took me to see the fascinating art students league building where there also was an interesting exhibition of very talented students.
We also managed to see some gallery shows and attend the opening of this amazing exhibition with works of Julio Reyes


Washington DC

When I booked my trip to the US to participate in the International guild of Realism exhibition in Charleston I extended my stay in the country to include Washington and New York. Airports look very much the same all over the world so I decided to take the train instead of flying. With the Amtrak from Charleston to Washington DC I could watch the scenery pass by for 9 hours. At first there were miles of cotton fields and beautiful farm houses. Later there were small towns that looked like props from an old western film. Derelict factories and mobile home parks intercepted by woodlands and creeks gradually gave way to more densely built up areas until I arrived in Washington.

I had booked a room via Airbnb just 20 minutes by metro. It turned out to be in a very large and beautiful, old house overlooking the Rock Creek park. The view from my window was filled with glowing autumn colours and it was hard to imagine I was in fact in Washington DC. The house itself was so inspiring to be in as it was filled with art created by very talented family members. My hosts made me feel very welcome.

The next day I took the metro to the Mall where all the museums are. I managed to visit 5 of them before my feet protested and my brain refused to digest anymore input. It was a great experience to see the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum  ( I was so surprised to realise that the space capsule that took 3 men to the moon is only a third of the size of my boat!)
The National Gallery of Art was also very enlightening with the original paintings I had otherwise only known from art books.
The National Museum of the American Indian was a special experience. Not only are the collections of art and crafts amazing but also the architecture of the building itself is awesome. Here I ate a special, delicious and healthy lunch made according to an original Cherokee recipe.
I also saw a very inspiring exhibition of award winning photographs at the museum of natural history.
After that my aching feet just managed to take me to the White House but they forgot I was coming so I could only say hello to President Obama's squirrel.
The next day I promised myself to take it easy and just go for a short walk along the creek. I ended up walking for hours all the way to the Washington Zoo and back.
Apart from many exotic animals, I met this policeman on duty, or as they say in american english "A law enforcement officer"
He asked me if he should take a photo of me on the vehicle but I said no, I wouldn't trust a stranger with my camera!

Stay tuned for the next blogpost about my dramatic stay in New york!