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Society Joan Ashley Rothermel Memorial Award in 
2017 and the Transparent Watercolor Society of America (TWSA) Founders’ 
Award in 2012. He’s a signature member of TWSA, the American Watercolor 
Society and the National Watercolor Society, and a TWSA board member.
“Architectural illustration is exact-
ing; everything is clean and in sharp 
focus,” he says. “I’ve always loved i gur-
ing out perspective as well, so I enjoyed
the work. I had to render all the angles,
planes and details correctly, or the 
architect would call right away. Since 
what I was painting didn’t yet exist,
I had to construct formulas for how 
light worked in shadows, and with 
rel ections on dif erent materials and 
forms. h is really helps me understand 
how to translate odd things happening 
in reference photos. In my painting,
I still like to i gure out all the planes 
and forms—even if they’re all in 
shadow or mostly hidden in a large, 
dark shape—so they’re lit correctly.
I i nd that resolution comforting.”
In spite of the success of this 
approach, Jablokow still hankers after 
looser, more adventurous painting. 
“h e big downside is I’m way too stif 
and exact,” he says. “I need to keep 
moving away from that. It will come 
when I’m ready.”
Conveying Excitement
Jablokow’s works have a feel of 
heightened or augmented reality, an 
impression of things experienced at a 
pitch of concentration and compre-
hension that almost amounts to 
sensory overload. We’re aware of a 
sense of glorious splendor and dazzle 
in the world, and we’re all the more 
surprised that it’s elicited from 
images of decay and abandonment. 
Artist’s Toolkit
PAINTS
• Daniel Smith (particularly the 
granulating paints): aureolin 
yellow, quinacridone gold, 
quinacridone sienna, cobalt 
violet dark, quinacridone coral, 
quinacridone rose, ultramarine 
blue, cobalt blue, manganese 
blue, diopside genuine
• Holbein: bright violet
• QOR: transparent pyrrole 
orange
SURFACE
• 300-lb. Arches hot-pressed 
BRUSHES 
• Smaller brushes, up to size 16: 
kolinsky sable, Cheap Joe’s
Dragon’s tongue, Dick Blick sable
• Larger synthetic brushes:
Escoda Versatil synthetic sable,
up to size 22, 3-inch hake brush,
Escoda Reservoir Liner
PALETTE
• John Pike palette with the paint
wells divided in half
MISCELLANEOUS
• drafting tape and wide painters
tape made for house painting,
mouth atomizer from Dick Blick,
Pebeo Drawing Gum, Holbein
Multi Sizing
With this in mind, the artist recalls 
a reaction that he liked from a viewer. 
“She said that my subject matter is 
uninteresting, kind of just old stuf , 
but that when I paint it, it seems to 
be much more interesting,” Jablokow 
says. “She was able to get a sense of 
what makes it exciting to me. I do 
believe that’s what I’m doing—trying 
to express what’s exciting about these 
things to me. I’m not thinking about 
someone wanting to buy it; I just 
want to enjoy painting it. It’s a lousy 
business model, but enjoyable. Kind 
of a luxury.” WA
John A. Parks (johnaparks.com) is a 
painter, a writer and a member of the 
faculty of the School of Visual Arts in 
New York. Turn for a demo
30 Watercolor artist | OCTOBER 2018
demo
Abandon(ed) Ship
Peter Jablokow combines architectural precision with colorful drips
and spatters to pay homage to a bygone dredging vessel.
Step 2
To preserve white areas, 
I used mask (blue areas) 
and semitransparent 
painter’s tape (yellow 
areas) trimmed to the line. 
I placed a little mask 
underneath the edge of 
tape to prevent paint from 
bleeding. Then, I spattered 
and dripped red, yellow and 
pink paint onto the surface.
Step 1
I drew a clear pencil 
outline on the painting 
surface based on the 
panoramic reference 
photo.
Step 3
After building the color 
further to create a 
multicolored patina,
I removed the mask to 
reveal the preserved 
white areas. Then, I used 
a brush to develop some 
of the darker areas and
to build washes over the 
spattered and dripped 
areas of the painting.
“I’M AWARE THAT THE VIEWER IS GOING TO LOOK 
AT EVERY CORNER OF THE PIECE, SO I HAVE TO 
MAKE SURE THAT EVERYTHING READS.”
ArtistsNetwork.com 31
Step 4
I built the shadow colors on 
the snow at the base of the 
building. I pushed the color, 
alternating violets and 
turquoises in the shadow, 
and adding a little yellow 
orange to the edge of the 
light areas. I enriched the 
colors and began to develop 
the subtle play of light 
across some of the surfaces.
Step 5
Next, I developed the 
detailed texture of the 
snow in the foreground.
Step 6
After determining that the 
beam on the upper right 
was too dark, I scrubbed 
it back to white using a 
toothbrush. I’ll also 
address the two splashes 
in the doorway to the left 
in the same way.
Final
 I repainted the beam on the right using more active color, and then I worked back through the whole image to 
increase the subtlety and richness of the color in Quincy Dredge Doorway (watercolor on paper, 12x41). WA
32 Watercolor artist | OCTOBER 2018
STEPHEN QUILLER’S VIBRANT LANDSCAPE 
PAINTINGS REFLECT THE JOY AND COLOR 
IN THE ARTIST’S INSPIRING LIFE IN THE 
MOUNTAINS. SPEND A DAY WITH HIM
TO EXPERIENCE THE ROUTINE THAT FEEDS 
HIS CREATIVE SOUL.
By Stephen Quiller
A Day in the Life
1. I begin my morning at 6:30 a.m. 
by feeding the birds and having tea 
and breakfast with my wife, Marta. 
Watching the various finches, 
chickadees and juncos feed, and 
seeing the occasional bald eagle fly 
up and down the river, is a good way 
to start the day.
“
Occasionally, while paint is
drying, I step out on my deck,
take in some fresh air and
enjoy a favorite view.
”
2. At 8:00 a.m. I enter my studio, which was built in 
2002 about 50 yards up river from our home. It’s my 
dream studio, and I’ve honored it every day. It sits 
just above the Rio Grande River, and my painting 
window faces true north.
3. I have an east-facing, 
4x6-foot room with a 
window that’s dedicated 
to meditation. I’ve done 
this daily practice since 
1975. Meditating centers 
my mind and helps me 
prepare for unexpected 
difficulties throughout 
the day. It also assists in 
visualizing my painting 
process.
PH
O
TO
G
RA
PH
Y 
BY
 A
LL
IE
 Q
U
IL
LE
R
ArtistsNetwork.com 33
Stephen Quiller (quillergallery.com) is an internationally recognized painter, author 
and instructor. He’s a Dolphin Fellow of the American Watercolor Society, and a 
signature member of the National Watercolor Society, National Society for Painters 
in Acrylic and Casein, Rocky Mountain National Watermedia and Watercolor West. 
His new DVD set, “Water Media en Plein Air,” is available on his website.
5. I paint in my studio during the late 
autumn, winter and early spring. I use 
the plein air sketches and color studies 
I’ve made along the river and 
mountains close to my home for 
reference material and inspiration. I use 
watercolor, gouache, acrylic, casein 
and all their combinations. Here, I’m 
working in acrylic using a watermedia 
approach on watercolor paper, which 
was previously soaked and stretched 
around heavy-duty stretcher bars. (See 
the finished painting on page 35.)
6. I take care of my paints and 
palette at the end of the workday, 
so that everything is in place for 
the next day.
4. Next, I take care of my 
business work—emails, various 
writings and phone calls—in 
my study. With these tasks 
addressed, my head is clear, 
and I can begin painting.
7. Most days, in season, I go to the high country to cross-country ski in the 
late afternoon. I make my own trails and have a variety of backcountry 
experiences. I always take my sketchbook and an iPad to record anything 
that inspires me. It’s a great way to end the day.
Turn page for more
34 Watercolor artist | OCTOBER 2018
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT
Raking Light Along the 
Bachelor Trail (acrylic 
watermedia on Aqua-
bord, 24x36) is all about 
“the late light and vertical, 
syncopated patterns of 
the trees,” Quiler says. 
Late Light Off the 
Logging Road Trail 
(acrylic