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Blog Posts (5)

  • How to Paint Effortlessly

    Ever wonder what goes into making a masterpiece?! It all starts here... Planning my painting. This is perhaps the most important part of watercolor painting. Without it, I'm betting on happy mistakes. And that means a lot of wasted paper. Part One: Motivation. I paint what I connect with—spiritually and emotionally. For the last decade, it's been animals and birds. It shifts periodically, of course, but I've always found my way back to the animal spirit. Part Two: Composition. I’ve always believed that composition is more important than technique. Have a great drawing, and painting is really easy. So, the first step is drawing out my subject. It is essential. I was lucky that I spent years drawing before I took up painting, so I have a solid foundation. But I think even more important than technical drawing capability is how to put together a winning composition. I could have a really elementary drawing with a masterful composition, and it is game over, I have a winner. Mastering Composition by Ian Roberts is a great book that takes a deep dive into this very topic. You can pick it up here if you're interested. I’ll take my own dive into this in a future post. Moving on… Part Three: Visualization. The third part of planning my painting is all about visualization. Watercolor is unforgiving. Make a big mistake and it’s hard to rebound. Of course, appropriate and solid technique will also drastically reduce your mistakes. But both are important! After I have my drawing prepared, I take some time to visualize the end result. When I have a picture in my mind of what I want, my process is less turbulent, and I have a much greater chance of capturing that image successfully. I imagine the details. Closely! What colors are used and where? Are my brushstrokes big or small? Is the painting loose and impressionistic or controlled and realistic? Or both, but in different areas. Is it detailed and complex or succinct and simple. These are just a few of the questions I ask myself before beginning. Part Four: Stop Thinking and Paint. With any luck something like this kingfisher comes to life. Enjoy! And that’s how it’s done! Until next time…

  • The Truth About the Dragonfly

    I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to make sense of my dragonfly friend. I don’t have a strong feeling about a specific visitor. I do have some feelings that it was a message. It goes something like this… I’ve never liked abstract art. Truth bomb; I’ve always hated it. It actually made me sick! Almost literally. Then, three or four years ago something hap pened. I lost three of my best friends, two animals and one human, in a short amount of time. I was grieving. It was rough. But I also started having an urge. An unusual urge to express myself differently. I wasn’t really sure what that was but I knew it had to be through my art. So, it happened—I created some abstract paintings. And, I’ll admit; it felt pretty good. I was proud. I was proud that I went out of my comfort zone and did something I never thought I would do. I spent a few months creating several different works, all similar in style and technique. And then it was over. Just like that. I’m not sure why I stopped. But I haven’t stopped thinking about those paintings (which I just released this summer) or abstract art in general. (This very second, I turned to look out the window…a red dragonfly flutters! WHAT?!?) A new urge is stewing. I’m bursting with inspiration but have excuse after excuse not to paint. When it comes down to it, though, it’s all about you! I’m terrified that you won’t like my new work. This guy who has painted animals for ten years suddenly stops to paint other things…gross! I mean, I might not even like it. But the urge is too strong. And, I know I have to do this. The dragonfly told me so.

  • Visit From the Other Side?

    I had such a cool little experience with this red dragonfly the other day. So, I’m outside, minding my business, and this little guy was flying around. Before I knew it, he landed a foot or so away from me. I slowly turned and started talking. I asked how they were doing and just the basics...you know, small talk. I then slowly moved towards him, reached out, and to my surprise, he didn’t fly away. I thought, hmm, that’s new. So, I got closer. Until I was literally stoking his wings! He looked up at me, turned his little head back and forth, and was completely present with me. After a few minutes, yes, a few minutes, I placed a finger in front of him and he literally hugged it with his two front feet! I swayed back and forth as we had this incredible moment. I kept asking who he/she was, as if he was going to answer me. :) I can’t say for sure, but it sure felt like someone was visiting me. After a few more minutes, he looked up, and flew off. I had to paint him! Two days later, I'm waiting outside as I'm picking up my daughter, and ANOTHER red dragonfly lands right next to me. He looks up to me and I slowly move towards him. Just like that, I'm softly stroking his beautiful wings! What is happening? Is someone visiting me from the other side? And if so, who?!?! Or is it some sort or spiritual sign? I think I need a Shaman!

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  • Watercolor Animal Paintings, Bird Art Prints, & Landscapes by Artist Eric Sweet

    WATERCOLOR ARTIST ERIC SWEET EXPLORE W elcome to the official website and gallery of artist Eric Sweet. I'm Eric. I'm a watercolor artist based out of East Lansing, Michigan. I paint primarily birds and animals while also painting modern abstracts and landscapes. My wildlife pieces are painted loosely and quickly with layered washes, exaggerated color, and splatter. I like to describe them as dreamy star-dusted animals! My abstracts are ocean inspired, modern expressionistic watercolors, and are mounted on stainless steel and coated with epoxy resin. I regularly take on commissioned work, painting a wide variety of subjects in watercolors. If you're interested in a custom quote, please contact me here . Please have a look around, visit my shop , and do contact me with any questions. Learn more about my process and inspiration here . HIGHLIGHTS New Works A few new bird studies including the meticulous white eared hummingbird, the marvelous black-capped magpie, the magical common raven, and the magnetic house sparrow. Available now! EXPLORE. COMMISSION A WATERCOLOR SHOP LANDSCAPES THE ARTIST SHOP WILDLIFE SHOP ABSTRACTS SHOP BIRDS

  • Custom Watercolor Paintings | Commissioned Animal and Bird Art

    COMMISSION A PAINTING ​To commission a custom watercolor, please email me below and include a brief description of your desired painting, desired size, and any reference photos. Paintings are priced from $400 and based on size and complexity. You can expect smaller works to be completed in two to three weeks once started. Larger or more complex pieces may take up to two months. ​ I look forward to hearing from you! Subject* arrow&v Upload File Upload supported file (Max 15MB) Your details were sent successfully! Send

  • SHOP | Artist Eric Sweet

    ARTIST ERIC SWEET ONLINE SHOP ABSTRACTS BIRDS LANDSCAPES WILDLIFE

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