Featured Artist Jac Tilton

Artist Jac Tilton’s watercolors capture the essence and character of the landscapes and people that he paints. View more of his portfolio by visiting his website.


Nebraska Barn #2

“Nebraska Barn #2″ Watercolor, 20″ x 26.75”


I work in two distinct styles: representational watercolors and non-objective black and white drawings. My watercolors are created in a very traditional manner and are primarily landscapes and people.


A Shop, Honfleur, France

“A Shop, Honfleur, France” Watercolor, 9″ x 13″


My watercolor landscapes are, in many cases, old or out of the way places. I have a long-standing attraction to these places and the quality that age, use and neglect can impart. There is, for me, something very compelling about the colors and textures that these objects and places possess.


For Sale, $1, Needs Roof

“For Sale, $1, Needs Roof” Watercolor, 18.25″ x 12.25″


It is fascinating exploring how their existence has shaped their current appearance and endowed them with a sometimes wholly different character than they originally had. I enjoy the challenge of trying to capture some of that character in watercolor.


The Apple Pickers

“The Apple Pickers” Watercolor, 18″ x 12″


I’m also a “people watcher” and my people watercolors are the result of observing people doing ordinary things that somehow result in an interesting image. I try capturing people when they are the least self-aware. This results in the most natural, least self-conscious poses.


The Book Club

“The Book Club” Watercolor, 20″ x 14.5″


It often takes patience to find a situation that might yield interesting possibilities and then try to anticipate when something might occur that will result in an image worth capturing.


The Dangling Conversation

“The Dangling Conversation” Watercolor, 14″ x 20″


My watercolor technique is very methodical. It involves applying multiple layers of washes to achieve both depth of color and texture. The process can be time consuming, but the reward is in being able to capture some of the subtleties of the subject.


Waiting for the CTA

“Waiting for the CTA” Watercolor, 15.7″ x 20.5″


My non-objective drawings are exercises in pure design and composition. They begin with often no more than a vague idea, feeling, perhaps a shape. They then proceed to a finished image based entirely on how I react to each new set of marks or tones that I apply.


Primary 4

“Primary 4″ Carbon with Watercolor, 12″ x 14”


The process usually involves adding, subtracting and re-working the image many times until a satisfactory result is achieved. The drawings are created using primarily carbon, in powder and pencil form, which is much more highly refined than charcoal and creates deep, rich velvety blacks and a full range of subtle grays.


Poems 1

“Poems 1″ Carbon, 9.25″ x 7.5”


Textures are sometimes created by abrading the surface of the paper using tape or incising and scraping the surface of the drawing.


Cosmic Irrelevance

“Cosmic Irrelevance” Carbon, 24″ x 20″


These drawings tend to develop into a series. The “Cosmic” series currently contains 9 images and will eventually extend to about 25 images. Like wise the “Poems” and “Primary” series will also result in additional images.


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  1. Beautifully done.

  2. Your two styles of work are so interesting…I love your textures in both!! Wonderful work!!

  3. Your shadows are so excellent.

  4. “Waiting for the CTA” Watercolor, 15.7″ x 20.5″ Excellent!!

    • Thanks Nick. It’s one of my favorites as well.

      • I love that one too, Jac – and couldn’t resist putting it as the featured image for your article!

        • Thanks Carolyn. It’s connected with a lot of folks. It was “Best of Show” at the Illinois Watercolor National Competition a couple of years ago and was subsequently purchased by a local university for the president’s collection.

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