Architecture Watercolor Paintings by Thomas W. Schaller

Renowned watercolor artist Thomas W. Schaller who is currently based in Los Angeles paints these amazing architectural paintings.

"A few years ago , a great artist asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I told him I wanted to be a painter - a "real artist". But then I proceeded to detail all the reasons I had constructed that seemed to make that dream impossible. He listened politely to all my excuses and then said simply: "If you want to paint - just paint. All the rest will take care of itself."

"My life changed that day - and slowly, I began to change too - from the inside out. At the time, I lived in New York City and worked as a commercial architectural artist. I had developed a deep well of technical skills, yet I spent my days painting the visions of others - not my own. But within five years, I quit my business life, and relocated to the seaside in Los Angeles to pursue the life I knew was always meant for me. The same great artist also said something that has proven itself to be more true every day of my life - "You don't chose the life of an artist - it chooses you".

"In University, I studied painting in oil, acrylic, as well as various methods of printmaking. But it was in architecture school that I first became drawn to the watercolor medium. I studied in the traditional Beaux-Arts methods of precise pencil line drawing with the application of layered washes of transparent watercolor. These techniques have always resonated with me; and while much adapted and evolved over the years, have formed the basis for all my watercolor artwork since."

"Also from my studies of historic architectural artwork, I developed a fascination with and love for more purely fictitious, imaginary subject matter. Now, even when I paint from life, i will incorporate elements of pure imagination drawn from memory or pure emotion. In addition, I often do painting entirely derived from imagination and sense memory."

"I am very drawn to the built environment, urban landscapes, and the idea of a physical home. But over time, I realized that it was the emotional weight these places have - the stories they have to tell - that most inspire me. I also realized that it was these stories and emotions I wanted to paint, not so much the buildings themselves."

"That said, I did build up a wealth of technical skills upon which I can draw - perspective, scale, composition, etc, - that have become almost a kind of 'muscle memory' for me as a painter. I no longer need to struggle as much with certain technical aspects of my painting and can concentrate more on the emotive impact."

"I would say that I paint on location about 40% to 50% of the time. Sometimes i will begin a piece on location, and then complete it in the studio. the rest of my work is studio-driven. But even for these pieces - which tend to be larger - I call upon my experiences in plein-air, or site work , to experiment with color, composition, and atmospheric effect."

"Most all my work is informed by real world observation but I never paint exactly what I see. I make a sincere attempt to interpret what I see, to paint how I feel about what I see. That’s the job of an artist, in my opinion. I ask my classes and myself to not paint what inspires us but to paint the inspiration itself."

Check his website:

Source: sterkhovart, mymodernmet


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