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Daniel Black

White Horse Walking by Daniel Black
"White Horse Walking" by Daniel Black
I was born in Princeton, NJ in 1960 and grew up in New York and Paris. Some of my earliest memories include drawing and painting, and I never lost that love. I was trained at New York University, Parsons School of Design, and the New School back in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, when Abstract Expressionism was still reigning as king. Most of my teachers tried desperately to steer me into abstraction, but instead I drove them to distraction. I stuck to my preference for romantic realism and have never regretted it.

For over 25 years, I’ve been accepting commissions to paint detailed watercolor and pen-and-ink portraits of houses and historic buildings. Using the same media, I also create evocative, nostalgic landscapes, currently favoring subjects from my travels in Tuscany, Vermont, the Black Hills region of South Dakota, and the Hamptons in Long Island. In addition, I have a long-standing love of wildlife and horses. I collaborate with a fine printmaker to create limited-edition prints on high-grade watercolor paper. Additionally, some of my pictures are available as note cards. For the Black Hills series, please go to For the Hampton Classic series, please contact me. In 2006, I won the commission to create the annual Hampton Classic poster. It is on view and available for sale on

My work has been praised for its elegant use of line, its rich and meticulous sense of light and detail, and its gently nostalgic, wistful spirit. The paintings and prints have been exhibited in galleries as far-flung as South Dakota, Florida, and Connecticut. Those who have collected my work include Peter Lawson-Johnson, former chairman of the Guggenheim Museum; W. C. Butcher, former chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank; and Betty Sherrill, president of McMillen, Inc.

Approach / Technique

My works generally start as ‘plein aire’ paintings—quick, spontaneous watercolor sketches done on the spot in an effort to capture the light and movement of my subjects. I had a wonderful teacher, the famed watercolorist David Dewey, who said: “Architecture is forever, but the light is for about 10 minutes.” He encouraged me to respond spontaneously to the light and colors of the moment. I also supplement my sketches with photography to help me remember and select any details that will enhance the story I want to tell in the finished painting. I usually work on these at home, using a combination of watercolor and pen-and-ink, giving them an aura of 19th-century prints and engravings.

Point of View

To me, painting is a story-telling medium. It is not about navel-gazing—the artist exploring the depths of his own emotions and leaving the viewer baffled; it is about telling the viewer a story about a moment in time, inviting him to join the artist on a journey. Think of it this way: What makes you love a certain place? It is never just the details of the architecture or the scenery. It has to do with a combination of intangibles—including the atmosphere, the light, the sense of a moment suspended in time. In my paintings, these fleeting intangibles are my quarry. Armed with watercolors and pen and ink, I walk and wander, seeking the views and scenes that resonate with my own sense of beauty, one that is greatly influenced by the romantic realists of the late 19th early 20th centuries. The painting is a record of my pursuit. It is a window of sorts, an invitation to the viewer to enter and enjoy. If the picture affects you as I intended, it evokes a certain love of a place, a sense of inner peace, or a memory of a moment in time. Is there an underlying idea in my paintings? I think there is a basic hopefulness behind my work, a belief that there is beauty and peace still to be found in the world, and that the insanity of modern mankind will never stamp it all out. It will win out in the end.

Canvas Printing

Printing on canvas is incredibly versatile and a great way to create a ready-to-hang image or artwork. Every canvas that we print  is protected with a UV coated acrylic finish to guard the print from dust, moisture and fading. Do you want your canvas stretched on bars or non-stretched? Framed or unframed? Customize the work to make it truly your own.

Art Prints – How are they made?

Photography by Laurie Barone-Shafer
Nowadays just about anyone can take a good quality photographs with a digital camera. Or take a few hundred pictures and the chances are few will be good, and even one or two outstanding.

Here are a few tips, tricks and techniques on how to make art print poster ready photographs and print ready digital files. Don’t get overwhelmed, there is a lot of information here, but a lot of it is just intuitive. Well, a bit of patience will always help.

First thing – Photo Size

If you taking a digital photo of you family or friend the largest size you would print is usually 5 by 7 inches, maybe 8 by 10 at the most. Even small size digital photographs (2MB or less) are ‘good enough’ to create a decent print. But if you want to create prints that are 16 by 20, 20 by 24 inches or larger you need more pixels (in pixels 20 by 24 inches photo is actually about 40 times larger than 3 by 4 inches photo assuming they have the same resolution).

Learning to Paint Watercolors

Watercolor is an easy, fun medium for creating art.  Color theory, composition and design can be explored freely with watercolor paint, paper, and brushes.  Several techniques may be used with watercolors for varying effects including painting wet on wet, wet on dry, layering washes, and more.

Watercolor paper comes in cold press, hot press, and rough.  Rough paper has the most texture, and its hills and valleys can result in interesting effects when paint is added.  Hot press is the smoothest and has the finest texture.  Cold press has a moderate amount of texture and is the paper most commonly chosen by watercolor artists.

Watercolor paper comes in several weights ranging from 90 lb. to 300 lb. based on the pounds per ream of paper.  Most artists prefer to use at least 140 lb. paper.  Papers vary somewhat between manufacturers, so sampling different papers is advisable.  Paper can be purchased in pads, in blocks or in large sheets.  The large sheets are usually the most economical and can be torn into whatever size is desired.

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