Preston Steed Watercolors

The Influence

Preston Steed studied watercolor painting and commercial art in his undergraduate work. With this basis, and his interest in technology, he has learned what is needed to produce breathtaking watercolor originals and precise giclee fine art prints. Throughout the last two decades, patrons of his work often connect his style and composition to that of Andrew Wyeth's. He believes, however, that his work is actually more influenced by N.C. Wyeth's paintings (Andrew's father) which contained vibrant color and light. He remembers being drawn to Wyeth's work in the magazine illustrations and Reader's Digest Condensed Book illustrations of his youth. Steed was also influenced by the work of Nita Engle, another watercolor illustrator for Reader's Digest Condensed Books. Nita Engle is currently a renowned watercolor artist, teacher, and author of How to Make a Watercolor Paint Itself. Additionally, Steed has a great appreciation for Norman Rockwell's ability to interject humor onto a two-dimensional surface; to capture the human interactions that happen in a blink of an eye and endure for a lifetime. He seeks to do the same.



The Production

Preston Steed's watercolor originals are primarily painted on Arches 140-lb. hot-pressed watercolor paper. The smooth surface allows him to create the textures he desires with paint, rather than allowing a rougher paper to create texture for him. Because he seeks to paint "a single moment in time," he works primarily from photographs he has taken himself. In this way he is able to best represent the light, shadow, and air quality that permeated his subject matter in the moment that the image captured his attention.


Preston Steed's technical literacy and ability have allowed him to master the art of producing his own giclee fine art prints. He scans his original watercolor paintings and uses the digital information to reproduce precise replicas of his favorite work - the paintings that best represent the values expressed above. He has invested in a state-of-the art scanner and large format printer to facilitate the production of the highest quality giclee fine art prints, which are created on archival paper using archival inks