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Thursday, May 21, 2020

A message from Mary Whyte

A Personal Message from Mary Whyte during pandemia

Mary Whyte

In these days of quarantine my datebook has been erased clean, which for many artists can be a welcomed oasis. Meanwhile, the lengthening daylight hours offer more time in the studio, where I have started a self portrait and am drawing up from memory small watercolors like “Calling.” With so much less on the agenda, I have made many new discoveries such as the pleasures of unhurried cooking, film noir, and timeless literature such as Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.

Mary Whyte

In all of this, I hope that you, too, will find small moments of discovery and wonder.
Mary Whyte

Mary Whyte

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Cyclist in Helsinki (teaser)

Friday, May 1, 2020

Sterkhov Easy1 Preview

Monday, April 27, 2020

Zhan Yun (China) - young architect-watercolorist

Zhan Yun (China)

I just found this young architect on Insta! Great works. Enjoy!

Zhan Yun (China)

"As an architect with ten-year working experience, I love architectural design and the city where I’m living, embedding in mind the dream of painting as all the other architects.

In 2016, I accidentally read online an article about a famous watercolor master and his work. Attracted by the medium deeply, I have been studying and painting watercolor since then."

Zhan Yun (China)

"Watercolor now being an indispensable part in my life, I always paint what I see and think with it when travelling, or feeling bored on the train for business trip, or seeking relaxation out of exhaustion after whole-day work. I will keep painting with continuous exploration and improvement."

Education Background: Master of Science in Architecture,
College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University
Current Company: East China Architectural Design & Research Istitute Co., Ltd.

Art Experience:

"One night in Suzhou",  Shanghai Watercolor Painting Exhibition 2019
"Lantern", The First Austrlian International watercolor Exhibition 2019 Third place
"Sunset in Anhui", Participated in the 2019 Malaysia Online Juried All Medium Competition
"Sunshine in the afternoon", Accepted for MOWS 2020 International Exhibition
"Sunshine", Accepted for the AWS 153th Annual Exibition
"The coutyard", Accepted for 2020 SWA International Exbition
Zhan Yun (China)

I’m a life-loving person, and probably due to being an architect, I always prefer to choose the themes of architecture, humanity or landscape to paint. City in rain, alley in twilight, village under sunshine, and historic houses etc. are the scenes I love, easily triggering my motion to express my feelings on paper with watercolor.
I’m used to making the paper be soaked entirely by enough water, and the rough paper of 300g/㎡ that I usually choose to paint is thick enough to remain flat.
I always draft roughly the outline or the key parts of the objects with 2B pencil to avoid getting myself bound by too many details to express freely with watercolor.
After setting the tones of the whole painting and creating the bright-and-dark relationship, I usually make some further adjustments when the paper is wet, and start painting the details when the paper is moist. I won’t finish the work until the details of the focus part are attractive enough.
And in my view, the authentic attractiveness of the watercolor to me is the uncertainty of the wet-on-wet brushworks and the fusion of the pigments on the wet paper.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Geoffrey Wynne

Impressionist watercolour painter, a member of the Royal Institute of Painters In Watercolor. Over the last 30 years this medium has taken him to many places, his aim being to try and capture the essence of what he sees and feels in each location. In the studio watercolour painting has also taken him on another journey in the sense of an exploration of the medium and its infinite forms of expression.

What is your Art background?

I was born in Stoke - on Trent, also called the Potteries. At the age of 13 i was selected to attend the small prestigious art school Portland House From 15 years of age i attended Burslem School of Art, to further my training in the arts and crafts.

For as long as i can remember painting and drawing have been an important part of my life and my passion was always for the Fine Arts.At 19 years of age i applied and was accepted at West Surrey College of Art and Design to study painting. I did experiment with watercolors in my last year, working in the style of Emile Nolde` s forbidden watercolors. The first painting i sold was a watercolour.

Geoffrey Wynne

Later i worked as a designer for Coalport China a member of the Wedgwood Group. In these years I only painted spasmodically. The frustration that i was not fulfilling my passion to paint became to much and at 32 I decided to take the definitive step in my life and dedicate it to painting.To give myself courage I enrolled on the Fine Art Course at North Staffordshire University and for the next three years i threw myself frenetically into trying to find myself as an artist. My true art education did not start until 1987 when i moved to Granada and started to paint watercolors.

Was watercolor your choice or it is the watercolor medium choosed you?

In my case the choice of painting in watercolors was a mixture of destiny, necessity and a certain impulsive trait in my character. For academic reasons in 1985 i visited Granada Spain. I became fascinated with the city and revisited again in 1986.In 1987 i sold up and moved to Granada.

Geoffrey Wynne

This old moorish town with the Alhambra Palace dominating its sky line has held a strong fascination for artists poets writers and musicians. John Singer Sergeant, Joaquin Sorolla, Mariano Fortuny,Arthur Melville, David Roberts, George Owen, Wynne Apperley RI and many more painted here. My first year in Granada i spent most of my days filling sketch books with observations of the daily life, the people in the squares and markets going about their activities.
After a year living in Granada my circumstances changed and it became a necessity to make a regular living. My paintings sold but not sufficient to maintain my new responsibilities. I tried making caricatures in the streets and seaside with some success but the winter months proved difficult. Portraits in pastel was a short lived idea as well.The only thing i hadn’t tried my hand at was painting watercolours. I decided to have a go so i bought some cheap paints paper and brushes and started painting plein air.

So was watercolor painting my choice or did the medium choose me, i would say yes to both, my destiny.

Geoffrey Wynne

Do you remember your first experience of painting on spot?
I bought my paints, paper and brushes and two camping stools, one to sit and the other to rest my palette and water.What i didn’t realize at the time that my future as an oil painter in the studio was finished and i was launching into becoming a plien air watercolour artist.

Geoffrey Wynne

I decided to sit in Bibrambla, the main square with flower stalls a beautiful fountain, bars, cafes and the cathedral as its backdrop, a daunting theme for my first attempt. After about three hours i felt a little pleased with my results, to my dismay, i didn’t realize I was being observed by a distinguished gentleman. He was a discreet admirer and only after i had finished did he approach me. His first words where that my painting for him was ,love at first sight,or better said in spanish (un flechazo).
He asked to buy the painting and invited me to his office when i had more. This gentleman was to become not only a collector for years of my watercolours but a friend, also introducing me to many other collectors.

My first watercolor on the spot opened changed my future destiny as a painter.

Geoffrey Wynne

Is there difference in approach in paimting in studio and on location?

My approach to studio painting or on location are for me essentially different. Painting still lives or flower compositions in the studio are more or less the same as painting on the spot. The differences
are basically, reference material, time lighting and weather.

Working on location is tangible reality where the elements are in constant change.It takes effort to pack my ruck sack and go in search, climate and light changes, being observed painting and knowing that each day and moment are never the same.With these in mind my aim is to capture a moment in time, to try and breath life into my watercolours.It is a short passage of time where my eye mind skill and experience are in a visual conversation with the choosen theme.

What i learned working outside is to try and breath life into my paintings. In the studio my aim is similar but with the advantages and set backs of using photography...

Extract from a new book by Konstantin Sterkhov "Masters of Watercolor. All about Pleinair"

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Joseph Zbukvic on plein air

Extracts from my upcoming book Konstantin Sterkhov "Masters of Watercolor. All about Plein Air"

Joseph Zbukvic is featured in several instructional DVDs.
He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors and his work appears in collections and galleries around the world.
One may say that Joseph Zbukvic sets the standards of the World of Watercolor today. 

"...Every painting begins with the choice of subject, not with the first mark on the paper. Many beginner thinks that going to exotic locations will produce great work. Venice is a great example of this. We see so many paintings of gondolas, St Marks square or Rialto Bridge painted to say the artist was there, with no thought given to composition, lighting, atmosphere or mood."  

Joseph Zbukvic (Australia) painting in Wuzhen, China

Joseph Zbukvic (Australia). 
A subject and the painting on the spot.

"A good painting has magic of its own regardless of the subject matter. A simple still life with couple of quinces or a vase of flowers. A country lane or just a portrait. Mona Lisa is a simple painting and yet it surpasses everything in its fame and appeal. Why? It has that something else that is simply not explainable. You can’t put a finger on it or give a reason, it just works."

Joseph Zbukvic (Australia). 
A subject and the painting on the spot.

"Number one factor I look for when I paint is that feeling of wanting to be in that painting, a sense of presence. Second is the composition and quality of light. Then I simply paint and hope that magic takes over. If it doesn’t, it goes into the reject bin. 

Artist’s job is to tell a story, not just paint a picture."

Joseph Zbukvic and Alvaro Castagnet painting on the spot in Shanghai

Read the whole article in my upcoming book Konstantin Sterkhov "Masters of Watercolor. All about Plein Air". The release is expected in October 2019.

Joe Francis Dowden

Extracts from my upcoming book Konstantin Sterkhov "Masters of Watercolor. All about Plein Air"
See the master`s demo at Lilleshall Hall, Shropshire, UK in May 2020, Tickets are still available at WWW.SAA.CO.UK/MASTERS

Joe F. Dowden has exhibited at prestigious shows as Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, Laing Art Exhibition, Chichester Open, British Modern Masters, Royal Society of Marine Artists.  
Joe is an author of books and magazine articles published worldwide. He presents TV, DVD, seminars, demonstrations. He has been a panel Member of the SAA.

"...At six years of age I did my first plein air painting in watercolor. An artist friend of my father took me painting. My family lived near the railway. Locomotives made clouds of steam with incandescent cinders shooting skywards like fireworks. This display of fire and water inspired my work."

 Joe F. Dowden (UK)

"Many techniques get me this fire, or light. Spattering masking fluid with a toothbrush gives sparkling light. Applying it with a hog hair brush gets sun glinting on foliage. Using big contrasts from white paper to intense dark gives power. Understand tradition but don’t let it limit innovation. Try everything. I paint extremes. I use bright color, but value, or light and dark, is number one, not color. I sometimes tell students; “Value has nothing to do with color, but everything to do with how colorful it looks”".

  Joe F. Dowden (UK)

"It is easier to paint open country, wide river or winter scenes. Complex woodland scenes require careful handling. Special techniques include spattering paint into spattered water and letting it merge. Painting into dragged water gives tree texture – I call it water feathering. Multiple layers of paint spatter create lights where paper is left dry. Sable brush spatters form dynamic star shapes similar to leaf shadow patterns."

 Joe F. Dowden (UK)

"I work along the small stream called the River Tillingbourne. It runs for 30km through the wooded Surrey Hills. Once I got very hungry when I was painting. I asked a fisherman to lend me his rod. I had never caught a fish before. He told me to drift the line under a nearby bridge. He said there would be a big fish there, (a trout). That fish tasted great. I don’t know why he didn’t catch it himself."

Joe F. Dowden (UK)

"The River Tillingbourne taught me to paint. It features throughout my Russian book, “Water in Watercolour”. The best lesson I learned was to mix plenty of paint, apply it wet and let it flow. Paint reflections vertically, soft focus, and be content with whatever happens. Changing it makes it worse it. Paint it. Leave it. Apply wet pigment in large quantities, let it flow and leave it alone. I invent nothing, only discover. This was my best discovery. "

Joe F. Dowden (UK)

Read the whole text in my upcoming book Konstantin Sterkhov "Masters of Watercolor. All about Plein Air"

Amit Kapoor

Extracts from my upcoming book Konstantin Sterkhov "Masters of Watercolor. All about Plein Air"...

Why did you decide to specialize in watercolor?
I never really thought of specializing in this medium. In the year 2001, I opened my own studio and Academy, where I was painting almost every day with my students. After a few years, I realized that from all the other Mediums watercolor was one that was pulling me more towards it. I wanted to see the results faster, and this medium was giving me the thrill and enjoyment, and I could paint almost daily. The spontaneity and the transparency of watercolors attracted me towards it.

 Amit Kapoor (India)

Do you think that there is an influence of the English watercolor tradition in Indian contemporary watercolor?
No, not really. Although, after social media has become active we have all been able to see each others’ works and are exchanging techniques, and so, often get influenced as well. However, India is country of rich colors, and we can see that mostly painters are still painting the rich colors and traditional scenes and compositions of India.

 Amit Kapoor (India)

What are your preferred brands in paper, paints and brushes?
I prefer Arches and Saunders in paper and sometimes Indian handmade when the weather is not too hot in India. In paints, I am using different brands. I am mostly using Mijello Mission Gold, as I love their bright hues, a few shades of Daniel Smith, especially their greys are fabulous, and also few of our Indian Camel kukoyo paints. I am using different ranges of Escoda brushes.

 Amit Kapoor (India)

What is your choice of painting palette?
My palette includes more blues, like French Ultramarine, cobalt and turquoise blue. Other than blues, I use Paynes Grey, yellow ochre, Vermillion Red and Van Dyke Brown.

Amit Kapoor (India)

In your opinion, what is the perspective on watercolor in India?
Watercolor had been declining until the last decade in India, but for a few years now, due to social media and the up and coming societies in India, a lot of festivals, workshops and exhibitions have been done in India, and artists are working more in watercolors now. The buyers are also showing interest in watercolor works. Therefore, the perspective looks quite bright.

Amit Kapoor (India)

Full interview you can read in my upcoming book Konstantin Sterkhov "Masters of Watercolor. All about Plein Air"...

Francisco Castro

 Francisco Castro. White street. 100x81 cm 2015

What is the significance of watercolor to you?
The watercolor for me is the means to express the
emotions produced by the different moments of life.

 Francisco Castro. Iceberg II. 80x81 cm 2015

Do you prefer painting indoors or outdoors?
I have gone through different stages. I like the outdoors
for taking notes and references, and the indoors for finishing
my watercolors.

 Francisco Castro. River II. 40x60 cm 2017

What is the difference in approach when you paint in studio and on the spot?
When I paint in the studio I think I am more creative
because when I am in front of the motive it becomes too
important, and I become a little bit of a slave to it. In the studio,

having distance from the motive is good for the creativity.

Francisco Castro. Trunk. 40x50 cm 2015

What is your equipment when you paint in plein air?
When I paint in plein air, I bring my palette, a
few brushes, and suitable clothes for the outside.

What paper do you prefer?
I prefer Arches paper.

Francisco Castro (Spain)

Read the full Interview in my upcoming book Konstantin Sterkhov "Masters of Watercolor. All about Plein Air" Release is expected in October 2019

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Watercolour Masters in UK - May, 2020

In the 18th Century England took watercolour painting to the world. Now in May 2020 the worlds elite modern Watercolour Masters come to watercolours historic home for the must see exhibition of 2020 at Lilleshall Hall, Shropshire, . Supported by The SAA. Daily demonstrations, lectures SAA Art Market , Workshops, SAA TV, and meet the Masters. Admission by ticket available from The SAA or Eventbrite from May 2019. Early ticket reservation essential !
Tickets on sale NOW go to WWW.SAA.CO.UK/MASTERS
International Watercolour Masters cr All rights reserved