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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