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Watercolor techniques that you can quickly learn

Watercolor techniques that you can quickly learn. For composition, design elements, and focal points, learn watercolor techniques from famous painters. Reinvent views that rival any source photo you have and study the pleasure of watercolor so you can continue to paint your way.

Take a Unique Point of View as Winslow Homer

Winslow Homer painted a group of striking watercolors with cool drawing ideas during the winters while on vacation in Nassau. Famous for its beautiful surroundings and mild climate, this Bahamian port was a fashionable resort even then. Sure, the view is loaded with rich tropical colors and striking Caribbean light, but the view is highly unusual.

Far from a typical scenic outlook, Homer blocked the classic view of the coast with a thick grey wall. The intrusive wall not only dominates the lower half of the painting; it is also simple and unstructured. The vertical opening to the relaxed tropical greens and blues of the water’s edge provides the only relief. But even this invitation in the central area of ​​the painting is uncomfortably far to the left and takes us away from the main focus: the white sailboat.

Make cuts

Also, Homer cut the painting in half with two very sharp horizontal lines. In this case, Homer gets away with non-traditional art tricks because he created interesting dynamic tensions and a strong sense of movement. Notice the muted orange and red hints on the wall that he uses to harmonize the wall with the more robust red in the flowers above and create a solid but subtle shape in the lower right corner to draw attention to the center.

The play of mottled light on the wall (an example of Homer’s significant exploitation of white paper) also cleverly guides the gaze through the wall to the center. The sky and foliage guide the eye from left to right, and the bright red frangipani blades combine the main sections of the canvas as they appear to explode like fireworks over the thick wall.

Precursor of Modernism

Setting the scene for modern American art, this style has an essentially oriental simplicity, emphasizing tensions and balances to create a unique point of view. Homer’s watercolors are considered by many to be the most influential art the United States has ever produced. And his talent for challenging the viewer with an awkward or not-so-obvious vision is one of the reasons. Another is his immediate and dynamic performance of the medium. He draws very carefully and with great control but achieves a non-laborious look.

Master Your Composition as Andrew Wyeth

In the famous 1948 egg tempera painting of him, Christina’s World, Andrew Wyeth demonstrates his skillful use of compositional devices. In this painting, he shows that design elements don’t have to be flashy to be effective. Sometimes, they are so subtle that they escape your attention unless someone calls your attention. If you look closely, you will see two strands of loose hair sticking out of the side of Christina’s head.

These two locks are shaped like curved lines, echoing the nearby tracks leading uphill towards the house. At the top right of the driveway, there is a fence that repeats those lines. On the left side of Christina’s head is another lock of hair, the shape of which is also shown elsewhere in the photo. It is repeated on the curved line in the upper left field, and again, this time backward, on the opposite side of her head.

The body of a woman, repeated

There is also a complete form that resonates in this painting, which is quite understated but enormously powerful. The shape of the woman’s body resonates abstractly in the shapes of the buildings in the background. Occurs in the group of buildings in the upper right corner of the image. And you’ll find it in the little annex directly above her at the top of the hill. What we have here, in effect, is an organic shape that echoes two geometric shapes. This repetition of forms is neither accidental nor accidental. It is the product of the artist’s compositional genius. And it’s this sort of sense that high art is composed of.

Landscape and figure

The dominant element is the seemingly vast and desolate slope, which isolates the desperate figure lying on the ground. (Christina Olson, Wyeth’s model, couldn’t walk.) However, the emphasis is on the figure. For one thing, the eye is much more likely to be attracted to a human form than to a building. A compact form is also more inclined to draw notice than a single shape, and the model’s curved body is far more complicated than anything else in view.

Lines to direct the gaze

Watercolor techniques

At Christina’s World, we can also discover Wyeth’s clever use of directional lines. He uses diagonal lines at the top of the painting to guide his eye towards the image and towards the house on the hill, where Christina is looking and presumably where she wants to be. The state of the abandoned figure consists uniquely of oblique lines, which connote change and change. The buildings at the top of the hill, on the other hand, are stabilizing elements, especially the ones on the right.

Although their homes are sloping, they are higher than offset by the upward contours of the hotels’ sides and chimneys. Therefore, the structures appear to be quite solid and robust. It is in stark contrast to the sick figure in the following field. Wyeth also used point of view and the principle of perspective to his advantage here. There is no doubt that the figure is near you, while the house is far away. This long view, looking through her and toward the distant house, underscores her state of isolation. And since Wyeth has positioned our point of view behind Christina, we share her bleakness, which intensifies the painting’s psychological impact.

Take a direct path

To exist with watercolors is to breathe with the sun taken and maintained, said one of the artist’s various biographers. John Singer Sargent’s watercolors seem to radiate light. In Figure with Red Curtains, the entire space vibrates with the skill of his brushstrokes.

A love story

There is no doubt that Sargent (1856-1925) loved watercolor. When he studied for a master’s degree in museums and fell in love with painting, he used watercolor. The immediacy of him touched him. And like any real mentor, he was able to give the watercolor methods that he received to any other means he tried. Sargent said he would “make the most of an emergency.”

A great painter, a great draftsman

As his bold brushwork work shows, Sargent was an outstanding artist due to years of regular practice. An artist friend Adrian Stokes, observing him, noted: Once it was fixed, the speed and immediacy with which it worked were terrific. His hand seemed to move with the same agility as when he played the keys of a piano. It was a sort of photography, but it was mystic.

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