Watercolour is one of the oldest forms of art with roots in Stone Age cave painting when early Paleolithic man used pigments mixed with water to create cave paintings. Over the centuries, the technique of watercolour spread across countless cultures ranging from the ancient Egyptians, who used water-based paints to decorate the walls of temples and tombs, and traditional Chinese and Japanese paintings on silk and handmade paper to the modern Renaissance studies of nature and portraits. Watercolour continues to be a favored medium for contemporary artists today due to its high versatility, ease and quickness of its application, and the brilliance of its colors. We highlight 10 watercolour artists on The Artling who capture a variety of subject matter from abstraction and geometric forms to figuration, nature, and scenes of urban life.
Annabelle Shelton lives and works in Milton Keynes, England. She obtained her Bachelor's (Hons) in Fine Art at Staffordshire University and her Master's in Fine Art Practice at Birmingham City University in 2001. Annabelle predominately works with watercolour and graphite on aluminium panels. Her subject matter focuses on people in space and place, extracting them from their surroundings and placing them in a "non-space". The artist's works reference the contemporary condition and the psychodynamics of a space.
Born in Malaysia, Andy Yang is a multi-disciplinary visual artist based in Singapore. He is known for his abstract visual and sound experimentations, which explore visual art and music. These experimentations led him to the creation of works under musical stimuli with The Observatory. Most of the time, Andy approaches his paintings like a writer, transcribing his thoughts onto his canvases. To the artist, his works feel like stories that form chapters in a book written over time. Andy's hands race through the surface, jotting down these stories and trying to keep up with his mind. This spontaneous and direct approach to creating visuals meant translating across traditional and digital platforms would be seamless. His intuitive and vibrant works also act as an invitation to his subconscious mind.
Having lived in Germany and Italy while working as an IT professional, Cihan Polat settled down in a small town on the northwest coast of Turkey near the Aegean Sea. Cihan is a self-taught artist who has been developing his artistic technique in watercolour for more than a decade. His main source of inspiration comes from nature and the city. The Turkish artist aims to create harmony in his works through a combination of shapes, colours, subject matter, memory, and emotion. To Cihan, watercolour is a unique medium that gives him freedom and authenticity.
Ukrainian artist Maryana Bryukhanova was born in 1980 and currently lives and works in Odessa. In her creations, she explores the experiential process of life and reality. She explores the effect of colour and colour theory in relation to the human experience. Working in a variety of media and styles, she creates a range of works from impressionistic landscapes and plein-air painting to abstract works.
Polish artist Jaroslaw Filipek studied architecture at the Warsaw University of Technology and the University of Detroit in the USA. He then went on to study painting at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts and in the studios of Franciszek Maśluszczak, Andrzej Bieńkowski, and Jacek Sempoliński. Jaroslaw has a fascination with architecture, form, and landscapes, and this manifests in his watercolour works.
Watercolour artist Elizabeth Becker lives and works in Pennsylvania, USA. At a young age, art became her therapy, both as an escape and a means of expression. She went on to study fine art at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, University of the Arts and Millersville University, where she earned her BA in Psychology and BSE in Art Education. In 2012, Elizabeth began working primarily in watercolour, and she was quickly drawn to the spontaneity and immediacy of this medium. Fascinated by the beautiful and unpredictable interactions that occur between pigment, water, and paper, painting with watercolour became an art form that Elizabeth never tires of exploring. Working expressively and intuitively with watercolour teaches Elizabeth to let go, be present in the moment, and embrace imperfections. Through her works, she explores the human condition, emotion, and her spiritual connection with nature. The American artist is inspired by the interplay between the inner and outer realms of her subjects.
Russian artist Irina Pronina was born and raised in Moscow and began studying art at a young age. Following her passion for painting, she attended the prestigious Higher School of Folk Arts in St. Petersburg, where she trained to be a master silk painter. After graduating, she spent several years creating artworks on silk. However, she soon found that the traditional technique did not further her search for her own style. Inspired by a group of modern Russian watercolourists, Irina discovered her enthusiasm for the flowing medium of watercolour. To the artist, the possibilities of watercolour were endless with its dynamism and iridescent beauty, which continue to constantly inspire her.
German artist Mila Weis is inspired by the beauty of nature, and her works are full of lightness and poetry. Each artwork represents a great scope for the exploration of line and the colour for the artist. Mila is fascinated with experiencing the process of change and colours on a painting's surface. She is intrigued by the way the colours run intermingle, overlap, pulsate, and breathe. She attaches great importance to the energetic potential of each work, and her art enters into a perfect symbiosis of harmony and disturbance.
Born in Kyustendil, Bulgaria, Stanislav Bojankov obtained a Master's in Fine Arts (Printmaking) in 1995 at the Academy of Fine Arts Kraków, Poland. He works across media and styles from painting and drawing to graphic art. Stanislav aims to bring harmony and balance to his poetic vision and the tangible object of the paper or canvas.
French abstract Jérémie Iordanoff blends visual languages of Western Modernist abstraction with premodern aesthetic traditions from indigenous artists and ancient Roman styles. In his works, floating, whimsical, anthropomorphic forms interweave amid structured, linear grounds. Jérémie is particularly interested in patterns, colours, and lines. Though grounded in geometry, his compositions are hand-drawn and hand-painted. Raw, yet elegant, the French artist's works are also layered and complex. They celebrate the imperfections of the human hand of the artist, and at times are almost reminiscent of the tradition of quilting. Jérémie works in a range of forms, alternating between ink drawings, watercolours, and oil paintings on either paper or canvas.
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