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Famous Watercolor Artists Past and Present

Famous Watercolor Artists of the past

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Winslow Homer
(USA 1836 - 1910)

Georgia O' Keeffee
(USA 1887 - 1986)

Giovanna Garzoni (1600-1660 - 1670 Renaissance, Italy)

Léon Bonvin
(France, 1834 - 1866)

Julius Bissier
(Germany, 1893 - 1965)


Through my many readings of books and internet pages, I selected some interesting subjects and inspirations about watercolor artists whom I look at with a particular fondness.

Winslow Homer watercolors
Winslow Homer...read more about him here



Today's Contemporary Watercolor Artists

Paul Jackson
A master of light and brilliant watercolors. Awards on top of other awards. Also interesting to see how he diverisified his selling strategies and marketing plan.

PAul Jackson Watercolor

... I cannot help but thinking this is a..copy of a photograph. Well executed, technically...

Paul Jackson watercolor

The use (or abuse?) of photograpy is evident in this reproduction of (or from) a blurred picture. But since I express only my opinion, it might be that this would considered as "real art" by collectors....

There are three main problems with using reference photographs:

  1. Values are exagerated
  2. Color is miss-represented (white balance)
  3. Depth of field is not how a human eye sees

Charles Reid Watercolors

In contrast with Paul Jackson's watercolors, here are Charles Reid watercolors, another one of famous watercolor artists.

His watercolros are painterly done, and I feel there is a big difference with the previous artists: Charles Reid can draw without being obsessed by the drawing process..

His watercolors are very often from life and even reference pictures are not copied but taken as a reference to draw from life with a free hand (to be even clearer, no lightbox, no projector is used). The result is sometimes a drawing not so perfect but this ADD to his work, in my opinion: you can see it's done by an artist able to modify and adapt reality to his message - mood, lightness, feeling. It's only a pity we cannot see these watercolors from life, they will give us a better impression even.

charles reid watercolor

Charles Reid watercolors

Charles Reid watercolor

charles reid watercolor

charles reid watercolor

charles reid watercolor

charles reid watercolor

Splashing is a technique Charles Reid uses often (see the "dots" all over the painting?). The highlights are often there where he thinks there should be as well and not only and exactly where you see them in real life . Colors are very often not exactly "as they are" in reality. All what I have just said you can see and learn in his DVDs where you will also be able to see how he drags the brush over the paper without removing it from the surface until he mixes the colors directly on the paper.
In one word, this is how to paint painterly. The result is a non-100%-realistic watercolor - not a copy of a photograph - but a much personal work of art.


Charles Reid website


Good artists of today

Sue Archer


Sue Archer Watercolor
An excellent watercolorist...but the drawing and so the end result is clearly made with a projector/window on top of a photograph (I could see the DVD and compared the line drawing with the reference picture she used) and so mimicking exactly the highlights. The painting is VERY realistic, technically well made, "pretty"..but not as genuine and fresh as a Homer's watercolor. As I said, Sue Archer made a great DVD where she extensively teaches her way to paint in watercolor and how she creates and PLAN her color palette and work. I recommend it highly.. I would also recommend her to move to next step in her art: be painterly and move away from photography


Carla Chiaberta Barabino

Italy and art...anyone noticing anything here?

carla chiaribert barabino watercolor

carla chiaribert barabino watercolor


carla chiaribert barabino watercolor




Angelo Gorlini

And here we are opening a new frontier....

angelo gorlini watercolor

A, well, artistic watercolor, nearly a "conceptual art". But interesting to see what you can do with watercolors...







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