Watercolor Artwork

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Watercolors are the most unforgiving medium. Once you touch the canvas or paper with the paint it cannot be altered. Unlike oils and acrylics which can be reworked, covered, and painted again, watercolors are permanent. The only choice is to begin again. 

Above: A reproduction of a Renaissance piece by Vermeer, the famous Dutch artist. This watercolor piece was created full-size on heavy paper stock. 

Historic cabin rebuilt on camp property - Painted 2014



The cabin pictured here is a historic reconstruction sitting inside a camp. I eliminated some surrounding clutter and focused on the character of the wood.

I believe the most attractive features of older structures are the incongruities. There are no sharp edges or uniform corners. Every log, turn, and wood slat must be studied to recreate its texture. The overall saturation of color must balance with the remaining portions of the piece. The continuous color layering process reveals a finished building it its full glory.

Male bather at seashore c.1982


Male bather begins to disrobe by the shore to go swimming. Using minimal color palette and wet brush technique I was able to capture the musculature of the body and preserve the intense light on the figure.

This is a copy of a more famous work by another artist. The human body can be the hardest to define when painting. Layering of tints and hues in the proper balance is essential.



Vermeer - Young Woman With A Water Pitcher c.1664



I created this reproduction of a famous Vermeer using watercolors on a canvas nearly the same size as the original painting in the Metropolitan Museum Of Art, NYC. 

While the piece is still unfinished you can view the layering technique of building up the proper color and brushstrokes. If you examine the cloth to the lower right you will notice the shadowing on the base linen color, then followed with the detailed tapestry pattern of the cloth, and finally saturated to appear with the correct shade depending on the light exposure on the cloth. 

Each portion of the work was examined in the original to retain a closely matched color and texture. While the woman's dress, for example, appears to be a solid dark blue it is actually a rich velvet with many subtle ripples.

Degas reproduction using brighter light in watercolors from 1985



"The Bather" is an iconic Degas masterpiece. He worked for many years in pastels and other media. The fact that his work is preserved is amazing considering the deteriorative effects of air, moisture, and other elements which can destroy delicate artwork. I used a somewhat brighter pallette but tried to preserve the overall imagery.

This painting was created while at camp in 2014. The muddy pond water barely reflects the chapel hidden among the bushes, undergrowth and trees lining the opposite shore. To the left is the edge of the small bridge to reach the chapel. 

In painting the surroundings I attempted to retain the overwhelming light and shadow of the foliage as well as delineate the types of trees and bushes in as much detail as a small canvas allows.Students will find watercolors to be instantly rewarding and frustrating at the same time.

I teach a specific course in watercolor to avoid many of the pitfalls and show the budding artist how to control the paint.


Chapel in the woods at camp - Painted 2014




Classical Murals
c/o Richard Rivette
8511 Davis Lake Parkway, C6-267
Charlotte, NC 28269

(980) 229-7967 - leave a message 24 hours

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