Exploring artists and techniques from the 2nd Biennial Watercolor Show, pt. 2


I found the paintings by Ewa amazing and fascinating, and she was easily my big discovery of the event.  I knew I liked Castagnet going in (and he did not disappoint!!), but Ewa was a painter I'd never even heard of before.  All her paintings were very large- 4’ x 3’ atleast.  All the images are also semi-abstract, but much like seeing the amazingly oversized Monet Waterlilly murals, as I backed up I began to see the image more and more clearly.  One is, to me, clearly a waterfall splashing on a rock, another a puddle with neon lights in it, another perhaps a turtle seen underwater, with reflections on it.  Go in close though, and its pure insanity!  Crazy stuff.

Here are some close ups.  Pardon the reflections from my amateur-hour photography...  ;)

My presumption, with these first closeups, is that a lot of wet into wet into wet work is occurring, where a wash is put down, let to dry just a little bit, and then a thin, clean, wet brush is used to stroke water into areas, and push the pigment out, to form these circles and strokes.

However, here we have a second set of closeups using a different technique-

With this second set of closeups, my presumption is that that incredible glowing affect is being created by following the patterns of the first set, but that she is then going back into it with a brush that is heavily charged with pigment instead.  Thus, instead of the white of water, we’re getting these glowing oranges and yellows abutting the darker blues and greens of the first wash.  I would be astounded if she was able to do this by progressively building the image wash by wash, and from what I saw of a demo video they were showing at the exhibit, it does seem like she’s doing an immense amount of wet into wet work, and that she’s doing it flat.  The video wasn’t for any of the paintings in the exhibit, but it gave a sense of her working process.


Eric Laurent-

This painting of Eric’s struck, in particular because I’ve long been interested in a more responsive, organic way of painting high valued, chromatic foliage against a darker background, without having to use masking fluid or to go through a super careful, very detailed process of preserving my highlights.  

I’m not sure what pigments he’s using, but it’s obviously very opaque.  Perhaps Cad Yellow?  He’s also got some opaque lime in there, so I think he must be mixing it with something.  I’ve yet to try it with Viridian, but it’s a relatively opaque green.  So maybe??


Muriel Buthier Chartrain- http://www.artmajeur.com/en/artist/buthierchartrain

I found this piece by Muriel at the end of the day, and loved it.   I wish there had been more than one, but that was actually pretty common with the exhibition.  I looked her up on line and couldn't find a website for her.  You can find other samples of her work though, if you google her name.  She's clearly putting her work into shows and what not in Europe..  However, I did find out that she has various videos you can watch of her on youtube. 

Here's a link to her videos.


Here you can see the absolutely gorgeous texture she's getting in her work.  I'm assuming, much like Bjorn Bernstrom, she applying a pigment very very thickly, and then pushing water or a diluted pigment through it, or spritzing water on it/through it, to get that gorgeous, runny granulation.