It’s not often that I add a new artist to my list of favourites – especially a watercolour artist. But on seeing the work of Chinese artist Liu Yi a few years ago, I felt he had to be included somewhere near the top of that list. His paintings display an exceptional control of the watercolour medium without sacrificing any of its freshness and spontaneity.
Liu Yi was born in Shanghai in 1958. I first came across his watercolour paintings in an article entitled ‘Destiny With Water’ in International Artist magazine (Issue 50, Aug-Sep 2006). The text of that article, in which he describes his watercolour technique, is available on this site. The paintings, a series of watercolours of ballerinas, can be seen on Liu Yi’s own website.
Continue reading The watercolour technique of Liu Yi
One of the best ways to improve your understanding of the painting process is to follow the example of the great masters and copy. If you are trying to improve your watercolour technique, copying can be particularly profitable: because watercolour is a transparent medium, it is often possible to reconstruct the artist’s painting process from preliminary drawing right through to final washes. Copying the work of a favourite artist can be both instructive and enjoyable as well as an excellent way to assess your strengths and weaknesses technically. And yet, despite its potential benefits, copying isn’t a widespread method of study among amateur artists.
So what are the benefits of copying? Because copying avoids the complication of composing a painting, it allows the copier to evaluate his ability to handle the painting medium itself without the distraction of composition. Continue reading The watercolour technique of Sir William Russell Flint