Enchanted Vistas | Watercolor Landscapes by Ian Ramsay

Ian Ramsay pushes his architecture- and maritime-inspired watercolor landscapes beyond the facts of his reference photos to create mood and a feeling of being there. “Something manmade almost always appears in my work,” says the artist. “I like to paint a variety of subjects, but they’re all very concrete. Boats and buildings are what I seem to look for.”

For him, good watercolor landscapes must have a strong focus with many surrounding objects reinforcing the composition; focusing on one part of the scene and playing down the rest are key to making a potentially complicated painting work as a whole. “All that I choose to paint is important,” he says, “but the weight of each object must be studied so as to give the painting a main character and an interesting supporting cast.”

To aid in making such choices, Ramsay often relies on personal photographs he has taken of various places and scenes and makes no apologies for doing so. “The goal isn’t to re-create a photograph,” he says. “The artist’s imagination and soul must take part in the process.” For Ramsay, that means incorporating necessary elements, eliminating some and adding some from memory.

Read more about his watercolor landscapes in the October 2016 issue of Watercolor Artist (now available in print here and as a download here), and enjoy this gallery of his work.

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Fishermans’ Wharf, Victoria, BC, Canada (watercolor on paper) by Ian Ramsay | watercolor landscapes

Fishermans’ Wharf, Victoria, BC, Canada (watercolor on paper) by Ian Ramsay

 

Sorrento Piazza, Tasso, Italy (watercolor on paper) by Ian Ramsay | watercolor landscapes

Sorrento Piazza, Tasso, Italy (watercolor on paper) by Ian Ramsay

 

Dawn, Astoria Harbor (watercolor on paper) by Ian Ramsay | watercolor landscapes

Dawn, Astoria Harbor (watercolor on paper) by Ian Ramsay

 

Covered Bridge, Massachusetts (watercolor on paper) by Ian Ramsay | watercolor landscapes

Covered Bridge, Massachusetts (watercolor on paper) by Ian Ramsay

 

Street Scene, Totorri, Japan (watercolor on paper) by Ian Ramsay | watercolor landscapes

Street Scene, Totorri, Japan (watercolor on paper) by Ian Ramsay

 

Fort Bragg Marine (watercolor on paper) by Ian Ramsay | watercolor landscapes

Fort Bragg Marine (watercolor on paper) by Ian Ramsay

 

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