Watercolor plus Architecture equals WOW

Watercolor artist Amy Park was featured in The Artist’s Magazine (September 2010), in an article titled “Watercolor With an Edge” by Lisa Dolan-Wurster. Today, I’d like to share with you an excerpt from Lisa’s article.–Cherie

Photo Reference for Light and Dark at the Same Time

Amy Park’s reference photo for her watercolor painting of a downtown city building

Like a pendulum, Amy Park’s work has swung between realism and abstraction. But one constant has been her subject matter–architecture–a passion passed down from her father, who had studied the art but never practiced it. “For me, a building must have beautiful repetition, which I always find in the construction materials–the brick, wood, i-beams and glass,” says Amy.

Amy uses references photos but doesn’t render a building exactly from a picture; her photos are admittedly blurry. She uses a small Nikon Coolpix S600 10.0 megapixel digital camera (with a 4X optical zoom) to take the images and then simply glances at them while she paints. People are always surprised by the photos, as a final painting is vastly different from its source photo. She interprets each photograph, changing perspective or color or both. You can see how her final painting, Light and Dark at the Same Time (below; watercolor, 30×22), departs from one of her reference photos for the piece (above, right).

Free watercolor wash demo

Light and Dark at the Same Time (watercolor, 30×22) by Amy Park

By its nature, watercolor is willful and notoriously difficult to master. It blooms like a flower on paper, like a plant growing beyond the confines of the sidewalk. So, to render buildings in watercolor, much less to master painting a straight line with it, is quite a challenge. This is part of the reason Amy enjoys watercolor so much: the challenge of controlling the roving medium and painting objects so completely rigid and strong.–Lisa Dolan-Wurster  

Want more? Here’s a free demonstration from Amy on how to paint a watercolor wash. And, don’t miss this new DVD that’s newly available: Top Vibrant Watercolor Techniques DVD by Soon Y. Warren. Click the link to see a free preview of the video and get a taste of what to expect!

Until next time,
Cherie

Cherie Haas, online editor**Click here to subscribe to the Artists Network newsletter for inspiration, instruction, and more!

 

 

Bonus article! Photo to Painting: How to Use a Photo Reference in Your Art (6 Reference Photography Tips and Tricks to Create Lifelike Artwork

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