How One Artist Uses His “Watercolor Vision” To Paint

There are two very cool things about the new book Splash Retrospective. First, it’s a collection of 20 years’ worth of stunning contemporary watercolor paintings. And second, when you pre-order it from North Light Shop, you can immediately get the digital version so that you don’t have to wait for it arrive at your doorstep.

But back to the juicy part–about the artwork. David Rankin’s Naptime (below; transparent watercolor on 300-lb. rough paper, 21×26) is one of dozens of paintings that are featured in tandem with each artist’s description of his or her process and/or inspiration, along with a note from Rachel Rubin Wolf, editor of the Splash series.

Naptime (below; transparent watercolor on 300-lb. rough paper, 21×26) by David Rankin

Naptime (transparent watercolor on 300-lb. rough paper, 21×26) by David Rankin

“I saw this mahout (elephant handler) asleep in the midday sun at the famous Amber Fort Palace in Jaipur, India,” David is quoted in the book. “I perceive the world with what I refer to as ‘watercolor vision.’ I oftentimes gravitate toward a particular subject simply because of how I see it painted in my mind’s eye. That’s how this subject evolved, from my initial sketches and photographs to my full-scale studio painting. One might think that it was the intense midday light illuminating the mahout that attracted and inspired me. But, in fact, what attracted my eye was the delicious quality of the middle-valued colors that defined the highlights. For me, the powerful magical charm of transparent watercolor lies in the artist’s ability to see and paint the full range of middle-valued colors in any subject.”

Hope (watercolor, 27 1/2 x 17) by Paul W. McCormack, featured on the front cover of Splash Retrospective

Hope (watercolor, 27.5×17) by Paul W. McCormack, featured on the front cover of Splash Retrospective

“Watercolor vision”? How poetic–I love David’s description of this scene and simply can’t take my eyes off of the page that features Naptime. Rachel says that this is one of her favorite paintings of all time. “Everything about it is original, from the colorful unified midtone washes, to the exotic subject, to the lighting. The point of view of the artist seems to be from another elephant. It is flawlessly drawn and scrumptiously rendered,” she says in the book.

What are you waiting for? In just a few minutes, you could be absorbing the beauty to be found in Splash Retrospective: 20 Years of Contemporary Watercolor Excellence. Enjoy!

Hoping you give form to your own art visions,

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



You may also like these articles: