Thursday, October 18, 2012

Expressive Watercolor

Watercolor Sketch by Kiah Kiean
I frequently check out the Urban Sketchers Blog for inspiration since I find the work to be so fresh and unassuming. In doing so, I came across the work of artist, Kiah Kiean, whose work has qualities that are so luscious, they inspire me to sketch more, myself.

In my watercolor monotype class, I encourage my students to experiment with the natural properties of watercolor: the way the pigments in the paint interact, the way the water acts on the work surface (in my class it's plexiglass), and effects that can be achieved only with water-based media.

The work above is not a monotype, rather it's an example of one of the most expressive street sketches that I've seen, full of energy, movement, vibrancy and texture. I find this work to be very inspiring as I'm drawn to the contrasts in color and tone while being engaged by the intensity of energy and willingness to use unexpected color splashes for excitement which adds even more to the scene.

In my class, we are experimenting with powdered natural pigments mixed with gum arabic in addition to watercolor paint applications to the monotypes. Some of the effects seen in the sketch above are achieved with the "pigment washes" that we create. If interest is indicated, I can discuss the pigment experiments more fully in a future post.

UPDATE: If you're interested in splatter illustration art, you should check out the work of Ralph Steadman who is a pioneer of this technique.

1 comment:

parasol said...

I'd love to learn more about those techniques, Spider :)