watercolor

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Art Illustration

Discarded Technology and Branded Trash Are Stacked into Dystopian Structures in Alvaro Naddeo’s Paintings

May 7, 2021

Grace Ebert

“AmeriCan’t” (2018), watercolor on paper, 20 x 22 inches. All images © Alvaro Naddeo, shared with permission

Behind each one of Alvaro Naddeo’s watercolor paintings is an imagined character who’s built a rickety shopping cart structure or gathered waste materials for a tiny, mobile dwelling. “I believe they are strong people, resilient, and survivalists,” the Brazilian artist tells Colossal. “They use creativity to overcome obstacles and adapt to any situation they are put in. So in a way, both of them, characters and discarded objects, are proof that there’s value in everything if you know where to look for it.”

Evoking an alternative universe in a state of ruin, Naddeo (previously) renders ramshackle structures and vehicles—which only span a few inches—made primarily of outdated technology, rusted carts and frames, and a plethora of branded materials: a Marlboro sign props up an upper level, a Coca-Cola panel offers protection from the elements, and logoed posters and stickers cover almost every surface. By fashioning these relics anew, the artist speaks to consumerism and the waste it generates, a concern that dovetails with a focus on income and wealth inequalities. He explains:

The gap between rich and poor continues to incessantly grow and it seems like nothing can’t stop it. That’s the harsh and important message of my work, but this message comes wrapped in a nice and warm blanket of nostalgia and the beauty of the composition. This warmth makes up for the harshness of the subject matter.

Currently living and working in Los Angeles, Naddeo is involved in a few group shows in the coming months, including at Beinart and Outre galleries in Melbourne and A. Hurd Gallery in Albuquerque. He’s also preparing for two solo exhibitions next year, which will be at Thinkspace in Los Angeles and at Beinart. Until then, check out his Instagram for glimpses of his process and a larger collection of his dystopian paintings.

 

“Die Hard” (2018), watercolor on paper, 12 x 12 inches

“Mad as Hell” (2020), watercolor on paper, 20 x 20 inches

Left: “Ghosts,” watercolor on paper, 12 x 24 inches. Right: “Yes, Please,” watercolor on paper, 12 x 24 inches

“Mil Grau” (2020), watercolor on paper, 14 x18 inches

 

 



Illustration

Expressive Portraits, Line Drawings, and Foliage Are Superimposed into Rich Illustrations by Ana Santos

February 11, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Ana Santos, shared with permission

At the center of Ana Santos’s practice is a commitment to discovery. The Salamanca-based illustrator fuses multiple mediums—her work ranges from watercolor, ink-based drawing, and digital painting to embroidery and ceramics—into portraits superimposed with clusters of foliage, birds, and small, black-and-white renderings, a technique she’s developed through experimentation. “Enjoying the process is very important and being open to error has given me unexpected results, which I really appreciate,” she tells Colossal.

Santos begins the layered works on paper, which she then scans to complete digitally in Photoshop. The resulting portraits are expressive and complex, weaving in elements of emotion, fantasy, and nature.  “I don’t like to explain or give a concrete narrative to my work,” she says. “It seems magical to me that the viewer is open to a free and personal interpretation and that the viewer feels that it is their own.”

Shop originals and prints of Santos’s illustrations on her site, and follow her latest projects on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Delightful Nighttime Landscapes Nestle into Stacked Wooden Boxes in Allison May Kiphuth’s Dioramas

February 3, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Allison May Kiphuth, shared with permission

Allison May Kiphuth (previously) shrinks the expansive landscapes found throughout the eastern United States into picturesque dioramas brimming with natural life. Through layered watercolor and ink renderings, the Maine-based artist creates a mix of quiet forest scenes and ocean habitats often under a dark, nighttime sky. She then stacks the outfitted wooden boxes, blending the marine and land-based pieces in varying positions that create new ecosystems with every combination.

Although Kiphuth derives much of her subject matter from the area around her home, she shares that experiencing new scenes is essential to her practice. “I haven’t been outside of Maine in over a year, and while this landscape is usually so expansively beautiful to me, without the contrast of other landscapes for perspective, it’s been feeling incredibly small,” a feeling that’s amplified by her living and working from a tiny home that’s just 8 x 20 feet.

The artist will have work at Paradigm Gallery in Philadelphia in May and has a solo show slated for August at Antler Gallery in Portland. Limited edition prints of the piece above are available from Nahcotta. Get a glimpse into Kiphuth’s process and views of the scenery she references in her works on Instagram.

 

“Bond,” watercolor, paper, and pins in antique box, 4 x 6 x 2 inches

“Defense,” watercolor, paper, and pins in antique box, 4.625 x 7 x 3.75 inches

Left: “Den” (2019), watercolor on layers of hand-cut paper, sealed with encaustic, 6 x 6.5 x .5 inches

“Nightlight 2,” Watercolor, paper, thread, and pins in antique box, 6.25 x 4.875 x 3.25 inches

“Observation” (2019), watercolor on layers of hand-cut paper, sealed with encaustic, 6 x 6 x .5 inches

“Defense” in progress

 

 



Art Illustration

More Than 90 Artists Create Original Works on Vintage Envelopes for ‘Couriers of Hope’

January 14, 2021

Grace Ebert

By Andrew Hem

What brings you hope? That’s the central question behind a new group exhibition presented by Port City Creative Guild. Couriers of Hope boasts more than 120 original pieces from more than 90 artists—the list includes Rosanne Kang Jovanovski, Andrew Hem (previously), Sean Chao (previously), and Yoskay Yamamoto—all rendered on vintage envelopes. Prompted by the mail art movement of the 1960s, the exhibition features an eclectic array of watercolor, pencil, and mixed-media illustrations that transform the miniature canvases into the artists’ vision for the future, whether through relaxed otters, peaches, or vivid portraits. Many of the works prominently display original postmarks and stamps and serve as a reminder that communication doesn’t have to be digital.

Students from Long Beach Unified School District have the opportunity to acquire one of the envelopes by trading their own response to the artists’ same prompt, with the guild providing art supplies for participants to ensure that everyone has access to the initiative. The show was curated collectively by a Long Beach Museum of Art, Creative Arts Coalition to Transform Urban Space, Flatline, Inspired LBC, The Icehouse x Ink and Drink Long Beach, Arts Council Long Beach, Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum, Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum, Compound LBC, and the Creative Class Collective.

Couriers of Hope will be on display in the windows of the Psychic Temple of the Holy Kiss in downtown Long Beach and on the guild’s site for virtual viewing from January 19 to February 28, 2021.

 

By Sean Chao

By Megan Boterenbrood

By Adam Harrison

By Bodeck Luna

By Christine Yoon

By Hilary Norcliffe

By Judy Kepes

Left: By Jonathan Martinez. Right: By Kelly Yamagishi

By Narsiso Martinez

By Rosanne Kang Jovanovski

By Sean Chao

 

 



Art Illustration

Minuscule Scenes Appear Against the Backdrop of Used Tea Bags in Watercolor Paintings by Ruby Silvious

December 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Ruby Silvious, shared with permission

From her studio in Coxsackie, New York, Ruby Silvious (previously) repurposes the thin paper pouches holding her beverage of choice into miniature canvases. Sometimes strung together or ripped to remove the leaves, Silvious’s tea bags depict the quiet, unassuming moments of everyday life: Passersby trudge through the snow, masks hang to dry, and two women meet for a swim on the naturally dyed backdrops. The artist generally keeps the string and tag attached, matching the mundane subject matter with the material’s ritualistic origins.

Following her 2019 release Reclaimed Canvas, Silvious is working on another book and preparing for upcoming solo shows in France, Germany, and Japan. Shop prints on her site, and follow her soothing works on Instagram and Tumblr.

 

 

 



Art Illustration

Gemstones, Delicate Filigree, and Mechanical Gears Encase Steeven Salvat’s Insect Specimens

November 18, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Steeven Salvat, shared with permission

Steeven Salvat (previously) evokes the glass-covered entomological studies of rare butterflies, beetles, and moths with an additional layer of protection. The French artist armors the singular insects with precious gemstones, silver and gold filigree, and rotational gears. Even elements of luxury watches, like Breguet’s Reine de Naple and an intricate dial from Vacheron Constantin, cloak the critters’ outer shells.

In a note to Colossal, Salvat writes that the growing collection of drawings is an “allegory for the preciosity of biological systems. A way to drive attention to our smallest neighbors on this planet—we need to preserve them because they are worth much more than all the gold and jewels I dressed them with.” Each intricate drawing is rendered with China black ink and watercolor and takes at least 50 hours to complete.

Pick up a limited-edition giclée print of an encrusted creature in Salvat’s shop, and follow his latest projects merging nature, history, and science on Behance and Instagram.

 

 

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A post shared by Steeven Salvat (@steevensalvat)