Friday, August 16, 2013

Painting lessons from John Bauer

John Bauer, “The Castle of the Rosy Clouds.” (1911)

I recently discovered the works of Golden Age illustrator, John Bauer (1882 – 1918). Bauer was a Swedish painter and illustrator. Sadly, he died in a boat crash at the age of 36.  His work is charming and I decided to copy one of his illustrations to better understand how he painted.

One thing I’m learning about these early 20th century illustrators is that they preferred warm palettes to cool ones ones in their paintings. For my last painting (a copy of one Rene Bull’s illustrations from “The Arabian Nights” I used Schmincke Horadam watercolors for the first time. I really liked them. 
After Bauer, “The Castle of the Rosy Clouds,” by Sara Light–Waller, 2013.
7” x 9”, watercolor on canvas-wrapped board treated with Daniel Smith white watercolor ground.
This time I used Daniel Smith and Winsor Newton watercolors in pretty much the same palette colors to see which brands I liked better. After completing this newest painting, I’m still giving the nod of excellence to the Schmincke Horadam colors, although the Daniel Smith and Winsor Newton watercolor paints did just fine for me too.

My palette for this painting is quite limited. It was made up of nine colors only: WN Winsor Yellow, DS Scarlett Lake, DS Prussian Blue, DS French Ochre, DS Sepia, DS Hooker’s Green, DS Rose Madder Genuine, WN Ivory Black, Schmincke Horadam Titanium White gauche. (Note: WN = Winsor Newton, DS = Daniel Smith)

I'm pretty pleased with the result.

And by the way, I'm coming to really appreciate Prussian Blue. It rocks!

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