Those who are not conversant in works of art are often surprised at the high value set by connoisseurs on drawings which appear careless, and in every respect unfinished; but they are truly valuable... they give the idea of a whole.
- Sir Joshua Reynolds
We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.
- Anais Nin


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Stewart Burgess White

Posted by Charley Parker at 8:19 am

Stewart Burgess White
I met watercolorist Stewart White at the recent Wayne Plein Air Festival here in Southeastern Pennsylvania, where he was drawn to the architectural elements of the town’s 19th century train station.

White’s background in architectural illustration gives his work a solid geometric underpinning and lends his loose application of washes a pleasing graphic strength.

White works on location, and his online gallery includes work from his home town of Baltimore as well as his travels in Europe and other locations around the US.

I particularly enjoy his use of atmospheric perspective, and his ability to find beauty in industrial subjects. He uses a controlled palette, often with one color predominating, accented by touches of its complement.

It’s unfortunate I couldn’t find more examples of White’s architectural work (above, second from bottom), as that kind clear, crisp watercolor rendering is largely being replaced by colder, more impersonal 3-d renderings.

7 comments for Stewart Burgess White »

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  1. Comment by James Gurney
    Wednesday, May 29, 2013 @ 10:22 am

    As well as being a great plein air painter and a nice guy, Stewart is also involved with the American Society of Architectural Illustrators. He hosted the ASAI’s annual convention in Baltimore last year. The ASAI has a student competition that any student who loves painting imaginary buildings should consider entering.

  2. Comment by Charley Parker
    Wednesday, May 29, 2013 @ 1:24 pm

    Thanks, James.

    For the benefit of other readers, here is the ASAI website:

    Unfortunately, their member gallery is not conducive to browsing:

  3. Comment by Donald Pittenger
    Wednesday, May 29, 2013 @ 5:28 pm

    I’m years away from being anywhere close to the architectural rendering loop. But one reason why you might not find much of Stewart’s rendering is that (I suspect) most of it is now done on computers.

    If he were alive today, Hugh Ferriss might be digging ditches instead of rendering.

  4. Comment by Mark
    Thursday, May 30, 2013 @ 12:38 pm

    Hey Charley, hadn’t stopped by in a couple weeks and I had a pleasent surprise. As I studied the first watercolor I was quite certain it was of the mill center that lies 1/3 of a mile from my childhood home in Balto! I love to see nice watercolors, my mother was/is a watercolor painter and adherent and I suppose it has passed onto me. I am certainly glad you brought Mr. White to my attention and I will have to catch up on some of his other works. As is I recognized as having visited in person or lived near all but one of the posted works.
    Thanks again for the work on blog…I’m gonna paint today!!!

  5. Comment by Charley Parker
    Thursday, May 30, 2013 @ 7:34 pm

    Thanks, Mark. It’s always nice to find terrific paintings of places you know. I’m particularly glad you were inspired to paint.

  6. Comment by David J Teter
    Sunday, June 2, 2013 @ 5:52 am

    Beatiful watercolors. The architectural rendering is clear and crisp without being too sterile, which some were even before digital rendering took over. Great drawing, design, color and atmosphere. Really enjoy these, thanks Charley.

  7. Comment by Stewart White
    Wednesday, January 29, 2014 @ 1:55 pm

    Hi charlie,
    Thanks for the kind attention to my work. If you need any other images of architecture, I have a ton of them. Glad to hear there still might be room for hand drawn renderings . They have a pleasure factor that digital work lacks. There is however some extraordinary work done digitally these days. Look up Cyril Farey , English illustrator, clean and crisp watercoor work of early 20th century

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