Henry Ryland

Henry Ryland, Victorian watercolors
Henry Ryland was a British painter and illustrator active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, who shows the influence of Victorian painters like Albert Moore and Lawrence Alma-Tadema.

Though he sometimes painted in oil, he was known for his elegant figurative watercolors. These were rendered — like many watercolors of the time — in a painstaking technique of stipple, with hundreds of tiny dots of color applied to create tones, a process that also imparts a wonderfully appealing surface texture.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Samuel Palmer ink and watercolor drawing

Oak Tree and Beech, Lullingstone Park, Samuel Palmer, pena nd brown ink drawing with watercolor and gouache
Oak Tree and Beech, Lullingstone Park, Samuel Palmer

Pen and brown ink, with gouache an watercolor on toned paper, roughly 12 x 18 inches (30 x 47 cm); in the collection of the Morgan Library and Museum, NY. Use the “Zoom Image” or “Download Image” links on their page to view larger.

I love the way that Palmer has used a variety of seemingly casual but wonderfully effective marks — squiggles, dots, dashes, calligraphic strokes, blotches, hatching and stipple — to define his textures.

The Morgan’s website indicates that the handling of the background is also quite interesting. The light through the distant trees is indicated with yellow watercolor, painted over an area defined with white qouache and then coated with gum arabic, which would impart a sheen to that area. I assume that this effect would be more noticeable in person, and might resemble the effect of spot varnish as used in modern commercial printing.

 
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Liz Shippam

Liz Shippam, watercolor botanical art
To my eye, there appears to be a tendency in contemporary botanical art to be so respectful of scientific accuracy that contrasts of color and value are often sacrificed, leading to reserved, delicate watercolor renderings that are less impactful as artworks on their own.

The bold watercolors of English botanical artist Liz Shippam provide a refreshing counterpoint to that trend. Her refined and naturalistic paintings of flowering plants — and fruit, in particular — bring to mind 19th century watercolorists like Emilie Preyer and William Henry Hunt.

Like those artists, Shippam uses a dry brush technique, building up her textures in layers.

The gallery of work on Shippam’s website is not extensive, but you can find more of examples of her work on her Etsy shop and the Kevis House Gallery. I’ve also provided other links, below.

 
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Jérémy Soheylian

Jeremy Soheylian, French artist, urban sketching in pen and watercolor
Though he sometimes works monochromatically, when I first came across the ink and watercolor architectural drawings and urban sketches of French artist Jérémy Soheylian the majority of his work at first registered to my eye as full color.

It then dawned on me that they were actually remarkably effective use of simple warm and cool tones — a muted sepia (or perhaps burnt sienna) and a cool, low chroma blue-gray. Soheylian is wonderfully adept at using the power of color temperature and value relationships to suggest distance and variety, with deft touches of pen work adding texture and a sensation of detail.

He occasionally also works in more colors, greens and higher chroma red-browns and blues, but still with a very limited palette. Some of his work is more sketch like, other pieces are more refined and finished. All of them evidence solid draftsmanship and a firm grasp of architectural form.

His website is in French, but is easily navigable by non-French speakers. “Peintures” are his watercolor paintings, “Dessins” are drawings in various media including urban sketches, and “Illustrations” are his more formal architectural drawings.

Soheylian also has a blog, which includes some step-throughs of his process. It’s also in French, and has more text than his website, but you can access it through Google Translate if you want a rough translation.

There is also a step-through of his process on Canson Studio. In addition, there is a brief interview with Soheylian on the French version of the Canson Studio site, Google Translate here (scroll down).

If you do a Google Image Search, you’ll find a number of his images from other sources.

There is a brief video about Soheylian on YouTube that is in Russian, but has a view of him working.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: William Wyld watercolor

St. Mark's Square, Venice, with Loggetta, William Wyld, ink and watercolor
St. Mark’s Square, Venice, with Loggetta; William Wyld

Watercolor and ink, roughly 10 x 7 inches (25 x 18 cm); in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Use the Download or Enlarge links under the image on their page.

I love this beautiful ink and watercolor rendering, not just for its wonderful combination of precision and sketch-like freedom, but for its unusual view of St. Mark’s Square. There are dozens, if not hundreds of beautifully rendered paintings and drawings of that most famous of Venice’s public squares, but most are from the far end, looking down the full length of the plaza.

Here, Wyld gives us a much more intimate view, the kind you might encounter as you walked about the edges of the square, and with a daring composition as well. The dark, shadowed foreground presents the primary figures almost in silhouette against the lighter base of the campanile.

The differently colored tiles in the paving lead us back to the distant group of figures, and the angled view of the Loggetta brings us back out to more shadowed foreground.

 
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Bror Anders Wikstrom

Bror Anders Wikstrom, imaginative float designs of dragons and other, in watercolor
With the exception of the more straightforward watercolor (images above, bottom), the rest of these wild and wonderfully realized watercolor illustrations are designs for New Orleans carnival parade floats from the early part of the 20th century by Swedish/American artist Bror Anders Wikstrom.

Wikstrom originally went to sea as a young man, but his career as a sailor was curtailed by changes in his eyesight. Nearsightedness did not prevent him from pursuing studies in art in Stockholm and Paris, and he applied his artistic learning to magazine illustrations, advertising design, prints, cartoons, murals and portraits.

Coming to the U.S., he settled in New Orleans and became noted for his designs for carnival floats for two of the prominent krews, Rex and Proteus.

A number of his float designs are maritime in nature, others are wilder fantasy, often featuring dragons and other fantastical creatures.

He also painted landscapes and marine paintings, though I can’t find as many examples of those; you can find some on Artnet and Invaluable (and here).

 
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