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You might think of watercolour as pigments suspended in water blending softly into paper in delicate, pale colours. But in reality, watercolour is far from being only sweet and delicate. From travel diaries to abstract compositions, watercolour lends itself not only to a variety of styles but can also be used in combination with other techniques such as ink, drawing and collage. Unlike oil paint or acrylic paint, watercolor was long considered old-fashioned, a simple hobby used by amateur artists to paint charming countryside scenes. Now ever watercolour is thriving at the hands of contemporary artists.

At the very beginning of its history, watercolour was employed mainly for landscapes, travel diaries, sketches and preparatory studies. The medium dries quickly which allowed the artists to work fast. This medium enables artists to achieve an impressive degree of precision, as demonstrated by Dürer's watercolours and his famous Young Hare.

Claude Lorrain, another master of watercolour landscapes, created quick sketches of the Italian scenery that seem to capture on paper the heat of the southern sun making us want to jet off in an instant to travel through Italy. It was William Turner, at the end of the 19th century, who revealed watercolour's ability to create truly atmospheric works. In his paintings the hues melt into each other, creating clouds of colours that transform recognisable landscapes into seemingly mysterious destinations. At the end of the 19th century, watercolour became a technique that artists prised for the freedom of expression that it allowed. Impressionists chose it because it allowed for spontaneity and Auguste Rodin used it for sketching dancers. At the beginning of the 20th century it was thanks to watercolour that the first abstract paintings by Wassily Kandinsky were born. Other avant-garde artists such as Egon Schiele, Paul Klee and Emil Nolde are also great watercolour.

Abandoned for a few decades, watercolor found a place in art once again in the 1960s, thanks to artists such as Raoul Dufy and Zao Wou-Ki. Today, many contemporary artists choose watercolor as their medium of choice as it allows for a variety of possibilities. And on Artsper there is a lot to choose from!

Discover the works of Valerio Adami, an Italian painter and engraver, known for his flat planes of colours and his thick black line contours. You'll find Philippe Pasqua's emblematic skulls and butterflies. If you prefer urban scenes then you should explore the artworks by Nadéra Benmansour who captures on paper the life and vibrancy of cities such as Paris and New York.

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John Matos Crash, Penguin from Batman and Robin, Drawing

John Matos Crash

Penguin from Batman and Robin, 2003
41 x 29 inch


Our recommendations Benjamin SPaRK, Beaucoup de bruit pour rien, Drawing

Benjamin SPaRK

Beaucoup de bruit pour rien, 2014
23.6 x 28.7 inch


Igor Souza, No title, Drawing

Igor Souza

No title, 2015
7.9 x 7.9 x 0.1 inch


Scoli Acosta, Three Jesus, Drawing

Scoli Acosta

Three Jesus, 2015
11.7 x 8.3 inch


Ludo, Dark Rose, Drawing


Dark Rose, 2008
20.5 x 14.2 inch


Léon Zack, Composition abstraite 5, Drawing

Léon Zack

Composition abstraite 5, 1972
7.1 x 4.7 inch


André Bielen, Synopsie 1, Drawing

André Bielen

Synopsie 1, 2015
28.7 x 22 inch


Nadéra Benmansour, Paris, place de Diaghilev, Drawing

Nadéra Benmansour

Paris, place de Diaghilev, 2016
11.8 x 11.8 inch


Chrystèle Saint-Amaux, Saynète 34, Drawing

Chrystèle Saint-Amaux

Saynète 34, 2016
15.7 x 11.8 x 0.4 inch


Our recommendations Los Carpinteros, Virus, Drawing

Los Carpinteros

Virus, 2017
50.4 x 50.4 inch


Boris Hoppek, Bimbo Menage a trois, Drawing

Boris Hoppek

Bimbo Menage a trois, 2017
11.4 x 7.5 inch


Szilard Huszank, Il a #64, Drawing

Szilard Huszank

Il a #64, 2018
25.2 x 19.7 inch


Beppe Stasi, Elisa, Drawing

Beppe Stasi

Elisa, 2016
13.8 x 9.8 x 1.2 inch


Frédéric Léglise, Zhan, Drawing

Frédéric Léglise

Zhan, 2017
30.3 x 22.4 inch


Waldemar Marszalek, Karolina, Print

Waldemar Marszalek

Karolina, 1992
16.5 x 22.4 inch


Alberto MC, Alone, Drawing

Alberto MC

Alone, 2016
16.5 x 11.8 x 1.2 inch


Martha Zmpounou, Girl with Freckles #8, Drawing

Martha Zmpounou

Girl with Freckles #8, 2018
19.7 x 14.2 inch


Rafal Kostrzewa, Nude, Drawing

Rafal Kostrzewa

Nude, 2016
15.4 x 11.4 inch


Gustavo Lins, Archi-Sweat, Drawing

Gustavo Lins

Archi-Sweat, 2018
11.8 x 8.3 x 0 inch


Rajendra Dhawan, Sans titre, Drawing

Rajendra Dhawan

Sans titre, 1954
15.4 x 11.2 inch


Yan Shi, Selfportrait, Drawing

Yan Shi

Selfportrait, 2017
10.2 x 15 inch


Sylvia Baldeva, Séparation, Drawing

Sylvia Baldeva

Séparation, 2013
16.5 x 16.5 inch


Antoine Bono, De la vision et de l'énigme, Drawing

Antoine Bono

De la vision et de l'énigme, 2015
11.8 x 15.7 x 0.8 inch


Hervé Di Rosa, Le déjeuner sur l'herbe, Print

Hervé Di Rosa

Le déjeuner sur l'herbe, 2014
17.7 x 20.7 inch


Valerio Adami, Damas, Drawing

Valerio Adami

Damas, 1998
37.4 x 29.1 inch


Gottfried Salzmann, New York escalier de secours II, Drawing

Gottfried Salzmann

New York escalier de secours II, 2017
28.9 x 21.1 inch


André Saraiva, Boxes, Drawing

André Saraiva

Boxes, 2018
10.6 x 7.3 inch


Roland Topor, Composition 6, Drawing

Roland Topor

Composition 6, 1969
10.6 x 8.3 inch


Eduardo Arroyo, Franco, Print

Eduardo Arroyo

Franco, 1962
26.4 x 20.1 inch


Scoli Acosta, One to the other, back again, witness, Drawing

Scoli Acosta

One to the other, back again, witness, 2016
11.6 x 8.3 inch


Lantomo, Lightness 4, Drawing


Lightness 4, 2018
27.6 x 19.7 inch


Our recommendations Zalez, King, Drawing


King, 2015
29.9 x 20.9 x 0.8 inch


André Bielen, Échappée Belle, Painting

André Bielen

Échappée Belle, 2015
39.4 x 27.6 inch


Nadéra Benmansour, N.Y City Times Square 2, Drawing

Nadéra Benmansour

N.Y City Times Square 2, 2016
9.4 x 13 inch


Anet Duncan, Take four, Drawing

Anet Duncan

Take four, 2016
9.4 x 9.1 x 2 inch


Jacqueline Oblin, Femme nue allongée 5, Drawing

Jacqueline Oblin

Femme nue allongée 5, 1992
25.6 x 19.7 x 0 inch


Peter Wüthrich, Literary Portraits, Allende, Portrait Sepia, Drawing

Peter Wüthrich

Literary Portraits, Allende, Portrait Sepia, 2014
20.9 x 16.5 x 0.8 inch


Our recommendations Isabella Kretzdorn, Homme pensif, Drawing

Isabella Kretzdorn

Homme pensif, 2009
25.2 x 18.1 x 0.8 inch


Our recommendations Chen Yidan, Lakeside - 1, Photography

Chen Yidan

Lakeside - 1, 2014
27.6 x 27.6 x 0.4 inch


Paulina Maksjan, Sleeping girl, Drawing

Paulina Maksjan

Sleeping girl, 2008
30.7 x 60.6 inch


Richard Saint-Amans, Caligraff 1, Drawing

Richard Saint-Amans

Caligraff 1, 2018
22 x 29.9 x 0 inch


Richard Saint-Amans, Caligraff 3, Drawing

Richard Saint-Amans

Caligraff 3, 2018
22 x 29.9 x 0 inch


Hanna Bakula, Beautiful mistress, Drawing

Hanna Bakula

Beautiful mistress, 2016
11.4 x 8.3 inch


Joanne Hummel-Newell, Natural Disorder, Drawing

Joanne Hummel-Newell

Natural Disorder, 2017
43.3 x 27.6 inch


Miro Bialy, Nude, Drawing

Miro Bialy

Nude, 2005
16.5 x 11.8 inch


Bohdan Butenko, A Drawing, Drawing

Bohdan Butenko

A Drawing, 1980
11.8 x 16.5 inch


Bohdan Butenko, Untitled, Drawing

Bohdan Butenko

Untitled, 1980
10.6 x 14.2 inch


Vladimir Stan, Sans titre, Drawing

Vladimir Stan

Sans titre, 2004
15.7 x 11.4 x 0.8 inch


Nawar Haidar, Untitled 11, Drawing

Nawar Haidar

Untitled 11, 2003
8.7 x 5.9 inch


Chema Lumbreras, Paseo por el amor y la muerte XIII, Drawing

Chema Lumbreras

Paseo por el amor y la muerte XIII, 2015
14.2 x 15 inch


Michel Soutra, Sans-titre, Drawing

Michel Soutra

Sans-titre, 2009
17.7 x 11.8 inch


Adeline André, Men 1, Drawing

Adeline André

Men 1, 2014
13 x 9.8 x 0 inch


Lionel Saliou, Oizio, Drawing

Lionel Saliou

Oizio, 2016
7.9 x 2 x 0.4 inch


Nawar Haidar, Untitled 12, Drawing

Nawar Haidar

Untitled 12, 2003
8.7 x 5.9 inch


Guillaume Cornet, Coliseum, Drawing

Guillaume Cornet

Coliseum, 2014
29.9 x 44.1 x 0.4 inch


Szilard Huszank, Il a #69, Drawing

Szilard Huszank

Il a #69, 2018
25.2 x 19.7 inch


Frank P54, Monkey, Drawing

Frank P54

Monkey, 2016
16.5 x 12.6 x 0.8 inch


Rebecca Bournigault, Louise Terre, Drawing

Rebecca Bournigault

Louise Terre, 2018
29.5 x 22 inch


Our recommendations Sylvia Baldeva, Confusion, Drawing

Sylvia Baldeva

Confusion, 2015
21.3 x 17.3 inch


Our recommendations Sylvia Baldeva, Apparition rouge, Drawing

Sylvia Baldeva

Apparition rouge, 2016
21.3 x 17.3 inch


60 Artworks on 68

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