Since I enjoy water colors so much, I aim to do more of them. One thing I notice slowly is how big the range is of what you can get. The following one is Maroesja, who I painted with oils before. I had more time for this one than just the 20 minutes of the other portraits. I went really into the darks here. Could have done it maybe even more on the skin tone. Fixing some mistakes is also easier than I would have thought. Going with a wet brush over dark areas can bring brighter colors back (you can see it a bit on the cheek here).
To see how much is possible with water colors just look at some examples of the master: John Singer Sargent. At the Art Renewal Center website they mistook some of these as oil paintings – and you can’t blame them. I have no clue how he can have these soft washes everywhere, and yet hit all the details super precise. The faces of the young guy and kid here – both are soft yet every value is where it should be.
Anders Zorn is another master from the turn of the century.
And here is an unsung hero. I found these at an exhibition in Berlin. It is hard to find anywhere else anything about Eduard Hildebrandt, an German explorer/painter – but I have not seen anything of his water color quality before his time. I will post more about him later. Especially amazing is the color precision – the water in the ship reflections look nearly photographic real.
Water color can of course be also very expressionistic – case in point William Turner.