“A Microscopic View,” watercolor on paper, 8″ x 8″, Chun Wang
The process that made this art was completely extemporary…well, at least at its early stage. I was making another painting while accidentally dropping paints on to this paper which formed patterns in a way that looks like some landscape. I then deliberately turned it a microscopic world (since I was sort of into cells and stuff). This seems to be my most abstract work in my life – even though I still tended to make it figurative!
I just read the very famous mystery novel Journey Under the Midnight Sun, written by Keigo Higashino. The protagonist, Yukiho Karasawa (唐沢雪穂), beautiful yet extraordinarily cruel, is a haunting figure that drove me make this portrait for her.
“Journey Under the Midnight Sun,” watercolor on paper, 5″ x 7″, Chun Wang
“Between Clouds and Waters,” watercolor & ink on paper, 5″ x 5″, Chun Wang
This piece was inspired by traditional Chinese paintings in terms of subject and style. What gives it a distinct modern touch is the brightness of color, which is generally absent from the traditional Chinese. I also played a bit with the concept of wash v.s. pen & ink, so there is that interesting contrast between spontaneous shapes and pinpointed strokes – maybe this can be a stepping stone towards a unique style of my own.
One of my friends, a professional photographer, posted his amazing work on Facebook. I replicated them in watercolor but avoided copying every detail from them – pretending to do what Sargent would do when he saw the photos.
During a visit to the Legion of Honors in San Francisco I studied some of Rodin’s sculptures, or essentially craved volumes that perfectly worked with light. Volume, or depth, and light, are two central elements to a painting’s success. I nevertheless approached the sculptures with a different emphasis in my paintings of them: to me it was way more interesting to replicate the figures’ facial expressions than to paint realistically the light or volume – that could be an assignment from a drawing class but seemed tedious.
I’ve just returned from a walk on the Ocean Beach and visit to Cliff House in San Francisco. Sea birds moved very fast so I could really just “sketched” them on paper. But rapid sketching surprisingly captured life well.
This piece used the wet-in-wet and wet-on-dry techniques to color sunflower petals. I also experimented with letting paint drip a little down the paper. It was kind of hard to control the direction it dripped, but this random element made the piece stand out.
I learned a ton from drawing this piece, e.g. how to create 3D effects, paint shadows of objects, and that varying colors’ tones and brightness is very important for a good drawing. Thanks to Mr. Wenxian Wang’s tutorial videos.
The piece is hanging on Tao’s bedroom wall now, but as I take closer look at it, I think I can do better for my next practice!