Famous Artists

12 Wonderful Watercolour Artists Who Inspire Beauty

12 Wonderful Watercolour Artists Who Inspire Beauty

When we hear an interview with a musician, the reporter often asks ‘Who are your inspirations?’ and we’re then greeted with a long list of names, many of whom we know and love.

When a reporter asks the same question of an artist, they too give us a list of names, but few of us know who they are. It’s much harder to understand the background to their style and passion.

To help you get a handle on some of the most wonderful watercolour artists across the world, we take a look at an inspirational selection of 12 masters, spanning from the European Renaissance to Contemporary Australia.

1. Albrecht Durer

Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) was one of the first European landscapes artists and an early adopter of watercolour which became popular during the Renaissance.

He was a versatile artist, but among the altarpieces, portraits and gothic work, nature also served as his muse.

Watercolour Artists - Albrecht Durer

FLY AWAY: This beautiful watercolour print ‘The Early Bird’ is inspired by Durer’s ‘Wing of a Roller’, a charming addition to a living space.

2. Alvaro Castagnet

Skip a few centuries (say about 6) and you will discover the modern master of watercolour Alvaro Castagnet who was born in Uruguay, lived in Australia for 20 years and has now returned home.

A trainer and lecturer in art, as well as an awarded artist, he has inspired a generation of watercolour artists to paint ‘everyday’ urban and industrial scenes and landscapes. Beauty transpires.

Watercolour Artists - Alvaro Castagnet

INDUSTRIAL BEAUTY: This ‘Stormy Morning At The Port’, influenced by the style of Castagnet, is a treasure for an office, library or men’s retreat.

3. Charles Reid

Like Castagnet, Charles Reid is a modern day watercolour artist, teacher and author with a string of artists who’ve been influenced by his fresh, upbeat works from across the globe.

Watercolour Artists - Charles Reid

MAGICAL: To create a cool, calm space, complement a pastel interior design with a perfect print like this Reid inspired ‘Venice’ watercolour.

4. Georgia O’Keeffe

Wisconsin born artist Georgia O’Keeffe, who was renowned for her flower canvases and southwestern landscapes, shifted her focus from realism to abstract under the tutelage of Arthur Wesley Dow. Despite losing her sight, she was still painting until her death at 98, directing artists to paint her visions.

Watercolour Artists - Georgia O'Keeffe

BRIGHTEN UP: This ‘Lily Love’ print, full of life and colour, will give a room O’Keefe’s signature modern country style.

5. Irving Shapiro

Many watercolour artists today point to Irving Shapiro (1927-1994) as their biggest influence. With work that hangs in galleries, corporate offices and private collections, the water and the waterside were among his favourite subjects.

Watercolour Artists - Irving Shapiro

FIERCE: This ‘Rain In The Mountains’ watercolour is full of feeling, perfectly styling a minimalist, masculine decor.

6. J.M.W Turner

English Romantic oil and watercolour painter Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) is considered to have laid the foundation for Impressionism. Unlike many artists of his era, he was popular in life as well as in death.

Watercolour Artists - J.M.W Turner

WOW: ‘Watery Sunset Over Venice’ is a more upbeat, contemporary version of Turner’s 1810 ‘Petworth, Sussex, the Seat of the Earl of Egremont: Dewy Morning’ watercolour, a better fit for today’s contemporary living style.

7. Joseph Zbukvic

Everyone loves a living master and Zbukvic is all that and more with an extraordinary ability to create a magical atmosphere and mood in his watercolours. Lucky for all of us Australians, he loves demonstrating techniques which means a succession of artists learn how to create some of his magic.

Watercolour Artists - Joseph Zbukvic

BRING IT: This ‘Vintage Streetscape’ has all the power of a Zbukvic, clearly an inspired work.

8. Lourdes Sanchez

Discovered Lourdes Sanchez yet? She’s a Cuban-born artist who lives in Brooklyn whose watercolour paintings are both geometric and organic – and ridiculously fun! Brighten your room today with a Sanchez inspired print.

Watercolour Artists - Lourdes Sanchez

LIFT YOUR SPIRITS: You’ll never look at watercolour the same again with this wonderful ‘Blue Circle Abstract’ on your wall.

9. Milford Zornes

American watercolour artist and teacher James Milford Zornes (1908-2008) began painting in watercolour during the Great Depression as it was more affordable than oils.

He mastered the medium and became and official war artist when drafted to the US Army during World War II.

A leader in the California Style watercolour movement, his works featured transparent washes and the opportunity to include defined shapes.

Watercolour Artists - Milford Zornes

MASTERFUL: Add colour and attitude to a hip setting with ‘Sunny Day In The City’, a beautiful tribute to Zornes’s exquisite style.

10. Paul Jackson

Artist Paul Jackson uses incredible watercolour techniques to paint scenes that look like photographs which is fascinating given he’s also an accomplished photographer. We’re hoping his exciting style catches on more and more, so artists can continue to be inspired by his extraordinary work.

Watercolour Artists - Paul Jackson

PICTURE PERFECT: Bring Europe home with this animated watercolour ‘Rainy Night In Paris’, in the photo painting style of Jackson.

11. Paul Klee

Swiss-German artist Paul Klee (1879-1940), who was influenced by Surrealism, Cubism and Expressionism, had a penchant for transcendentalism and produced a number of expressive, powerful, colourful abstract watercolours.

There’s so much to love about Klee and it’s wonderful to see his style live on through the artistry of others.

Watercolour Artists - Paul Klee

LIVING IN COLOUR: Don’t be shy with a red watercolour as impressive as ‘Waiting’ – for full impact add more red!

12. Winslow Homer

If you love marine art, you will adore Winslow Homer (1836-1910) whose passion for the water came a close second to his passion for oils and watercolours.

A big thank you to all those artists who have followed in his footsteps, resulting in a plethora of marine watercolours for us to enjoy.

Watercolour Artists - Winslow Homer

BEACH LIFE: This ‘Sea Spray’ print with pale avocado and grey decor shows you don’t have to limit your nautical decor to blue.

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