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Artist Erik Kaye
Waterfalls in Nikko
This is a sight-seeing painting I did at Kirifuri no Taki (Kirifuri’s Waterfalls) in Nikko, where the great Shogun Tokugawa is enshrined. The painting retains a very Japanese style sense, while employing Western colors and paints.
In watercolor you cannot paint a lighter color over a darker color as you can with acrylics or oil paints, because watercolors are too transparent. So the lightest colors in the picture, like for the leaves in the foreground, are reserved for the raw paper itself while more transparent colors are layered onto the background until the desired darkness and color saturation is reached.
The painter must paint the “negative space” of the background, leaving raw paper in the shape of the foreground leaves, allowing the paint to spread wet throughout the entire background everywhere before it can dry anywhere, in which case the color “wash” comes out unevenly. It’s a satisfying effect when it’s pulled off effectively as I think it is here.
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