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Title: 探 = In search of harmony
Authors: Ng, Woon Lam
Keywords: Visual arts and music::Visual arts
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Ng Woon Lam
Source: Ng, W. L. (2016). 探 = In search of harmony (1st ed.). Singapore, Singapore: Ng Woon Lam.
Abstract: Most recently, my experimental focus for watercolor is on the vibrancy of colors and layering approach in relation to the richness of optical results. I choose to work on a small scale for the ease of travelling or working en plein air. The myth about watercolor lies in its transparency. It is a conventional notion that transparent washes should be used to bring forth freshness and immediacy. However, I believe that the overemphasis of this technique would, to a certain extent, erode its true capacity in image making. In this show, I am ambitious in using my new artworks to showcase the multifaceted world of watercolor painting. Back in the days when I was learning the classical oil painting approach in New York Academy of Fine Art, I discovered the similarity in the painting techniques between watercolor and oil painting. This similarity is a result of overcoming limitations. Before the turn of the Industrial revolution, manufacturing technology was in its infancy and classical oil painting approach was limited by the availability of pigments. Artists back then were not able to purchase tubes of paint directly from art stores ( a luxury only available much later, thanks to the Industrial Revolution ) to go en plein air painting like we do today. In addition to that, pigments used before the 1850s were generally earth materials or plant extracts, which had to be further blended with oil to form the painting paste used in studios. The colors were either earthy toned (browns) or low in chroma, and materials with greater color intensity were rare and costly to work with. In this restrictive period, old master artists discovered through practical experience, what I regard to be the most brilliant piece of knowledge in the history of color painting - the optical behaviour of colors. In applying this knowledge, artists invented painting techniques that overcame the limitations of their time. The optical result achieved was one with richer hue variation without actually having to paint more colors. Limited by available pigments, the old masters relied on two major layering approaches to create optical results on painting surfaces. The first method is transparent glazing, which is commonly used in watercolor. In oil painting, the glazing method is further classified into transparent and semi-transparent (Velatura) layers, both of which fully enriches the spectrum of tonal and hue variations. The second method involves dry brushing a layer or what is termed “scumbling”. The optical interaction between semi-covered paint layers forms hue vibrancy. American master, Andrew Wyeth employed the latter approach in many of his earthy-toned watercolor works. To present the vibrancy of this optical approach, I employed all possible combination of paint layers. The full spectrum of layers from opaque to transparent layers is evident in this body of experimental watercolor artworks. I sincerely welcome feedback from one and all. Thank you very much.
ISBN: 9789811106309
Schools: School of Art, Design and Media 
Rights: © 2016 The Author(s). All rights reserved. This book is made available with permission of The Author(s).
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:ADM Books & Book Chapters

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