Monday, May 11, 2020

Gouache Seascape by William Trost Richards

The notes from the Brooklyn Museum say: "Already established as a landscape painter in oils, William Trost Richards began working in watercolor in earnest about 1870 and over the next decade was widely regarded as one of America’s best watercolorists." 

William Trost Richards, American, 1833-1905, A High Tide in Atlantic City,
Opaque watercolor with touches of translucent watercolor   8 7/16 x 13 15/16 in. (21.4 x 35.4 cm)
on moderately thick, moderately textured wove paper

"This turn to the medium coincided with a new focus on coastal subjects—watercolor was particularly well suited both to sketching outdoors and to capturing the constantly shifting climatic conditions at the water’s edge."

"He generally used an additive technique: laying down transparent washes of color and then applying touches of more opaque paints to create body and texture."


Evilclive said...

I‘m always amazed at the accuracy or believability of the colors. Especially such a scene which can disappear within minutes.
When I try to paint at sunset It’ll be dark before I call it quits and give up in defeat.

Did artists like Richards premix the colors? Or did they have multiple sessions for a watercolor like this? Paintings like these look so effortless and almost magical to me, thanks for sharing these!

James Gurney said...

Evilclive, I would say neither of the above. I would wager he painted this in his studio from a well-stocked memory, because the way it's taped off, it looks like an exhibition watercolor. But there are examples of his watercolor seascapes done on location, proof being raindrops: Post about that:

Susan Krzywicki said...

Amazing image of Atlantic City - so beautiful. And today: not so attractive. Although, James, you could easily paint a scene there and it WOULD be entrancing. Somehow.

James Roth said...

I was amazed at his "coupon" pictures.
These were watercolor/gouache pictures which were sized about 3"x5"
which were given to patrons as "coupons" for a full sized painting.
I saw these at an exhibit at the Penna. Academy of Fine Arts in 2012.
A book accompanied the exhibition entitled
" A Mine of Beauty: Landscapes of William Trost Richards"

Virginia Fhinn said...

I bet it would be amazing to see this in real life...

Virginia Fhinn said...

P.s. you can really zoom right in to some of his works on the Google Arts & Culture app/site , like this one , it blows me away how varied the colour in the rocks are.

Lulu said...

wow, hard to believe it's gouache from the way the light flows off the page!