When I first saw this painting I thought it was a photograph. After I realized it was a painting, I assumed it was done in oils or acrylics. Wrong again: it’s watercolor!
I’m no artist, but I do know watercolor is a difficult medium – especially when it comes to figurative realism. Who is this artist, and how did he/she achieve such incredible mastery in this challenging genre?
Steve Hanks (1949-2015) was a California native born into a military family in San Diego. His dad was a highly decorated WWII Navy flyer.
Growing up, Steve was more passionate about sports than art. He particularly enjoyed tennis and surfing along the beaches of Southern California. He would retain a spiritual connection with the ocean for the rest of his life.
Surfing had a strong influence on my paintings . . . The ocean made a strong and lasting impression on me. It was good for the soul to be out in the water—surfing, swimming, or simply getting in touch with its mysterious power.
Early on, Steve’s teachers recognized his artistic ability, but he refused to do the required assignments in his high school art class. To prove he was good, he did a one-man art show and sold his first painting to another art teacher.
This cute little pup seems a little unsure about that drumstick on his plate. Do you think he’s trying to figure out how to use that knife and fork? What impeccable table manners!
I was happy to chance upon Lucia Heffernan’s whimsical animal paintings recently. It’s simply impossible not to smile when you see them. She takes anthropomorphized animals to a new level: they’re realistic rather than caricatures, created with panache, elegance, and humor.
A pig in a top hat? Bunnies driving race cars and shopping for carrots? What about a police bear enjoying coffee and donuts, or a handsome dog shaving? Whatever you do, don’t tell on that kitty who literally spilled the beans. 😀
In Annya Marttinen’s enchanting world, books and teacups float in the air, children play leapfrog with real frogs, and rabbits leap over treetops.
Yet alongside these flights of fancy are realistic depictions of simple pleasures such as reading, knitting, yoga, or walking in the woods on starlit nights.
A native of Canada, Annya’s a graphic design major who currently works as an illustrator using both traditional (watercolor, gouache) and digital mediums. She favors warm earth tones, and many of her pictures include celestial imagery for an added touch of magic.
She’s largely inspired by folklore, mythology, nature, children’s literature, and the cozy comforts of home. She’s an avid reader of fantasy novels and often gets ideas from listening to movie soundtracks.