Published On: October 10, 2017 08:58 AM NPT By: Sangita Shrestha

Watercolor trending among artists

Watercolor trending among artists

KATHMANDU, Oct 10: From little kids to renowned artists, everybody uses water color as it  is widely available and can be washed away easily. Though water color is used by all age groups, it is mostly favored by artists for they need not worry about dried paint and ruined brushes. 

Talking about the trend of using watercolor, artist and President of International Watercolor Society (IWS) Nepal NB Gurung said, “Watercolor is used on paper and both the things are easily available in the market. Moreover, most of the artists begin to learn painting with watercolor and gradually change their medium.”

NB himself learned painting with watercolor and is a full time watercolor artist. He has represented Nepal in various International art scenarios. He only recently returned from Indonesia after participating in a watercolor festival. Though NB has not acquired any formal training or education in fine arts, he has a degree in Major English from Tribhuvan University. 

Meanwhile, IWS Nepal has organized an exhibition titled ‘Watercolors’ at Nepal Art Council, Baber Mahal on the occasion of the organization’s second anniversary. The exhibit kicked off on October 6 and features art works of around 38 artists in the themes of culture, lifestyle, rural settlements and urban settlements, among others. 

At the exhibition, artist Dipendra Banepali has painted the Pashupatinath area in a realistic form and has created white dots with ripped paper to give emphasis on the traditional structures. Similarly, artist DB Rai has created a landscape depicting urban settlement. He has also created different types of white dots that emphasize the structures.

Rajan Khadka, a visitor at the exhibition, said, “The exhibition has displayed a variety of art works and I certainly feel happy when I see watercolor paintings. The paintings give a sense of joy, where the transparency and use of subtle colors make it more impressive.”

According to him, paintings made with watercolor give a feeling of freshness as if the rainwater has swept away all the dust from the art work. Agreeing to Rajan, another artist Rajesh Manandhar added, “Playing with watercolors gives artists a different feeling. Its use may seem easy but it is not as we have to get correct color harmony in our canvases otherwise it won’t deliver the expected result.” 

IWS Nepal also organized an online watercolor competition this year. As many as 65 artists submitted their works of art for the competition. Their works were evaluated by the executive members of IWS Nepal on the basis of creativity, authenticity and technique in using watercolor. As many as 15 artists were shortlisted while Roshan BK, Manoj Tamang and Mukesh Mahatto were announced first, second and third, respectively. 

When asked about the future of watercolor artists, NB said, “There is a high demand of watercolor paintings in international market. If a painting is sold at Rs 20,000 here, the same painting can be sold at Rs 50,000 in the international market. Social media platforms such as facebook and instagram have made networking and marketing easy for the artists. ”

He added that some challenges still persisted in the field. “We are still using the same old technique and themes while working in watercolor. In the international scenario, artists incorporate trending contemporary issues in their works whereas our artists are dominated by traditional themes such as portraits and landscapes.”

Nevertheless, NB said the future of watercolor artists was bright. “There are around 50 countries associated with IWS creating a network of artists’ worldwide,” he informed. 

Meanwhile, artists Bhim Shrestha, D Ram Palpali and DB Rai gave a live demonstration during the exhibition on October 7. “Live demonstrations are organized to show the skills and techniques artists use while creating artworks. It is about sharing the skills and techniques.”

Talking about the trend of watercolor in Nepal, NB said, “We don’t know exactly who and when started using watercolor in Nepal. But since the last five years, the use of watercolor has increased back while younger generations are mostly attracted to this medium.”

Watercolor is known as one of the most difficult mediums to work with as it cannot be corrected once the color is spread on paper. Moreover, transparency of colors is vital while working with watercolor. 

The exhibition is slated to continue till October 13 and the artists will give a live demonstration on watercolor techniques on the same day. 

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