Saturday, October 2, 2010

A story about large formats

One of my blog readers (the only one maybe, thanks Sue!) made a comment about the size of my watercolours. I start writing an answer but it ended being so extensive that I decided to make a new post.

Once upon a time a gentlement in his 60´s visited an antique store in a small town in north Hessen, Germany. The owner of the store was a friend of mine and some of my "miniature" watercolours hanged in the shop. The guy appreciated the watercolours and told my friend that I should contact him.

He lived in downtown Kassel, in a beautiful apartment in german Grunderzeit Style. The apartment was very elegant decorated. He had recently retired from the family business and spent his new won free time between some voluntary work for the restoration of the city’s Botanic Garden and watercolour painting. He got a big knowledge of watercolours and introduce me to the works of some german contemporary watercolour painters (Horst Kohler, Bernhard Vogel..)from the books in his library. He said he liked my paintings and insisted that I should paint in larger formats...

So once afternoon we sat on his terrace surrounded by summer flowers, a tray with biscuits and tea served in Biedermeier cups, prepared to paint together. He gave me a huge watercolour paper blog and a big watercolour brush. It was a great experience.

You start with a big splash of colour…and let it dry… the most important rule is to be patient, make regular pauses and avoid overworking: that is what’s the tea for… drink some tea and enjoy watching the colours dry in front your eyes changing the intensity and creating estrange textures.

So Sue, that is story how I start painting in large formats. I painted later a view from the neighbourhood from his terrace and ended doing an exhibition in a coffee shop on the corner months later, but that is another story
Photos. Fabio Randone


  1. Thanks Omar. As I'm British I certainly can drink lots of tea, so maybe I'll try the larger format one day.

  2. btw My first Doha sketches are here:

  3. Great advice on painting large format :) I saw the painting in Urban sketchers came to your blog - beautiful -love the colors and composition!

  4. Thanks @Meera!
    @Sue, I just saw your sketches very nice!

  5. I had a great art profesor, also German, who pushed for the large format too. He said that if we paint or draw large then our eyes will see more detail because as humans we tend to want to fill in the spaces.
    Then we have to edit what is not necessary. I love painting. Your art is really beautiful. I like that the paintings look juicy and wet. Wonderful.