Rebecca Boyd Allen is an acclaimed American artist and representative of Winsor & Newton, who kindly sponsor the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours. After graduating from Parsons School of Design in New York and the Slade School of Art in London, Rebecca now works closely with the ColArt team, of which Winsor & Newton are a subsidiary, to share her knowledge and experience of watercolours, testing new materials and demonstrating at art events.
With the exhibition for the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition opening soon at Mall Galleries, we thought we’d whet your watercolour whistle by inviting Rebecca to take us through her favourite watercolour works on Buy Art.
Williams' unique blend of abstract and figurative elements creates a virtually woven surface, with rhythms of answering curves and passages of tone dissolving the boundaries between the two genres. The peppering of dark dashes and shapes adds an additional all-over pattern which further unites the whole.
Fields of Blue II by Annie Williams RBA, Watercolour, 40 x 50 cm - £900
Ling’s portrait could exist as a colourful, balanced abstraction with a surface that celebrates expressive and varied textural marks. Lively colours pour from the background into the face and are off-set by bold grey shapes and an expressive line which she uses to deliver just the right amount of clarity to the features and hands.
Cigarette Break by Zi Ling, Watercolour & Acrylic, 91 x 71 cm - £2,130
Using fragmented and cropped views in contrasting spaces, Panchal sets the viewer up to consider the reality of the model in an unreal and flat space of harmonious planes of colour. The white of the figure’s eye is like a remnant of the once blank paper, and it draws my gaze into a narrative which feels meditative and still.
The Arch by Shanti Panchal Hon RBA, Watercolour, 77 x 58 cm - £9,030
Albrook has seen a relationship between the rippling patterns on the rock and the waves of the sea. The eye is immediately drawn to the tonal contrast of the tunnel as it frames the lightest value in the sky. Simple mark-making throughout the painting is layered to create tone via colour, recalling the work of Impressionists like Monet.
The Tunnel - Porthgwarra by Colin Allbrook RSMA RI, Watercolour, 54 x 74 cm - £2,130
Classical compositional elements, such as the foreground “repoussoir” or push-back, allude to the clarity of space for the viewer. Banning merges the new and old London skyline by summoning an even light and balancing horizontals and verticals for a geometric focus. By contrast, the sway of the red flag on the left, implies an arabesque surface movement which is nicely counter-balanced by the shoreline.
Tenacious at Tower bridge Pier by Paul Banning RI RSMA, Watercolour, 55 x 75 cm - £2,630
Sheldon has meticulously mapped out the overlap of architecture and nature in this study, which seem to celebrate the variety of negative spaces. Lit from above, subtle interior shadows pass into the sky, perforating the stark white frame of the glasshouse.