Nothing Watered Down About Her Work

21 Jan 2014

Watercolor painting by Bev Jozwiak
Jozwiak's works (above, Waiting for #9, 2010,
13 x 26, watercolor, private collection) show how
color-rich and sumptuous watercolor painting can be.
Over and over again I hear artists cooing about the thick richness of oil paints and its appealing spreadability, and yes, all of that is totally true. But artist Bev Jozwiak is giving oil a run for its money in terms of buttery appearance and saturated colors, and she’s doing it with watercolor.

“My favorite painters have always been oil painters, and that’s the style I emulated,” Jozwiak says, speaking of her tendency to apply paint so thickly to her watercolor painting surface that it often mirrors the look of oil paint. Working this way, she creates brilliant, almost prismatic color layers and darks with incredible nuance.

Jozwiak doesn’t mix colors on her palette. She paints with pigments right out of the tube instead, laying down color and leaving it alone to avoid over-mixed or homogenized colors. Even with gray, Jozwiak’s “let it alone” sensibility comes through. She combines yellow ochre, rose madder genuine, and manganese blue hue. Her black is a combination of burnt sienna and ultramarine blue.

Watercolor painting by Bev Jozwiak
Even Jozwiak's darkest darks contain a lot of
color and nuance, as in this painting, Hippie
Kind of Vibe
(2010, 22 x 30, watercolor).
Jozwiak also works quickly and decisively, and believes that the tipping point for any successful watercolor painting she creates is confident brushstrokes. It is that freedom and looseness, in part, that will always keep Jozwiak a watercolor artist, not an oil painter. Where oils can sometimes feel thick and heavy, watercolor feels like pure movement to her, and it always has something new to teach her.

Working with watercolors is a balancing act that keeps artists on their toes. Jozwiak excels with her chosen medium because she is content to never stop learning from it and is open to change as she uses it. If you want to read more about all the ins and outs of the medium plus watercolor painting lessons on how to make it work for you, The Watercolor Bible is all that I recommend. It has given me so much insight into the medium and a sheer love for the art that is made with it, that I don't look anywhere else for watercolor instruction. Enjoy!

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Blackbird_61 wrote
on 29 Apr 2011 5:47 AM

I'm a huge Wythe fan, and love Dry Brush, and water color artists that produce work that does not look "Water Colory" if thats a word.

Thankyou so much for introducing me to this Artist.

Lovely Stuff. BB.

Kisu wrote
on 29 Apr 2011 9:38 AM

During the years when I was using watercolor exclusively I had a tendency to want to use them in a more dense manner than they 'should' be used, and later I incorporated gouache to address that tendency.   (Although some transparent watercolors lose their brilliance if used too densely, so you do have to use some restraint because there are some limits to what the pigments can do in that respect).  And now  I probably use oils less thickly than they typically are used, also.  I think some artists just have a technical sensibility that resides between watercolor and oils.