Calligraphic Watercolor

watercolor calligraphic abstracts, creative brush use, playing with watercolours,

Watercolors are always on my mind.

They may not be my favorite medium, I don’t have one!

Watercolors don’t always suit my mood, nor suit the subject.

Every subject is different, and requires thought.  Insight into what specific tools, techniques, colors, design, textures will succeed in telling the story.


watercolor calligraphic abstracts, creative brush use, playing with watercolours,
Calligraphically…. watercolor


Affinity with Watercolor

Watercolors do lend themselves quite easily to the calligraphic approach.

They’re fluid like inks.  The brush I use handles similar to the Chinese types of brushes.

And Watercolor and I do have an affinity….Together.



Today’s abstract calligraphic approach with the brush, was directly inspired by

“mixed up media”

Toko Shinoda, and 



Calligrapher Nakajima Hiroyuki

Nakajima Hiroyuki, a contemporary working artist/calligrapher of outstanding skill and depth.


“standing in a meditative state over a blank canvas, and then when inspired….

Nakajima uses one sharp stroke of the brush to create the abstract form of nature: moon, soil, mountain.”  [2]


He explains,  the one stroke of a brush  is carried out with a single, condensed thought to bring about the forms and lines of a moment in time.[3]


Nakajima has said, “Every work of “Sho” is created in one continuous motion, and therefore cannot be repeated or re-written.


The power of “Sho” lies in this feature of non-recurrence.

Even if you draw the same letter ten times, ten different forms will arise spontaneously.”[1]





I find the process, of engaging the mind, soul, hand together – in swift and sure strokes to be a beautiful form of art and a beautiful form of peace bringing, meditation.




Fast and Fun

This was a fairly quick, very fun and relaxing painting approach.

The key was to not over think.

Nor to over load the paper with marks and colors.


But to simply keep it as clean as possible, for the biggest impact.


I did,  think and make decisive active choices.

Once the decision was made, I acted quickly with the brush.

Never once going back.

Even IF, I saw a mistake. A spot, a cauliflower. A “something not quite right.”





Directionals in Design

What I enjoy about this image (besides the Colors!)  is the design.


Directional Movement 

This simple abstract has vertical movement, horizontals and it also has diagonals.

I find when a painting combines these 3,   there is a sense of improved balance and harmony to the image.

That means, its less boring and repetitive than ….. all horizontals.


There are interesting shapes, great negative spaces to make things more interesting and the circular ‘color spots’  add visual interest too.

The variations of color within some of the marks you see, also keep things energised.






The watercolor paints used:

Ultramarine blue pb29

Winsor Lemon py175

Permanent Rose pv19


The warm yellow, looking like gamboge or indian yellow,  is simply winsor lemon with a tiny tiny pin drip of permanent rose.

The blood red, is permanent rose with a  wee ‘dash’ of ultramarine blue.


The paper used was Saunders 100% cotton rag Cold Press 300gsm

And I used my Rekab  320s   #2    Perfect, for the calligraphic mark making I wanted to do!




watercolor abstract with ultramarine blue, calligraphic watercolors,
squared format is interesting as well




I’m feeling Inspired!

Maybe I’ll do some fun, bold trees in watercolor next.

Maybe some glad wrap foliage; or experiment more with Daniel Smith paints… Serpentine and Zoisite.  I guess I’ll go find out now.









Published by debiriley

The act of creation, in any media is a fascinating and magical process. I simply love to create. Expressing in color, line, tone, texture - as if, they were words upon a page. Creating a uniquely me, interpretation. Enjoy More of my "one-of-a-kind" expressive art at and,

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