Watercolour’s Magical Ingredient

watercolor magic

Magic of Watercolour?

A secret ingredient?  Look closer.


watercolor magic
Watercolor Landscape, debiriley.com


We love, watercolours.

Happy colors. Objects we can define.

And yet, watercolours…. so often, seem to escape our mastery.

The More, we ‘try,’  the more muddled they become.  


Watercolour Mastery

I’d love to introduce you to Blamire Young. He is the true magician of watercolour!

Young, an English – Australian was born 1862 and died 1935. He had been meant to become part of the clergy, but chose to study mathematics at Cambridge instead. Later, travelling to New South Wales, Australia to become the mathematics master at Katoomba College. Young was busy. Busy painting in the bush, painting in the studio. He painted, and just didn’t stop.  I like that!


Blamire, has been  (after Fred Williams and John Olsen)  one of my all time, icons.

His love of the medium, of the brush, his enthusiasm for the subject at hand has inspired how I paint for decades.


Blamire Young
The Bathers, artist, Blamire Young … AGNSW


Australian Watercolours

I’d love to share his work with you which is from my book:  Australian Watercolours.

I am enthusiastic about sharing the culture of Australia, the great artists of Australia with others. Whether you live in Perth, Katoomba, Dallas, Nice, Singapore or places in between – art education is what makes us as a community, connected.

I think we can learn, immensely, from studying these artists.

Its my pleasure to share!


Australian Watercolours, AGNSW
Australian Watercolours,  …. New South Wales Art Gallery

And a quote that I feel is pivotal to the understanding of and the successful,  application of watercolours;

The magical ingredient of sorts….. 


“I had for a long time felt convinced that there was some sovereign advantage in the unbroken continuity of colour, or, as I might say, in the homogeneous skin of paint that covers the paper from corner to corner.

I could scarcely explain wherein this advantage lay, but hankered after it like a mother to be,

and often sacrificed everything to reach it.


I know now that the charm I was seek was ‘bloom’  – that  unmatchable resonance  that comes from the rich surface of undisturbed paint.”


Words that are key:  undisturbed paint. 




Blamire Young was in all respects, a master at using his skills along with his imagination & creativity to provide a more fascinating composition.  He wasn’t compelled to replicate a scene exactly like a photograph. His intention was to personalise the creation, so part of himself was left embedded in it.


The Greek word, “Meraki”  describes exactly what Young did.

Meraki describes doing something with Love, with Soul, with Creativity. Its when you leave a part of your Self in the thing you are doing or building. Whatever that might be.


Watercolour skill and improvements, do take time. Practice.  I’d like to share part of the bio, that stated ….”In his 50th year, Young’s reputation”  –  finally began to get noticed, approved, popular and in demand.


I sighed. That is, a long time. Young was extremely prolific artist for a very long time. And still, it wasn’t until his 50th year that things began to perk up for him.

I think part of watercolour magic, might also be practice and diligence.  Lest you be discouraged, simply grab the paints and paper and begin counting your repetitions. Today.

How, many, can you do, in one week?   14 days? 30?   What if, you just focused on a tree, or a mountain.

Or just skies for those 30 days?


That improvement, would be magical indeed.



Young has so many, exquisite watercolour paintings.

Summer Evening; Autumn Morning: A Dry Land;  and…. A Refuge from Reality …. its stunning!  These are a tip, of his work.  If you’re not familiar  with Blamire Young, simply do a bit of research!

Wherever you might be, Australia, or otherwise,  I think you might fall in love with this magical master of watercolour too.






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 society6.com/debiriley and, redbubble.com/people/debijriley/shop

11 thoughts on “Watercolour’s Magical Ingredient

  1. Hello Debi. I hope you are keeping well in the ‘bubble ‘. Thank you so much for the post. You are so very inspiring and creative. B Young is one of my favourite Australian painters, so I was so pleased that you have mentioned him. Warm Regards, Miriam

    Sent from my iPad



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