En-tete aquarelles de JP Favier

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Information on watercolours

I am an engineer by profession and painting is one of my hobbies. My aim in creating this website is to make others share my love of watercolours and to invite comments on my work.

My background

I was born in 1950 and have lived all my life in the city of Lyons, France. I learnt the basics of drawing and watercolours by reading around the subject, and bought my first set of paintbrushes in 1978. In order to make up for my lack of drawing skills, I followed the advice given by Betty Edwards in her book 'Drawing on the right side of the brain' and practised. It was not until 1985, however, that I really started to produce any significant. pieces. I exhibited my work for the first time in 2003.

My technique

I usually paint with watercolours but I also draw with dry pastels. I mostly paint landscapes, which on the whole, tend to be urban. My paintings are realistic, almost photographic and my main aim is to bring out the light. This is why I like backlighting, atmospheric effects and contrasts provided by warm sunlight. What's more, using watercolours on paper makes it possible to represent water and sky in various ways by using subtle changes in tones and colour nuances. In order to give an impression of softness I usually include in my drawings a part that is in soft focus and contrasts with a very well defined element.

My paintings are derived from photographs which I take on the spur of the moment in my daily travels. My digital camera has become my new sketchbook: when I am moved by a particular composition or the way the light affects a scene, all I have to do is take a picture. The emotions engendered by the scene, however, are short-lived and, after the initial sketch and the first brush strokes, I always have doubts about the final result. Yet, soon something 'clicks' and reminds of me the magical element that made me take that photo: it is then that, all of a sudden, the picture becomes life.


I do not use transient nuances as they do not last. But watercolours are fragile. They do not like water, heat or light and they should not be kept in a damp room or in direct sunlight for a long time. Manufacturers do not guarantee the life of pigments and it is advisable to use a frame that is well sealed with glass as this is the best way of protecting the painting against dust and sun rays. The watercolour should not be in contact with the glass itself so that it cannot be affected by any potential condensation. One should not hang a water colour above a radiator as this would dry out the paper and gradually leave black marks on it.

The above comments are my own. The web site addresses given below are my own choice and I do not have any connection with them.


I recommend:

For drawing:

Betty Edwards : Drawing on the right side of the brain
The author explains how you can learn to draw from unusual starting points (e.g. blind-folded or upside down) and all notions of perspective, anatomy or whatever become irrelevant: you draw what you see but, most of all, you learn a new way of seeing things.

Duc : The art of composition and framing
This book explains the basics of composition such as the rule of the thirds. Advice is scattered throughout the book and the suggestions made tend to work better for the more classical types of work. You do not have to follow this advice but at least you understand why you have chosen not to.


Roland Roycraft : Fill your watercolors with light and color
My favourite book - often open on my desk. A technique based on having several layers of paint, protected in some places by drawing gum. Watercolour is poured by tilting the support after the colours have been deposited on the paper. This technique brings to life the vicissitudes of nature and landscapes bathed in sun light.

Ewa Karpinska : Watercolour : the light of water
A recent book (in French!) on the technique and the relationships between water, paper, diluting paint and what needs to be done to emphasise colour. Very rigorous explanations - you begin to master the type of effects that up till now you may have found unpredictable. Ewa Karpinska has elevated what used to be considered 'mistakes' to the level of technique

Alex Powers : Painting people in watercolor
Elements such as lines, colours and textures are de-composed and re-composed. Bristol paper is unusually chosen instead of absorbent paper.

Franck Webb : Webb on watercolor
This book is also about elements. The author works with small geometrical patterns which are either very defined or use water to create softer focus. Although the final overall effect is abstract, it is quite representational when one looks closely.

Douglas Lew : Capturing motion in watercolor
As the title implies the advice given by this author relates to movement. The wanted effect is achieved by using a lot of water which is mixed with glycerine in order to make its effect last longer.


Jacques Fillacier : The practice of the colour
This books plays with the notion of psychometry and reveals that the triangle of colours is not equilateral.

Jeanne Dobie : Making color sing
A book about mixing watercolours and achieving dark and deep effects. For lighter shades, however, the aspect is often grainy and it is not clear whether this is due to blending with brushes on paper, the type of pigment or the type of paper used.

No author Editions Gründ : The mixing of colours 1. watercolour
This book is about finding the right proportion of colours to mix to obtain the required colour or shade.

Web links

Use also the words aquarelle, watercolor, watercolour, acuarela, aquarellen in your search engine, You tube.

Watercolourists (If * the site requires a Flash ® reader, if + the site does not transmit data in other site)

Representational Expressive Imaginaries
Linda Daly Baker
Nelson Boren
Jeannie Breedings +
Annie Chemin +
Anne Christophe
Paul Dmoch
Thierry Duval
Carol Evans
Margaret Heath
Franck Hérété
Noëlle Herrenschmidt
Lok Kerk Hwang
Carlin Kielcheski +
Vilas Kulkarni
Denis Leblanc +
Roland Lee
Jean-Paul Limousi
Thierry de Marichalar
Stan Miller
Jan Min
Thomas Moore +
Ron Morrison
Bernard Quillac
Hervé Richard
Hubert Riff +
John Salminen
Théo Sauer
Igor Sava
Peter Sit
Joelle Thirion +
Pierre Valaincourt
Michael J. Weber
Wolfgang Hubert Welz +
Joseph Zbukvic
Blanca Álvares
Claudio Bertona
Ann Blockley +
Dominique Boni
Stephie Butler
Howard Carlisle +
Trevor Chamberlain +
Eugen Chisnicean
Dominique Coppe
Jérôme Cossé
Marius Pierre Cousin
Maryse De May
Gilles De Poli
Corneliu Drǎgan-Târgovişte
Gilles Durand +
Jean-Michel Favard
David Firmstone
Brigitte Flahaut
Janine Gallizia
Didier Georges
Dominique Gioan
Christian Graniou
Adrie Hello
LaVere Hutchings
Ilia Viktorovich Ibrayev
Paul Jackson
Michał Jasiewicz
Chantal Jodin
Martine Jolit +
Win Jones
Eliane Joosten +
Kristina Jurick +
Ewa Karpińska +
Andrew M. Kish III
George Kosinski
Dale Laitinen
Ng Woon Lam +
Fernand Lamy +
Piet Lap +
Amanda Lapierre Ibanez
Patrick Larcebal +
Gerda Mentens +
André Méhu
Lucienne Nijsters
Adam Papke
Franck Perrot
Patrick Pichon
Victoria und Slawa Prishedko
Robin Purcell
Hannie Rieuwerts
Estelle Royer
Roland Sanchez
Evghenia Shalalis
Bhupinder Singh +
Xavier Swolfs +
Gary Tucker
Norbert Waysberg
Marcella Wheatley +
Roberto Zangarelli +
Lian Quan Zhen +
Catherine Zugmeyer
Sahel Ardi
Donna Acheson Juillet
Christiane Allenbach +
Christine Anon
Isabelle Becker-Conraud
Pascale Boulon
Jocelyne Chauveau +*
Sacha Chimkevitch
Evelyne Delfour
Josy Fabian Masbou
José Gietka
Liliane Goossens
Juanita Hagberg
Marie-Françoise Ingels
Mia Koeneman
Agnès Le Dantec
Jacques Lefèvre +
Régine Le Sourd
Nicolás López
Christine Louzé
Francis Moreeuw
Yann Ollitrault
Fabien Petillon
Florence Peydière
Gwendal Pibot +
Dominique Prévots
Michèle Reynier +
Hervé Richard
Annick Richard Keller +
Émmanuelle Roger
John Salmon
Pierre Sentjens
Monique Thiéblemont
Kennedy Thrift
Robert Tilling
Janick Vergé
Bernhard Vogel
Brigitte Vrignaud
Krystyna Wojcik
New links
Pierre Laïly
Régine Langhetée-Mottin
Jean-Pierre Wisniewski

Artists using also other technics

Representational Expressive Imaginaries
Igor Dubovoy
Allain Renoux
Elizabeth Tyler +
Graham Austin
Cao Bei-An
Carole Carter
Jean-Claude Chaillou
Chris Forsey
Ellen Allgaier Fountain
Ann Sutherland Gruchy
Gerard Hendriks
Doug Lew +
Philippe Lhez
Krysztof Ludwin +
Eth de Melaou
Philippe Mérias
Reine-Marie Pinchon
Lise Saint Cyr +
Gottfried Salzmann
Bénédicte Stef Frisbey
Murielle Vanhove
Anne Bironneau
Berit Bjørseth +
Danièle Carrel
Michel Dt.
Mona Grønstad
Albert Hartweg
Anne Huet Baron
Rosaria Marozzo
Catherine Millet
Milind Mulick
Brigitte Noëlle
Edward Sterling
Andrey Yanev
New links

Watercolours organisations, associations and exhibitions

Biennale d'aquarelle de Brioude (France, Haute Loire)
Festival de Bagnols (France, Rhône) +
Salon du Dessin et de la Peinture à l'eau +
Salon international d'aquarelle de Caussade (France Tarn et Garonne)
Salon d'aquarelle de Saint Yrieix-la-perche (France, Haute Vienne)
Aquarell Instituut België
Idaho Watercolor Society +
National Watercolor Society
Société canadienne d'aquarelle
Société Française de l'Aquarelle
Royal Watercolour Society
Transparent Watercolor Society of America

Watercolour sites


Technical sites : paper, pigments, ...

Handprint +
Colorimétrie *
le Papier
Conservation du papier
Consseils pour la conservation du papier
Le verre


Chinese Watercolor Painting Techniques with Lian Quan Zhen
Ateliers d'aquarelle
Jason Skill
Frank Francese
Linda Kemp
Technique d'encadrement +
Démonstration d'encadrement

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Thanks to the translator © Anne Townsend

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