Ambassador of the Week: Graham Berry

Meet Graham Berry, this week’s top American Watercolor Weekly Ambassador!

watercolor painting of figure
I painted “Sunday, Late Afternoon” as a two-hour demo for a local art society. I used my typical palette of Winsor Lemon, Quinacridone Gold, Permanent Rose, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Cobalt Blue, and Cerulean Blue.

“I studied Graphic Design at Blackpool College of Art and later studied Illustration at Wimbledon College of Art, London,” says Graham Berry. “After graduating in 1971 I was employed as the Illustrator for a small design studio in Soho, London.

“In 1976 I decided to go ‘freelance’ and went on to have a very successful career as an Illustrator, winning a DADA award for my Illustrations and also featuring in several Association of Illustrators annuals.

watercolor painting of two figures
For “Te Amo” (watercolor, 19 x 27 in.), I used just three colors: Quinacridone Gold, Permanent Alizarin Crimson and Cobalt Blue.

“In 1990 I moved back ‘up North’ to the Fylde coast, where I now live with my wife Pauline. I have had to move with the times and all my commercial illustration was done digitally. It was this fact and the downturn in the economy that was the motivation to return to my first love, watercolour painting, I finally retired my illustration career in 2017.

“About the inspiration for his work, Graham says “My paintings are inspired by the effect of light and shadow on our environment, creating dynamic shapes and colours, I especially enjoy painting people going about their everyday lives. My experience working as an Illustrator has refined my drawing ability that is the foundation to my work, I believe the ability to draw is fundamental to painting. I’m always on the look out for images that will make interesting paintings, I try to take my camera with me at all times just in case I see something that appeals. At other times I will go to a specific place or event with the intention of getting material for painting, usually I will do a number of paintings from those photos or sketches, at the moment most of my paintings are studio based.”

watercolor painting of multiple figures
“Portobello Road” (watercolor, 12 x 19 in.) depicts a busy market scene in London. I have a video tutorial of this piece on my website.

“My work has been selected for inclusion in North Light Books: Best of Watercolor series; Splash 14: Light and Color, Splash 15: Creative Solutions and and Splash 16: Exploring Texture!

My paintings are now in the homes of collectors in the USA, Canada, Australia and Europe.”

Become an American Watercolor Ambassador for a chance to be featured in an upcoming issue!

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Kelly Kane
PleinAir Magazine and American Watercolor Weekly Editor-in-Chief With more than 20 years experience in art publishing, Kelly Kane has served previously as Editor-in-Chief of Watercolor Artist magazine and Content Director for The Artist’s Magazine, Drawing, Acrylic Artist, and Pastel Journal. She has interviewed many of the preeminent artists of our time and written numerous articles about painting, drawing, art education and art history. She is now the Editor-in-Chief of PleinAir Magazine and the American Watercolor Weekly newsletter. Click here to send her an email.

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