Give Bite to Your Watercolors

“In Greece, bright sunlight bathes the landscape, creating beautiful contrasts,” George Politis. “To add interest to my watercolor paintings of traditional white buildings and old churches, I sometimes add elements of collage. I’ve experimented with various types of paper — oriental handmade papers, tissue paper, newspaper, and others — and all have worked.

“I collage some areas to create an uneven surface. When the collaged areas are dry, I paint over them with watercolors (almost drybrush touches, very little water). Thus, I take advantage of the uneven surface of the paper and I am able to gradually build on texture.

“In my process, it is important not to overdo it with too much collage. Also, not every part of the painting should have collage — just some areas, to give more bite to the watercolor.”

Watercolor and Collage Demo

“Churches have intriguing architectural forms that provide great compositional elements,” he continues. “In this demo painting, I use collage in the foreground building and the trees only. You can see how the surface takes on a three-dimensional quality with the addition of collage. I painted on top of the collaged areas with watercolors. On top of the walls, I applied some white acrylic.”

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GEORGE POLITIS paints in watermedia and lives in Thessaloniki in Greece. He organizes workshops in Greece (Santorini, Chalkidiki e.a.) focusing on several aspects like composition, texture, color choices and experimentation, pushing the limits of watercolor.

He is signature member of AWS (American Watercolor Society), RI (Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolors), San Diego Watercolor Society, MoWS (Missouri Watercolor Society), AWA (Arizona Watercolor Association), NEWS (North East Watercolor Society), IAF (Institut des Arts Figuratifs) and has served as President of the Artists Society of Northern Greece (2009-2015) etc. His paintings won many awards.

He had many solo exhibitions and has participated in numerous group exhibitions in Greece and in international exhibitions and contests. He has served as juror in National and International watercolor exhibitions (this year he served as member of the jury for the 220th AWS Exhibition) and he is the organizer and curator of the Thessaloniki Biennial of Watercolor (“Watercolor International – Greece”).

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