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Reflection (2010) by Fabio Cembranelli
© 2012/13 - Fábio Cembranelli

Reflection (2010)
Medium: Watercolour on Paper (Arches, Grain Fin, Cold Pressed)
Size: 22 x 15 inches, 58 x 38 cm."

Last year I was traveling around the vast countryside of Brazil and found this beautiful scenery. The dramatic light and intense colors offered by the contrast between the highlights and shadows were an inspiration and I tried to capture it.

When I'm painting on location, I look forward to capture the essence of the scenery, so I edit and change things, to make the painting work and emphasize the focal point: here I added an extra light effect, like a spotlight.

It's a very quick work, made in 30 to 40 minutes, wet-on-wet technique, using just two flat brushes and a liner brush. By the way, I love to paint on wet surfaces; it's a wonderful control device.

Dordogne River (2010) by Fabio Cembranelli
© 2012/13 - Fábio Cembranelli

Dordogne River (2010)
Medium: Watercolour on Paper (Arches, Grain Fin, Cold Pressed) Size: 15 x 11 inches, 38 x 28 cm."

It's another beautiful region of France: Dordogne, where I particularly love the patterns of the landscape. I'm fascinated by aerial perspectives and I strive to express its diverse characteristics in painting in my en plein air workshops.

I restricted my color palette here to yellows and blues, so each green came from these two colors mixing. That's one of my usual color exercises I teach to my students: how to produce intermediate hues with restrictive palettes.

I avoid adding too many refined details during plein air painting sessions, however, some diffused effects are allowed to create the local atmosphere.

Poppies (2010) by Fabio Cembranelli
© 2012/13 - Fábio Cembranelli

Poppies (2010)
Medium: Watercolour on Paper (Fontenay)
Size: 11.8 x 15.7 inches, 30 x 40 cm."

I am drawn to the simplicity and beauty of flowers, that's my favorite subject. There are a number of different species of flowers; each one's markings are unique. 'Poppies' was painted from life, during one of my workshops.

Painting in the wet-in-wet technique allows colours to be laid into or over another while the paper is still wet, creating a naturally diffused effect. That's the way I feel most comfortable in portraying my own view of my subjects. I added paints to almost soaking paper and got unexpected results, such as the out-of-focus edges between the flowers and the background. I also wiped out some paint from the main flowers to restore some light.

Orange, Provence (2010) by Fabio Cembranelli
© 2012/13 - Fábio Cembranelli

Orange, Provence (2010)
Medium: Watercolour on paper (Arches, Grain Fin, Cold Pressed)
Size: 12.6 x 9.4 inches, 32 x 24 cm

I think that Provence is one of my favorite painting locations mainly because I can find inspiration around every corner. This scene was painted during my last trip to Orange, France: I sat outside the balcony door which was flooded with morning sun. I made a quick sketch and completed it when I came back to the hotel. Observed light is usually what inspires me to paint, so you'll find a frequent interplay between light and shadow in my work. That's the way I bring my paintings to life, make them feel real.


Course Completed


Fábio Cembranelli, a renowned Brazilian artist, started painting at university, where he studied architecture. After graduating, he took drawing and photography courses in his home town of São Paolo, and continued his studies in Europe and US during the 90s. He still lives and works in São Paulo. His paintings feature in exhibitions and collections worldwide,

Fábio currently works in three artistic fields: watercolours, oils and acrylics, and his unique and luminous floral watercolors are known internationally. He will include plenty of plein air painting, observing and studying nature firsthand at inspiring outdoor locations.

Explaining why he has chosen transparent watercolor as his favorite medium, he says, "What compels me to paint with this approach is the possibility of painting quickly. It suits my personality best -- the fluidity of the medium provides a unique sensation of unexpected colour mixing, particularly when I define only the main masses and allow the unpredictable to happen on the rest of the paper. Timing is quite important in my method. I lean intuitively toward realism, but the right speed forces me to create diffused effects and shapes. I love painting flowers and landscapes in watercolor and I'm always enchanted by the attempt to capture the contrast between loose and definitive edges, as well as light and shadow effects."

You can find out more about Fábio on his website, www.fcembranelli.com.br


Comments on Fábio's 2013 course at the watermill:

"Thank you for the wonderful painting holiday it was faultless a wonderful setting at the Watermill and surrounding villages, gourmet food not to forget the fab Fabio watercolour painting. We all so enjoyed our time and felt our group was quite special, never a dull moment and plenty of chat and laughter."

"I had a wonderful holiday the watermill is a very relaxing and thanks to both of you a very well organised place, also with a group of people that gelled together as well as last week's did, with a tutor as good as Fabio and staff that cannot do enough for you it must be impossible not to have a good time. Thank you for a brilliant holiday".

"Thank you for a wonderful week of glorious weather, food, ambiance, and painting from the maestro!"

" Thank you for the wonderful week. I couldn't have enjoyed it more."