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Ralph Parker: Classic, Serene Landscape Paintings in Gouache

Published Oct. 29th 2008

This week’s featured artist is Ralph Parker, a gouache painter from Texas who specializes in simple, classic landscapes.

Despite being both a former draftsman and architectural illustrator, Ralph’s paintings are loose and “painterly”—which is primarily what drew me to them in the first place.

There’s also something inherently uplifting about an image like this one, with its golden fields and swirling, brilliant skies.

Abandoned by Ralph Parker

Using gouache, Ralph can paint with thicker, more opaque strokes of paint than if he used regular watercolors. This leads to works of art that more closely resemble oils than watercolor.

Personally, I enjoy the texture, but it seems like the opacity of gouache helps to boost the purity of color in his paintings as well. (Note the light pink and deep green hues in the painting below, and of course, the vividness of the painting above.)

Morning Glory by Ralph Parker

I also can’t help but think that many of his paintings would make perfect storybook illustrations—they have a certain timelessness to them that is reminiscent of great illustrators of the past.

For instance, Road to the Back Forty offers the viewer a chance to escape into the painting by wandering along a well-worn path.

Road to the Back Forty by Ralph Parker

Certainly, Ralph is using a time-tested compositial tool here, yet the painting is no less honest or appealing because of it. . . and in a way, that pathway leading up and over the hill almost feels like an old and trusted friend.

If you’d like to see more of Ralph Parker’s gouache paintings, please check out his new art blog or visit his online portfolio at RalphParker.boundlessgallery.com.

Linda Rorer is a talented oil painter whose work is both traditional and contemporary. On the one hand, her medium is oil and her subjects are landscapes and figures.

On the other hand, Linda often paints on top of silver leaf, giving her landscapes in particular a unique, light-reflective atmosphere.

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