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Elisha Dasenbrock: Watercolor Portraits, Washes of Emotion

Elisha Dasenbrock is a representational watercolor artist and a graduate of the American Academy of Art. She focuses primarily on figures and portraits, although she also dabbles in abstracts.

All of Elisha’s work is incredibly rich with emotion due to her wonderful use of light and shadow. It’s her portraits, however, that have captured my attention.

Elisha believes that we’re all connected through art, and that “a portrait or figure painting represents each of us in one way or another.”

When I saw the image below, and those deep cast shadows extending over her eyes, I experienced an instant empathy—I felt for myself the pain and sorrow that Elisha expertly depicted.

this too shall pass

It’s amazing how just looking at someone else’s self-portrait can bring out my own emotional memories.

In the next self-portrait, I was very impressed with Elisha’s technical control over her watercolor washes. Everything is delicate and refined, and the silky blouse even has a beautiful shine.

hidden thoughts

I also enjoy Elisha’s limited color palette. When looking at all her paintings together, the colors she’s chosen give cohesiveness, while her subjects provide the intrigue.

Elisha is inspired by artists such as John Singer Sergent and Monet, so it’s no surprise that her paintings always capture light in a compelling way.

In this last painting, she has focused the light on the front of her subject, while allowing the background to remain very dark. That, combined with the tilt of the dog’s head brings all our attention to its face—and quite interestingly, adds an emotional layer, just like one of Elisha’s human portraits.

white tie affair

If you’ve enjoyed these paintings as I have, please take a moment to experience more of Elisha’s work at her Etsy shop and blog.

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

In matters of technique, Brian Cody is a fairly traditional watercolor artist: his use of line and color is exact, and his work tends toward photo-realism. His subject matter and quirky compositions, however, are a little farther off the beaten path.

Brian started his professional art career in illustration and art direction. Today, he. . . read more

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