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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 “constructs” reality-based watercolor paintings inspired by local natural elements. These include beaches, salt marshes, forested trails and farmlands. What makes his images even more unique is the dose of humor he injects into each one.

Brian “constructs” his compositions carefully. He starts with an image in his head, then looks for resources to work from, including photos from natural sites, florist shops, or anywhere else. These images are transferred to tissue paper and vellum, where he manipulates them into the final layout. The final composition is transferred to watercolor paper, where the real magic begins.

Originally, I was drawn to Brian’s detailed botanical images, like the one below. These leaves were found during a walk through the woods, and then delicately recreated on paper in this simple grid pattern.


As I dug deeper into Biran’s paintings, I began to enjoy his sense of humor as well. . . both in his subject matter (where he often personifies various inanimate objects) and in his descriptions of these paintings.


In regard to the painting above, he writes, “As I foggedly entered the kitchen early one morning last week, I startled the house corkscrew juggling a dining room daisy. . . “

Brian also compares watercolor painting to “herding cats” because “you never know what you’re going to end up with.” Yet despite that humble statement, it’s easy to see that Brian always maintains total control over his paint—even in his completely nonsensical pieces, like this one:


Simply entitled Toast, this piece is a unique combination of visual humor and art deco styling. Where else in the world can you find an asparagus toaster with the clean lines and flawless reflection of a classically restored automobile?

My bet is “nowhere.”

So if you have a few moments today, I highly encourage you to check out Brian’s full portfolio website of watercolor paintings.

And when you do, don’t forget to read the descriptions!

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

Sometimes what you see is not exactly what you get. Angela Emsen-West’s images create that double-take. They seem like richly colored oil paintings, but in fact are actually created with watercolor.

Angela lives in Ireland, has been painting full-time for over ten years, and has exhibited her work across the United Kingdom, Ireland and Europe.. . . read more

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