Friday, April 3, 2020

Karl Martens Uses Calligraphy Brushes and Watercolors to Paint Birds

Karl Martens is an artist based in San Francisco who creates amazing paintings of feathered creatures using watercolors, and Japanese and Chinese calligraphy brushes. What makes his work unique is that he paints his birds from his memory, he never uses any photograph or an image as a reference for his work. He begins with broad strokes of brushes on a blank canvas and gradually adds fine details. Karl's work is inspired by Chinese painters in the early Qing dynasty, Shih-t’ao. The washes of watercolors make his paintings fluid and delicate in nature.

“Just as the union of calligraphy ink and paper always provides unexpected results, so does the watercolor on this rough hand made paper. Especially when calligraphy brushes are used. Each paper reacts differently to the medium. Sometimes it absorbs immediately, and other times it doesn’t absorb at all. A simple brush provides less control than fine one, and sometimes the opposite is true. This uncertainty is what inspires me. What will happen this time? In order to give life to some areas I sometimes use salt on the paper, which creates unexpected patterns as the paint dries. All in order to confront the unexpected.” via

You can watch the following video to learn more about the artist and his work.


Barbara said...

très original ces postures en vol
très réussi