Atanas Matsoureff Interview
Atanas Matsoureff - watercolorist - magic realist
Hello Mr. Matsoureff, could you please tell me more about yourself ? When did you start with watercolors for first time and what made you choose that medium ?
Hello! I used watercolors but in more traditional way, like fast sketches with plenty of water. One day many years ago I opened an old art magazine which contained photos of works of art created by American Realist Watercolorists. I was so impressed I couldn’t believe my eyes. I studied them for a long time, I could hardly sleep that night. The next morning I started to paint with watercolors. I think that was the exact moment.
What inspires you most? Which artists had influence on you ?
Beauty can be found everywhere. I find it in the simple objects and people around me and in the Nature of course. I’m inspired by Andrew Wyeth, Winslow Homer, Sargent, William Russel Flint, Joaquin Sorolla, Arthur Melville, Ogden M. Pleissner, and many of the old Masters.
Your technique is very impressive. Could you please tell me how you develop that magical realism ?
Thank you! It’s outside of me. I really don’t know. Sometimes I just see something beautiful or is just a feeling. Sometimes I like to draw in my mind and later on paper the invisible lines connecting my memories and past to today. And that’s a magic.
What kind of paints, brushes and papers do you usually use ?
I work with professional, top quality materials only. I’m using paints by Winsor & Newton, Da Vinci Paints, MGraham.Co.
Brushes I use are Chinese calligraphy brushes, many natural hair ones from Rosemary & Co Brushes.
I like to experiment and try new papers. Prefer hand made and vintage papers. From contemporary brands like St. Cuthberts Mill’s papers.
How many colors do you have in your palette and which are they ?
There are 25 - 30 colors in my palette.
5.Cadmium Red Deep
10. Cobalt Blue
12. French Ultramarine
14. May Green (Horadam)
15. Sap Green
17. Green Gold
18. Olive Green
19. Perylene Green
20. Yellow Ochre
21. Raw Umber
22. Burnt Sienna
23. Burnt Umber
24. Indian Red
25. Vandyke Brown
27. Payne’s Gray
28. Lamp Black
If you have to paint with limited palette of 8 colors which would you choose ?
Could you explain your process in few steps ?
I start with a pencil drawing, then paint a layer, the basic one, where try to put as more as I can like shadows, colors, even some details. After that I combine different techniques and paint the main parts. Fine details I paint in fact during the whole process.
What do you think about brass palettes and how do you find them comparing with the rest palettes for watercolor ?
I’ve never had brass palette. But they are really beautiful and have long live. Hope to have one soon.
Which one is most important for you - the paints, the brushes or the paper and why ?
They are important altogether. But for me the paper is most. This is my field of expression, of feelings, of fears and everything else. Like to touch it, to understand it, to know what can gave me.
What would you advice the beginners in watercolor painting ?
My advice: do not be afraid, experiment, be honest and paint a lot.
Thank you for being part of my world watercolor artist interviews Mr. Matsouref.