Subdued Beauty: Watercolor by Wa Truong

A watercolor painting of two goatsTwo Goats in the Mountains

Georgia-based artist Wa Truong uses a traditional style of Chinese watercolor painting to depict scenes from his own life, and his experiences since emigrating from Vietnam to the United States as a child. While Truong’s subject matter varies wildly, his style maintains a consistent sense of subdued beauty.

A watercolor painting of a lazy pandaLazy Panda


The earth tones that Truong selects in the majority of his watercolor painting are rather inviting. I find that these neutral hues of brown, grey, reds, and greens create a wonderfully antiqued look for each of the artist’s paintings. Though the works are quite contemporary, they are difficult to attach to one particular time period, and all the more interesting for it.

The front page of Wa Truong's art websiteThe front page of Wa Truong's website

Truong’s use of negative space references the classical aesthetics of Chinese painting. It’s interesting to see the way the artist can use this negative space to build up form – for example, in a painting of a mountain range, sparse lines of black ink become the rocky peaks emerging from a snow-covered landscape.

A painting of a fiery forestFall Forest

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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