Ghostly Portraits: Watercolors by Graham Dean

A watercolor painting of a figure holding up a digital screenScreen

Watercolor painter Graham Dean utilizes the blotches and washed-out fields created by his medium to produce ghostly portraits and figurative paintings. Combining watercolor techniques with collage, Dean makes images that are imbued with a sense of mystery and wonder.


A watercolor collage of a marathon runner590

The artist produces traditional watercolors with an interesting technique, painting separate sheets of paper with different colors and thicknesses of watercolor pigment, then cutting and tearing the paper to produce the finished composition. This method makes for an interesting tension between Dean’s incredible level of control, and the inherent randomness of a difficult-to-control medium such as watercolor.


I enjoy the way Dean utilizes the translucence of the watercolor and his paper to create images that overlap, and figures that almost seem to meld together on the surface of the artwork. There’s something universal, yet deeply personal about these supernatural yet uncertain-looking figures.


A watercolor painting of a woman holding up one handtwo-4


Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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