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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


About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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