Battle of Cherbourg Battleground, English Channel
William Lionel Wyllie
In the years around 1890 Wyllie and other marine artists, such as John Brett and Henry Moore, painted and exhibited pictures which consisted of little more than sea and sky. This created the potential for exploiting atmospheric effects more fully. In this watercolour, painted 'in the wet', Wyllie has modelled the surface of the sea by drawing off wet paint using a brush sucked dry. According to Mrs Wyllie in her memoir ‘We Were One' (1935):'With regard to his watercolours, they really were “watercolours”. He would take his pin board and sheet of paper to a basin or bath, soaking his paper at the back in the water.. he laid in the wash for the sky and sea, much darker than it would look when dry.. All his lights, such as clouds, waves, etc., were picked out at this moment with a big soft brush that he 'sucked' into a hard, broad point.'M.A. Wyllie, ‘We Were One’ (London: Bell & Son Ltd., 1935).
Credit Line: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
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