Edward Hopper July 22, 1882 – May 15, 1967 New York, USA
*Born July 22, 1882, in Nyack, New York (a small shipbuilding community on the Hudson River.) You can see this influence in his many nautical themed works. He loved the sea. *He was the younger of two children in an educated middle-class family. His family was supportive of his art. *At age 5, people were noticing his natural talent. *Hopper trained as an illustrator and devoted much of his early career to advertising and etchings. (He has been quoted on it being confining work though.) *After moving to New York City, Hopper began to paint the common places of urban life with still, anonymous figures, and compositions that evoke a sense of loneliness. *He was able to make several trips abroad to Paris and Spain in the early 1900s. He loved the impressionists, especially Manet and Monet and Cezanne. Their work highly influenced his. *He took the Impressionist fascination with light and used it in a much more detailed and realistic way. Critics dubbed it “soft realism”. Though most critics felt Hopper was a realist, he felt he was an Impressionist. *In 1924, he married Josephine Nivison, who was also a painter and the two worked side-by-side for the rest of their lives. She was almost always the model in his pictures and was often called his muse. *His first showing (and the first of his work that was bought by a museum) came because Jo was invited to exhibit in the Brooklyn Museum and she convinced them to accept her husband’s work as well.
“Great art is the outward expression of an inner life in the artist, and this inner life will result in his personal vision of the world.” -Edward Hopper
watercolor paper scrap sheet of paper watercolors brushes pencil masking tape
1. Think of a place you like or a place that has a strong emotion tied to it. Paint something from life that you know well. (The best artists don’t tend to paint a pretty landscape with flowers and a sun in the corner; but something that has a vivid emotion or a story to tell.) Keep in mind Edward Hopper’s dramatic shadows and crisp angles. Try out his lonely settings where the people tend to blend into the background. 2. Very lightly sketch where you want the details on your paper. Only put in the broadest details! Do not draw a lot and try to draw very lightly because the pencil lead tends to smear in the paint. 3. Now start with the background, put in the sky and surrounding ground. You can mix the watercolors and test on the extra sheet of paper as needed. 4. Work from the back to the front of your painting. (ie. If you are making a person, paint in the face, then the hair, then go back in and add facial features after the skin tone has had a bit of time to dry. For a landscape, put in the sky, the grass and then go back in and put the trees or the swingset. Etc.)