Waterman’s Portrait: A Masterpiece by Jove Wang


Jove Wang on stage demo

You could hear a pin drop in the historic Avalon Theater, as collectors and artists sat quietly in the Cabaret seating and balcony area, awaiting the painting demonstration by Master Jove Wang of Pasadena, CA, during the 15th Plein Air Easton Competition and Arts Festival in July.

After introductions, the Master sat in front of the easel, studied his model for a few moments and began to sketch his canvas with thin umber and sweeping gestures. Like a symphony conductor, Master Wang held the brush loosely, drawing indications of mass, line and point, scrubbing in large blocks of shadow and using delicate calligraphic strokes to outline details for his creation.

Waterman’s Portrait by Jove Wang

Next, he entered the painting phase with dramatic yet precise strokes filling the canvas with “local color” that brought forth the image. His model, local waterman, John Kinnamon, sat stoically as the Master carved out his image.  Like a sculptor, the details emerged as Jove developed the facial features, neck, chest and built volume and depth, bringing the painting to life.

Focusing on four stages, he first drew the layout sketch, then the detail structure of the face and body, the background and the finally the finer details. Always checking his work, he built the painting from the inside out, describing the importance of structure, the understanding of anatomy, form and volume.  Push pull, small adjustments in the drawing, warm cool contrasts, opposing strokes, thick thin and “chi”, all incorporated to create harmony in the painting.

Like a conductor he held the brush freely, hovering it above the painting and pinpointing a stroke, laying down thick color to create depth and beauty. The flow of his work was a pleasure to watch and his analogy of “painting is like music” was felt.

The audience gasped with delight as Jove picked up a large glob of Cadmium Yellow and with a sweep of the pallet knife, laid down the yellow slicker coat worn by the model. It was magical and inspiring to watch his confidence with paint and his ability to paint without restraint…

As he said at a private viewing of the finished piece….”this is a masterpiece created from above.”  He was inspired and the creation flowed through him.

Jove Wang’s work is available at Studio B Gallery in Easton, MD.

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