Friday, January 1, 2010

Zoltan Szabo - Watercolourist Supreme: 1928-2003

Canada can lay claim to having been the home of the reknown watercolourist, Zoltan Szabo, but then again both Hungary and the United States share equal claim.

Szabo, you see, was born in Hungary. He fled his communist homeland, and emigrated to Canada where he lived for 30 years before moving to the United States in the 1970's.

Zoltan Szabo made a huge impact upon beginning artists with his 10 instructional watercolour painting books, and his many workshops.

Szabo was noted for his simple, direct paintings and his advanced understanding of how to maximize the power of colour.

"Painting with the minimum number of colors to achieve maximum result is a sign of sophistication and compositional discipline."

"Contrasting color temperatures are as important as value contrasts."

"Complementary hues lose their color identity when mixed in optically equal combination. I try to select one color which is light in value and another which can go dark if I need it to."

"Allow one color, or just a couple of analogous colors, to dominate the mood of the painting; and let the others fulfil a supporting role."

Please click here to open the quotation source: Robert Genn's 'Painter's Keys.',.


  1. Always been a big fan of the Ol'Zoltin Zab...colourator supreme!

  2. A good friend, has an original Zoltan. She said that a visitor from England, dropped by to see her, and looked at the work and said..........."Is that a Szabo?" "Is that original?" The answer was yes on both counts.

    The visitor said....."We studied his techniques in my art class in England, that is why I recognized his work."

    Thanks for the comment Ron.

  3. Zoltan would have loved this! Although he spent his last years in the US, he never gave up his love of Canada and Hungary.

    I worked with him for a number of years facilitating workshops and more. I miss him still.

    Thanks for this!


  4. Thank you for sharing these kind words Willa.
    He lives on through his art.


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