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Things We Love Today: Chuck Close’s Digital Watercolor Paintings

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A few years ago I read a biography of the painter Chuck Close.

Ever since then, I have been interested in him, his life, and his differing techniques. Close’s next exhibition at the Pace Gallery in London will reveal his most recent change: going digital.

Although, “digital” is a bit of a misnomer in this case. What Close actually does is he creates tens of thousands of different colored watercolor swatches, scans them into his computer, opens them up in photoshop, and then matches his marks to the grid in his photograph. He then prints these off in watercolor, on watercolor paper, numerous times, each time adjusting the amount of CMYK to get a more defined color.


It’s always fun to look back at the different time periods of Close’s life and his preferred technique at that time. Below is a collection of Close’s paintings and the year they were painted.

Things we Love

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