Realism in Watercolor

Don Iverson has no particular technique. From his childhood, he has observed perspective, shadows and color values. He refuses to be corralled by typical pre-assigned conventional art guide lines. Don simply knows how he wants a piece to look and does what is necessary to produce the desired result.

Don has a great appreciation for God and His creation, and often says, "All I do is an attempt to duplicate on paper what has been created by the Master Artist."

Iverson's pieces are known for great detail. It is not unusual for Don to spend half of a day focused on a seemingly insignificant item.  The unapparent, irrelevant features set his work apart.

This artist works in watercolor primarily as he enjoys the effects presented by various layers of distinct colors. Though watercolor is very unforgiving, it requires less patience than oil. The fine lines and details can only be accomplished with the thinner molecular structure of water. The overall softness, observed in an Iverson piece, can be primarily attributed to his choice of the watercolor medium.

Another distinct characteristic of Iverson's technique is his ability, even in watercolor, to achieve darker values. This is accomplished through numerous layers, giving depth and enhanced realism.

Old Friends
Foscoe, NC
15 X 22
977 Limited Edition S/N
Issue Price: $85.00

The sun rises and the morning mist fills the Foscoe valley beneath the astute towering silhouette of the Grandfather.  One can only imagine the crispness of the morning as the presence of engine twelve was made spectacularly known by her dew-covered whistle reverberating from mountainside to mountainside. Long gone are the days when she first filled the air with the smell of burning coal and hot ashes, as twelve was introduced to Grandfather on this mountainside perch, one hundred years ago. 

In the shadow of a Grandfather who seems to perpetually emit warmth and wisdom, Iverson explained the moment in the woods when he discovered this spot. "Delight and exhilaration is the best way for me to express the feeling I had when I happened upon this old piece of the ET & WNC train bed at Grandfather's side. I stopped to imagine, saddened that I could not have the privileged presence like that celebrated by attendees in the century past, and so I set about to recreate on paper the image in my mind." An acquaintance, observing the work in progress, suggested the name, "Old Friends." The title stuck, as Iverson felt it very appropriate, short and descriptive of his own emotions. 

Research on this latest piece is in celebration of engine twelve's one-hundredth birthday (1917-2017). Tweetsie Railroad has been home to Number 12, the last remaining Baldwin engine of the ET & WNC railroad, since the theme park's opening in 1957.

In Iverson's latest watercolor depiction, the vibrant detail incorporated into the engine, set against a looser technique for the Grandfather backdrop, make it appear as if the narrow-gauge train is coming straight out of the picture. Rigid steel against the softness of basin fog contributes to the realistic impression. "I painted freely, unrestrained in the surplus of colors I assimilated, ever careful that my brush tip did not touch black. Hues of blue, violet and orange make the appearance of the black engine, reflections mirrored from the hard-hot steel's shiny surface. My color palette was all over the place on this one," Don explained.

Iverson's latest piece is set to be released as a limited fine art print on June 1, 2017.

A self-taught artist