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«Sponge» watercolour  

Around 1919, Fortin experiments with watercolour for the first time, but his method of visualising landscape differs from anything that had been done before in this domain.

It is incontestably a revolution that he initiates.

Under his brush, new forms emerge such as slender poplars or diaphanous leaves which rise towards the sky like fragile reeds in lightening colours or his «parasol» trees full of holes of light creating an intense poetry

scène d'automne
c.1919
56 cm x 79 cm

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Pure watercolour

At the end of the 1920s, after many years of practice, Fortin manages to master watercolour.

This is the time when he produces his luminous watercolours with intense colours.

These works are always painted on dry paper, in contrast to the work of the English watercolourists who paint first on damp paper, a method which gives softer tones.

«Pure watercolour is excessively difficult. It’s the science of flat wash drawing which demands the most because no retouching is possible» Marc-Aurèle Fortin

Orage sur Hochelaga
c.1929
36 cm x 48 cm

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Mixed watercolour

In 1939, Marc-Aurèle Fortin  leaves once more for Charlevoix to paint.

He returns with a considerable number of watercolours enhanced with pencil and black pastel.

This innovation astonishes the art world: nobody had ever seen before watercolours enhanced with charcoal, pencil and thick pastel in this way.

This originality in his watercolours presents, here, peaceful landscapes where the sky is barely sketched in pencil, and there, dramatic and fabulous subjects which are astonishing in the audacity of their composition.

The skies full of clouds where the charcoal takes precedence over the watercolour, suggest alarming gusts of winds.

vue de Percé
c.1945
56 cm x 76 cm

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