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Julia Sorrell RI ‘The Shape of things to come’ in Watercolor Artist Magazine USA

The Shape of Things to Come: Julia Sorrell Watercolor Figures

SORRELL JULIA The Muse by Julia SorrellDrawing and geometry serve as the strong underpinnings for British artist Julia Sorrell‘s watercolor paintings. They’re at the heart of her work, both in the development of the composition—the visible and suggested lines that lead the eye around a painting—and in the construction of the often-complex shapes she draws.

One of her figure series on the human condition is culled entirely from her imagination—and hinged on drawing and geometry. Stylistically, the paintings such as those below, are simultaneously reminiscent of Pre-Renaissance Italian art and the drawings of sculptor Henry Moore. “I do love Italy,” she says, “and also the work of Moore. His statues are obviously made of stone and yet appear very human. And one of my sons, who’s a mathematician, told me recently he thought Moore’s drawings had a very mathematical basis.”

In this series, Sorrell has made a deliberate choice to leave the construction marks showing to explain her thinking. “They were always there in my earlier work, but they used to disappear under layers of watercolor.” Now they get equal billing.


See more of Sorrell’s figurative work, as well as her geometry-inspired still lifes, in the October 2015 issue of Watercolor Artist, available at as a print issue and a .pdf download, and on newsstands August 18.