watercolor artist georgia okeeffe

10 Most Famous Watercolor Artists

Famous watercolor artists not only have an influence on modern art, but some of these names have also had their fair share of influential power on modern cultures. 

You can find some on public television, some with successful YouTube channels, and some in the most famous art museums in the world and regarded as the most famous pieces of all-time.

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1. John Singer Sargent

The American, John Singer Sargent, is recognized worldwide as one of the biggest positive influences on the medium and one of the most stimulating and most important artists of the 19th and early 20th centuries artist immigrants.

Famous John Singer Sargent Watercolor Paintings Include:

Simplon Lesson, 1911

John Singer Sargent, Simple Less 1911

2. Vincent Van Gogh

The artist from Holland, Vincent van Gogh, was an artist whose work was one of the most important influences of 20th-century art and whose depression was well-known. Although he was most famous for his oil paintings, he still has a collection of over 150 watercolor painting pieces. Everybody has heard of Van Gogh!

Famous Van Gogh Watercolor Paintings Include:

A Sunday in Eindhoven

Vincent Van Gogh, Watercolor pastel:

3. Paul Klee

Paul Klee was a German artist of Swiss origin. His individuality was influenced by artistic movements such as expressionism, cubism, and surrealism.

Famous Paul Klee Watercolor Paintings Include:

Twittering Machine, 1922

Paul Klee, Twittering Machine 1922

4. Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci was a scholar of the Italian Renaissance, who was considered to be one of the greatest artists of all time. The Mona Lisa is Leonardo’s most famous work and the most famous portrait ever created. He was an artist of several mediums, like several artists on this list.

His watercolor works get little recognition compared to his other works.

Famous da Vinci Watercolor Paintings Include:

Leonardo da Vinci watercolor painting

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5. Georgia O’Keeffe

One of the most influential women in the medium, Georgia O’Keeffe was one of the first American Modernists. She was the first woman to gain fame for the style. She’s well-known for her southwest landscapes and portrayals.

Famous Georgia O’Keeffe Watercolor Paintings Include:

Canyon with Crows, 1917

Georgia O'Keeffe, Canyon with Crow 1917

6. Bob Ross

Bob Ross was an American artist, art teacher, and television presenter. He was the director and presenter of the educational television program “Joy of Painting”, which was aired between 1983-1994 on public television throughout America and Canada.

Famous Bob Ross Watercolor Paintings Include:

Before the Snowfall

Bob Ross, Before the Snowfall

7. Albrecht Dürer

Albrecht Dürer was an artist and theorist of the German Renaissance. Dürer was born in Nuremberg and gained his popularity and influence throughout Europe in his twenties thanks to his high-quality wood prints.

Famous Albrecht Durer Watercolor Paintings Include:

View of the Acro Valley in Tyrol, 1495

Albrecht Dürer, View of the Acro Valley in Tyrol, 1495

8. Brenda Swenson

Brenda Swenson was a member of the board of the National Society of Watercolor in America and Watercolor West community. Her sketches and paintings were published in the magazines ‘Watercolor’ and ‘Classic Trucks’. She has a large following, now, on YouTube for her excellent tutorials.

Famous Watercolor Sketches by Brenda Swenson Include:

Highland Park

Brenda Swenson, Highland Park

9. Shibasaki

Known to many on YouTube as the ‘Bob Ross of Japan’, Shibasaki has gained a cult-like audience all over the world for his calming presence on his booming YouTube channel in which he teaches his watercolor techniques in easy-step watercolor tutorials.

Famous Watercolor by Shibasaki Paintings Include:

10. Wassily Kandinsky

Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky, a painter and theorist of Russian art, rose to fame decades ago. It is widely accepted that Kandinsky is a pioneer of abstract art. 

Famous Wassily Kandinsky Watercolor Paintings Include:

This was Kandinsky’s first abstract watercolor piece and highly regarded as his most well-known, titled “Untitled”.

Wassily Kandinsky, Untitled First Abstract Watercolor Piece

** Bonus: Famous Watercolor Painting Appreciation

As huge comic fans, we have to acknowledge one artist – Bill Watterson – for the impact he has had on the medium with his world-famous Calvin and Hobbes watercolor series.

Here is something for visualization: 

Calvin and Hobbes Watercolor Painting

Most Famous Watercolor Artists of All-Time

These artists have done their part in showcasing the beauty of watercolor and, although they have all had their impact throughout watercolor history, all have brought their own styles, too. 

If you would like to find watercolor ideas and techniques of your own, check out our watercolor tutorials section to get started in improving your craft!

Let us know which artists we forgot! This is a list we compiled in our opinion, so there is room for conversation.

About the Author: Watercolor Classes

Hello, and welcome to our site. We've been passionate about watercolor for years and have learned a lot along the way. We hope our tutorials and tips will help you out on your watercolor journey. Let's make art together!

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