Watercolor Paintings by Steve Hanks

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Steve Hanks is recognized as one of the best watercolor artists working today. The detail, color and realism of Steve Hanks’ paintings are unheard of in this difficult medium. A softly worn patterned quilt, the play of light on the thin veil of surf on sand, or the delicate expression of a child. Steve Hanks captures these patterns of life better than anyone.


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Steve Hanks was born into a military family in San Diego in 1949. His father was a highly decorated WWII Navy flyer. Hanks grew up playing tennis and surfing along the beaches of Southern California. The ocean made a strong and lasting impression on me. It was good for the soul to be out in the water, surfing, swimming, or simply getting in touch with its mysterious power.

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The family was transferred to New Mexico when Steve was a junior. After high school he attended the Academy of Fine Arts in San Francisco, earning excellent marks in commercial art and figure drawing. He transferred to the California College of Arts and Crafts, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

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19 Comments

    • the women in the image have the ideal figure. Why would you paint fat women? its clear you cannot find satisfaction in life no matter what it is. Deep inside you wish you could have that body. Stop hating and start appreciating

  1. Wow.. Really? That’s what u have 2 say about these paintings that someone obviously worked quite very on. Maybe you’re jealous of their weight? B/C I don’t see any anorexic women.

  2. So, so beautiful! Such a great eye for detail, and you capture the human figure perfectly. Love it! I bet they sell for a pretty penny. I’d like to know if you do requests?

  3. Wow these are very beautiful. I have worked in watercolor myself and know you work from light to dark. I would like to know if you use alot of frisket or what? These are absolutely amazing!

  4. Stunning work, especially incredible for water color. Surprised, BTW, to see the wingnut-philistine comments here. The “thought”, as it were, appears to be that ‘artistically correct’ portrayal of women means “full-figured” bottoned-to-the-top. Scary–that this soulless, vapid-kneejerk “mindset” is gaining political power. Yup–God indeed forbid that a President Bachmann ever sees these…

    • I didn’t see one woman in a voting booth, or hiding out from a Teaparty Rally in any of Mr. Hanks watercolors. In your condescending world, the only things that are obscure are politeness and unpretentiousness. Who is the Philistine?

  5. Amazing. It tells a story of years of extremely difficult work getting to be a virtuoso. Kudos.You have done it

  6. Impressionnant ! On dirait des photos. Les reflets, la lumière, tout est là !

  7. Am I the only one noticing that most of these….if not all are the same woman? It’s probably the man’s wife or girlfriend. No need to be calling him a pervert or be saying that he only paints skinny women. I think he did a really beautiful job. The realism is impeccable.

  8. Me han encantado las acuarelas. Trabajo nuy dificil,la técnica de acuarela, lo felicito. Yo trabajo la técnica tridimensional sobre madera para poder lograr la profundidad requerida del tema. Felicitaciones. Maria

  9. Steve hi,

    wanderful work, sofisziq and lovely naked body.
    The natural environment, this show with watercolor, waw!
    I love your work. God bless you, hope you are well insured hands.
    God’s incredible talent.
    Thank you and I put you on my site friends.
    Iman Gabriela

  10. Your watercolors are the best I’ve ever seen. If only I could paint like you…………. Your work took my breath away.

  11. Utterly fantastic, these are some of the best paintings I’ve ever seen. This is exactly the type of painting I would love to produce. Simply wonderful. Thank you for sharing you’re fantastic talent with us.

  12. Wonderful job. When I see your paintings I can feel the atmosphere of the scene. Browse your paintings is a remarkable journey. Thank you for this gift !

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