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Under-watercolour paintings making a splash


le mag

Under-watercolour paintings making a splash

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The Swallow’s Nest castle near Yalta on the Crimean peninsula in southern Ukraine is hosting a unique exhibition of underwater paintings.

They were all created in the waters of the Black Sea by members of the national school of underwater painting. The artists, who are all trained scuba divers, work in depths of between 2 and 20 metres.

Underwater artist Oksana Bilyk said: “The light reflected in the water is dissipated and we get a lot of glare on the surface. The light falls on corals and stones, and that multicoloured world is so amazing when you are there under water. You want to express your feelings “.

Painting under the sea is virtually the same as drawing above it. But the divers’ canvasses are covered with a waterproof adhesive coating before they take the plunge.

The human eye is much more sensitive to the nuances of underwater colour than any camera lens, film or image capture process.

But the scuba-artists have to be aware: The deeper a diver goes, the more the colour is lost

Sub-aqua painter Denis Lotarev explained: “An artist has to take into account the depth he is working at, and what colour he sees on his palette. Because the colours change on the surface. Red turns brown and even black.”

Time is of the essence with these art-works. The air tanks give divers just 40 minutes to complete their masterpieces.

The underwater paintings are now on display at the Swallow’s Nest castle, one of Ukraine’s most renowned art galleries.

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