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He turns posts into paintings

Shitty_Watercolour appears to be anything but what his name suggests. His paintings are making quite a splash on Reddit.


Fernando Alfonso III


Posted on Feb 21, 2012   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 9:06 pm CDT

On social news site Reddit, the average comment length is about 150 words.

Comments from redditor Shitty_Watercolour, on the other hand, must be measured in brush strokes.

Shitty_Watercolour is a week old novelty account from an 18-year-old British artist (he didn’t want to reveal his real name) who reinterprets random image posts on Redditlike those of a rock climber, Sonic the Hedgehog, and a cat—with original water color paintings.

“Watercolours are my absolute favourite type of art,” the artist told the Daily Dot in a private Reddit message. “The way the colours flow, and the diverse range of techniques that you can employ on a piece make it a good medium for going further than just imitating what you see, but then abstracting further and adding colours that you wouldn’t expect.”

The young artist started water coloring last Christmas using a children’s watercolor set he found on his desk. Having played a lot with Photoshop, he started responding to image posts with original watercolor paintings inspired by artist Herry Arifin.  

Even though each painting only takes 20 minutes to complete, the annoying part is waiting for them to dry, Shitty_Watercolour said.

“Typically watercolours start off with a soft coloured base, which is applied and then allowed to dry, at which point you apply the next layer and so forth,” he said. “I don’t have the luxury of time, so I’ve only got one shot at doing it all in one go.”

The artist started the novelty account Shitty_Watercolour about a week ago and has since collected 27,000 karma points. The artist chose the name as a way to poke fun at himself and his work, of which he doesn’t think too highly, considering he has no professional art training.

Most of his karma points have come from a painting battle he got into with fellow novelty account ShittierWatercolour. The battle featured both artists each interpreting a photo of the Costa Concordia cruise ship shot from an airplane.

Shitty_Watercolour isn’t sure what the future holds for his work but is toying with the idea of selling his originals and donating the proceeds to charity. In the meantime, Shitty_Watercolour is content with interpreting your favorite Reddit photos.

“Reading the replies that accompany the more popular watercolours, it looks like lots of people appreciate them for lots of different reasons,” he said. “There are some who appreciate the paintings on a deeper, more nuanced level (which was surprising), whereas some just think the painting matches my name and vote it up. Nevertheless, it’s definitely pushed me to keep on at it.”

Painting by Shitty_Watercolour for the Daily Dot

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*First Published: Feb 21, 2012, 5:50 pm CST