Thierry Duval has been drawing and painting since childhood. He produced his first work in 1980 in a narrative form, the comic strip, and would later work as an illustrator, then as a part of the creative team in a large advertising agency in Paris. It was while he was preparing for the entrance exam for the Arts Décoratifs school in Paris that he discovered the work of Delacroix and then a passion for watercolour. He graduated in 1982.
Thierry Duval’s Parisian watercolours are inspired by photographs he takes in advance. He likes to photograph the banks of the Seine in the early morning, the light filtering under the bridges, the rooftops gleaming in the rain, the majestic silhouettes of the city’s monuments that suddenly appear as you turn a corner into a narrow street, the river barges, the markets, the cafés…. The result is a series of surprisingly realistic paintings; a poetic, dreamlike vision of a nostalgic and timeless Paris.
His second major source of inspiration is the Orient. From the diaries of his travels in Morocco, he draws multiple subjects: Berber men and their way of life, the magic of travel, but also the ruggedness of the landscapes bathed in hot light.
His work exudes an unusual force in the colours and light; the drawing is extremely precise. This gives his pictures a realism that uncommon among the usual language of watercolour. Thierry Duval’s work is a skilful mixture of hyper-realism, poetic charm and refinement.
The singularity of his work lies in the dichotomy between great technical skill, a modernist feel due to digital technology and its various applications, and conversely, a painterly rendering that seems to be permeated more by the influence of the classic watercolourists of the last century.
Thierry Duval use exclusively ARCHES® Watercolour paper cold pressed 356 g/m².
Thierry Duval exhibits internationally in prestigious galleries such as the Gallery Suiha in Tokyo, Japan, and takes part in major art events like the 2nd Shanghai International Watercolour Biennial in China.
He has been a member of the Fondation Taylor since January 2009 and was a member of the Société Française de l’Aquarelle from 2012 to 2013.
“Vues de Paris à l’aquarelle” is a book containing a collection of about sixty of his Parisian watercolours.