Nadine Dudek - Research scientist to professional artist

After reading Jane’s blog on Australian realists and impressionists (see link below), I was keen to learn more so what better way than to start with a definition.

The Tate Gallery defines realism: ‘in its specific sense realism refers to a mid-nineteenth century artistic movement characterised by subjects painted from everyday life in a naturalistic manner; however the term is also generally used to describe artworks painted in a realistic almost photographic way.

'Long Eared Owl' - AGRA Autumn Exhibition July 2015, Commended

This scratchboard^ engraving by local artist Nadine Dudek is so realistic that it could be a black and white photo. Nadine has exhibited in my local 'hood @ THE AUSTRALIAN GUILD OF REALIST ARTISTS (AGRA) located in Camberwell, Victoria. All artworks in this post have been sourced from

^An engraving technique where the artist scratches off the dark ink to reveal another layer of white or a colour beneath.

When I researched the works created by Nadine Dudek I discovered that her preferred way of representing the many creatures she paints is to form a realistic image of the head of the bird, for example, and then with great skill in the unforgiving medium of watercolour, complete the body with the barest of details. Her images become a marriage between an almost photographic realism and subtle faint semi-abstract strokes.

Her gang-gang cockatoo below is an excellent example of this technique.

The Red Head

Born in Melbourne and growing up in Canberra, Nadine has a passion for depicting the natural world using watercolour as her primary medium. Now based in Melbourne, Nadine says "that watercolour performs beautifully to capture the movement and freedom of the subjects, with a fluidity and clarity that are key to compelling watercolour painting".


The way in which different pigments interact often drives the choice of subject, where colour, transparency and granulating qualities are considered.

For Nadine the most rewarding paintings are those with the fewest strokes and greatest tonal contrast, with her minimalist approach making her work immediately recognisable.

In 2015 Nadine left her career as a research scientist to become a professional artist. The decision to paint full-time has been rewarded with numerous successful solo exhibitions and award-winning paintings some of which can be seen below, starting with one of Jane's favourite birds.

Force of Nature - Camberwell Art Show Highly Commended 2019

Obviously Nadine is popular with the people as the following year she again picked up the People's Choice Award.

'All a Flutter' - Marysville Art Show 2019, People's Choice Award 

Now to finish with a picture for Anne, anyone know why this is one of her favourite birds? Here are her beloved Magpies.

'Duet' Whitehorse Art Show 2018, Highly Commended

Text courtesy

Nadine has generously posted several tutorials on YouTube, just search 'Nadine Dudeck artist' and they will magically appear. As an entree we have two links below.

My favourite watercolour paints
A quick clip to show you the paints I use pretty much every day.
I love to hear these personal stories which enable us to get to know artists, hope you do too.
Rabbit painting for kids
A demo of some simple rabbits - sketch and watercolour painting.
Here is one if you are home schooling or if you are a novice like me!

Link below to Jane's previous blog on Australian Realists and Impressionists

Australian Realists and Impressionists III
Australian Realists and ImpressionistsRuth Tuck (Credit:; June Mendoza; Hugh Sawrey (credits: the book Australian Impressionist & Realist Artists