Sunday, February 13, 2011

Art Sunday - Watercolor Painting

Chateau by Joseph Mallord William Turner
 I thought I would look at watercolors today for Art Sunday. Water media is my chosen direction. And I am also in love with what the masters could do with watercolor. Joseph Mallord William Turner was a master of the medium.
Alpine Scene by Turner
But other artists more famous for their oil paintings also used watercolor very successfully. It was a favorite medium of American artists like Winslow Homer.

After the Hurricane by Winslow Homer

Some people think they know what a watercolor should look like but a painting executed in water media can look anyway the artist wants it to look.

Crayfishing by Carl Larsson

Watercolor by Paul Cezanne
 Some artists relegated watercolor to the study or sketch for larger works that would be done later in oil, but there is an energy and immediacy of the original sketch that often makes them more memorable than the finished piece.

Turtle by Lian Zhen
 The Chinese are often seen as the masters of watercolors. And I made it a point to study Chinese techniques. I was surprised to find that often these enchanting works begin with an India Ink sketch laying in the darker tones so that an overlay of transparent pigment is darker and more dense giving the work more depth as in the above work. It also saves on use of the more expensive pigments.

From the New World Encyclopedia on line:

Watercolor, also known in French as aquarelle, is named for its primary component. It consists of a pigment dissolved in water and bound by a colloid agent (usually a gum, such as gum arabic); it is applied with a brush onto a supporting surface, such as vellum, fabric, or—more typically—dampened paper. The resulting mark (after the water has evaporated) is transparent, allowing light to reflect from the supporting surface, to luminous effect. Watercolor is often combined with gouache (or "bodycolor"), an opaque water-based paint containing a white element derived from chalk, lead, or zinc oxide.

The technique of water-based painting dates to ancient times, and belongs to the history of many cultures in the world. In the West, European artists used watercolor to decorate illuminated manuscripts and to color maps in the Middle Ages, and to make studies from nature and portrait miniatures during the Renaissance. When the Western world began to mass produce paper, the medium took on a whole new dimension of creativity.

The advantages of watercolor lie in the ease and quickness of its application, in the transparent effects achievable, in the brilliance of its colors, and in its relative cheapness.

1 comment:

  1. I'm appreciate your writing style.Please keep on working hard.^^


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