Watercolors involve the mixing of colorants with water and using fine brush strokes on a ground generally made of paper.
Watercolors have the easy understated elegance which most other mediums lack. The ready mixing of water with the pigments gives the paintings a very fluid look. Paper is the ideal base for these paintings because it absorbs the colors very fast and dries very quickly too.
The History of Watercolors
With the invention of Paper in China in about 100 A.D. a new kind of art came into being, Watercolors, or Painting on Paper with water-soluble pigments. The Chinese used this medium the fullest possible extent and some calligraphies and paintings of this period is still preserved.
By the 12 th Century A.D, watercolors spread to Spain through the Moors. From Spain it spread to neighboring Italy. Italy has some of the worlds oldest paper manufactures.
He is probably was the most famous English landscape painter, he was well versed with paper as a medium and used it in most innovative ways. He was one of the first artists to experiment with washes, wiping out, scratching out, and incorporating body colors. His innovative wash technique, which helped convey lights in the most breathtaking manner made him famous as the “painter of the light”.
His oil paintings might have been famous but his watercolors on paper were equally path breaking.
He was known as the father of “English watercolors” and his landscape paintings earned him a position in Britain's Royal Academy. He was a renowned Map Maker, which complemented to his understanding of the English landscapes.
His paintings of the Welsh countryside are still proclaimed to be one of the best paintings of the English landscape.
Watercolors -the colors
The colors used for paintings on paper are water-soluble pigments. The solidified form of the pigments is called gouache. These gouaches are made of ground pigments mixed with gum for body and glycerin and honey for viscosity. For opacity unpigmented filler is added and oil of clove is added to prevent mold.