English Español Россия Deutsch Italiano 日本語 中国语文


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Tools for watercolor part 1 of 4

Tools for watercolor

there are two reasons for putting paint on paper.
One is to communicate an idea or an emotion.
The other is to decorate a surface.
Either objective, or the more interesting and more important one of contriving a synthesis of both, has as a prerequisite a knowledge of and facility with the tools used.
These are our concern in this next post.


Watercolor has three glories or virtues:
(1) Faster rhythms — one stroke three-feet long if you wish.
(2) Lovelier precipitations, the truth involved here being that substances obeying their own laws do beautiful things. Look at tide marks on a beach, or auto tire marks in snow.
Coil two ropes and cast one on the floor, then you arrange the other. A glance at them proves my contention. Look at a Rorschach ink blot. This is the truth nobody added nothing to. He poured enamel or paint on the floor and framed the area that pleased him most. Watercolor is trying to help you every stroke you make.
(3) Its white paper showing through a transparent wash is the closest approximation to light in all the media, and light is the loveliest thing that exists.
All of these virtues have to do with the nature of watercolor, which is that it is wet.

Watercolor's Nature

The nature and essence of watercolor is its spontaneity, the swift seizure of a single impression, not the careful building up of design and inclusion of carefully defined detail. That is oil, gouache, or casein painting. Taste is questionable when there is a too arbitrary extension of the natural province of the medium.

"Art is emphasis on essence" is a precept to be aware of when being selective as to subject matter. A portrait of Cyrano de Bergerac with a small nose would not be a portrait of Cyrano. This truth is relevant to any medium. A so-called watercolor which does not emphasize its wetness, is not an artful wartercolor.

A liquid quality in watercolor is important. Understanding of this is your first long step in the direction of facility with watercolor, which is mostly control of washes. Abstract lessons—similar to chromatic scales for the piano student — together with suggested tools and the reasons for their use, follow.

Next Post =>  Tools for Watercolor = The Tools