watercolor painting

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watercolor painting,

in its wider sense, refers to all pigments mixed with water rather than with oil and also to the paintings produced by this process; it includes frescofresco
[Ital.,=fresh], in its pure form the art of painting upon damp, fresh, lime plaster. In Renaissance Italy it was called buon fresco to distinguish it from fresco secco, which was executed upon dry plaster with pigments having a glue or casein base.
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 and temperatempera
, painting method in which finely ground pigment is mixed with a solidifying base such as albumen, fig sap, or thin glue. When used in mural painting it is also known as fresco secco (dry fresco) to distinguish it from the buon fresco
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 as well as aquarelle, the process now commonly meant by the generic term. Gouache and distemper are also watercolors, although they are prepared with a more gluey base than the other forms. Long before oil was used in the preparation of pigment, watercolor painting had achieved a high form of sophistication. The oldest existing paintings, found in Egypt, are watercolors. The Persian artist Bihzad (15th cent.) produced exquisite miniatures of great complexity. Gouache was employed by Byzantine and Romanesque artists. In the Middle Ages, illuminated manuscripts on vellum used watercolor to produce their flat, brilliant effects. In this same manner watercolors were used during and after the Renaissance by such artists as Dürer, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Van Dyck to tint and shade drawings and woodcuts. Dürer in particular colored landscape drawings in a manner not unlike the modern method.

In the 18th cent. the modern aquarelle grew from the simple wash coloring of a drawing into a technique of complete painting. This technique became particularly popular in England, where its greatest masters were Constable and J. M. W. Turner. Rowlandson, Cozens, Girtin, Bonington, Cotman, and John and Paul Nash were also celebrated for their use of the technique. Many 19th-century painters also used watercolor extensively, mostly for landscape paintings and sometimes for portraits, but it was no longer commonly used for miniatures. The French artists Daumier, Delacroix, and Géricault, and later, Cézanne, Signac, and Dufy, employed aquarelle to a large extent, for both preliminary sketches and finished works. The American John Singer Sargent became well known for his aquarelles. Other painters in the United States, including Homer, Whistler, Prendergast, Marin, and Sheeler, painted noteworthy watercolors.

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. Aquarelles have a delicacy difficult to achieve in oil and are equally flexible, lending themselves to immediate expression of a visual experience. Their handling demands considerable skill as overpainting of flaws is usually impossible. Watercolor was traditionally a comparatively perishable medium, vulnerable to sunlight, dust, and contact with glass surfaces, but the use of modern pigments has made it much more stable.

Bibliography

See G. Reynolds, A Concise History of Water Colors (1971, repr. 1986); C. Fince, Twentieth Century Watercolors (1988).

References in classic literature ?
It contained a sketch in water colors of the village and the woods, and Francine had looked at the view itself with indifference--the picture of the view interested her.
He was a little worn, in spite of his youth, but he was tall and agreeable, had a winning way of taking a kind and soothing view of the misfortunes of others, could tell a story well, liked music and could play and sing a little, loved the arts of design and could sketch a little in water colors, read every magazine from London to Paris that criticised pictures, had travelled a little, fished a little, shot a little, botanized a little, wandered restlessly in the footsteps of women, and dissipated his energies through all the small channels that his wealth opened and his talents made easy to him.
I just peeped in upon a semi-grand swathed in white and a row of water colors mounted in gold.
As far as materials concerned, his first work started with water colors, then drawing, and later towards oil colors which he started with large measures of 2 and 3 meters.
Hajras attempt at painting was a memory composition of a dancing figure in water colors.
The book would be suitable for beginning painters or for experienced painters who want to learn more about water colors.
He's an award-winning artist in oils, water colors, pencils, sculpture and wood carving.
I use a wide variety of mediums to express art, and especially enjoy working with water colors, poster colors, clay, oil pastes, shading pencils, acrylic paints, charcoal, color pencils, puff-on paints, thermocole, origami and different kinds of craft materials.
It was a man named Michael Jordan who called him up two years ago in Maine, where he had gone to paint water colors after retiring from the Bulls.
On these trips, the women often posed for Sargent's water colors and oil paintings, and in preparation he brought with him elaborate costumes and accessories.
Sales of unframed art reproductions slipped the most, as consumers spent more buying already-framed art reproductions widely available in home furnishings, art specialty and discount department stores and original artist's works, including oils, acrylics, pastels, water colors and other one-of-a-kind artistic creations.
Thirty of Southworth's water colors, pastels, collages and oil paintings, along with several sculptures, will be on display through Sept.