Watercolor is the older painting known by men. Somehow it has been used from prehistoric times and everywhere in the world. Of all existing painting mediums, Watercolors require a high care in their execution to limit the corrections and amendments to the maximum; of the little number of artists dedicated exclusively to this type of painting where transparency prevails and the white color is omitted there. The watercolor is a water medium with pigment and gum arabic, these pigments can be transparent or opaque. Due to the fact that it is mixed with water and applied over paper as well as being the first painting used by all in pre-scholastic, one thinks that the watercolor is "temporary" medium. Nothing father that the true, the Watercolors have a durability and a very distinguished history, as well as a very healthful future.
The history of the Watercolors is very close to the history of paper, invented as it is known now by the Chinese, shortly after year 100 to BC the manufacture of the paper was introduced in Spain by the conquering Moors in the middle of the XII century and this one spread towards Italy 25 years later. The technique that precedes to him to the watercolor was fresh call painting buon fresco: watercolor applied to a wall covered with humid plaster. Fresco is one of the greatest forms of art, is watercolor (without the biding medium, gum Arabic) It is formed mixing pigments and water and is applied to humid plaster. Most of the people who probably stop under the impressive work of Miguel Angel, in the Sistine Chapel, they ignore that they are contemplating but the huge one of paintings made in Watercolors, that were begun in 1508 and finished in 1514
The invention of the oil painting by the flamenco masters, declined a little the interest in painting Fresco and the watercolor was relegated like the vehicle to make preliminary sketches or like a tool for studies.
In Germany, Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) painted in watercolor and its influence is partially responsible for the existence of the first school of watercolor in Europe. The technological advance in manufacturing paintings and papers that took place in England in the last decades of XVIII century allowed and animated British artists to develop its technique to paint with transparent colors in white paper specially elaborated for them. During the same century, some French, among them Jean Honore Fragonard (1732-1806), dedicated an important number of their works to Watercolors. But their improvement and the progresses that have made this medium millenarian, had their origin in England, where the artists already had taken the watercolor to a category so elevated as the oil. By that time, in that country the watercolor was used to make drawings of architectonic perspective, so that the artists took this subject and they developed it, adding to him to personages and animals to its compositions, being one of these first artists William Turner. It was then that this technique started to be taken seriously. Once accepted, the watercolor became the favorite of many artists, not only in England but in the rest of Europe and the United States. The inherent luminosity in the Watercolors, combined with the capacity of its fast execution gave to the landscape artists the ideal vehicle to register the effects of movement, reflection, transparency and gentleness of nature. But it was the genius of the Americans Winslow Homer, James To McNeill, Whistler, John LaFarge, Thomas Eakins, John Singer Sargent, Childe Hassam and Maurice Prendergast, among others, the one that revealed the potentiality of the watercolor like serious means of expression.
Watercolors Copyright 1976-2013 Dr. Gloria M. Norris. Click
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