And we say Aquarelles, and you Watercolors!

And back in the week with something I saw from a blogger and would like to show you a few of mine. It is in my pages here but believe a bit hidden so will bring it out in a post. I am talking about aquarelles or watercolors paintings of several famous buildings in my belle France.

This is now a family treasure as my dear late wife Martine love them, I took pictures and put them in my blog. An artistic form of painting or watercoloring that is very nice to showcase some of the most famous buildings and views of my belle France. Be forewarned ,I do not know nothing of it…

Here is my page post on them: Aquarelles or Watercolors

Ok update needed to put some more here , better with pictures me think. Enjoy them

Watercolor or  Aquarelle in French, is a painting method in which the paints are made of pigments suspended in a water-based solution.  From the 18C we different the Aquarelle, transparent, from the gouache, opaque. In painting, considered today that the work of Aquarelle is done on virgin paper with more than one trace of crayon; without prohibiting the use of color croquis before executing the Aquarelle.

I am not your technical men ,but from my dear late wife, and friends and family who entertained themselves with it, there are two techniques to do it. One is the dry and oldest done by putting delicate paint diluted in water on the paper and let it transpose the color in the background. The other is the wet or gouache. The colors are done with dry-colored buckets, and  pasty-colored tubes.

These are compose of : Natural or synthetic pigments, of mineral or organic origin, which are generally the same as those used for other techniques (acrylic paint, gouache, oil painting or pastel); A binder, mainly Arabic gum , usually derived from the sap of Acacia or sometimes cherry, to which is sometimes added tragacanth gum;Glycerin or honey, as plasticizers, to improve the flexibility of the dry pigment layer; of beef fiel, a wetting agent that facilitates the dispersion and adhesion of colors on the substrate; thickeners: Starch, dextrin;  preservatives to avoid mold.

Watercolor is usually practiced using a brush with a good water retention (hardening).  The little grey hair (of the squirrel of the same name), whose capillarity remains unsurpassed, is the most suitable. The shape of the wetting brush is perfect for washes and bottoms, because its belly (or reservoir) allows containing a large quantity of liquid the marten hair, supple and nervous, is appreciated for its hardening and the finesse of its tip. The best quality is the variety of Kolinsky marten, actually Siberian mink.  The Chinese brushes, which can combine two kinds of hair, are suitable, but they are only held in a vertical position, whereas one can use the slice of the others for a thicker line.  Soft synthetic fibre brushes, less absorbent but of good elasticity, are useful for laying the funds and opening the whites.  Flat brushes are used to wet or paint large surfaces. There are also water-recharged brushes nowadays.  Other tools are indispensable, such as water buckets and rags for cleaning brushes; Others may be useful in watercolors such as bucket pallets for preparing mixes, sponges, cotton balls, toothbrush for color projection, blade or feather for scraping, gum to protect from reserves.

The watercolor support is usually a specially glued paper, called watercolor paper. White or ivory that was transforming under the color; thick (200 g/m2 minimum) to avoid curling; Glued in order to prevent the pigments spreading on the leaf with too much loss of control; Granular (satin, fine or rough): the grain, visible under the colour, influences the deposit of the pigments and thus the rendering of the motif.

Classical Chinese painting is entirely made in watercolor-related techniques on a dry background. As early as the 3C, the Chinese painted silk with inks and water-soluble dyes. During the Middle Ages in the 11C, it is used in association with gouache and gold leaf applications in the illuminations that adorned the manuscripts of the monasteries of medieval Europe. It was painted on vellum or paper with its water-soluble pigments. In  the Renaissance in the 15C and 16C , the naturalist traveler, the explorer, the simple observer or the amateur painter often choose this medium. In the Classical era, water painting, especially adapted to small sizes, is referred to as miniature: it is more delicate. You can only do it in small. Only work on vellum, or on tablets, and the colors are soaked only with water gummed .

In the 19C ,it is in England, where the teaching of painting is less framed than in France, that watercolor, through the Royal Watercolour Society, founded in 1804 in London, acquires a new dimension. A section of English watercolorists at the 1855 World Exposition in Paris has been a huge success. In France, Eugène Delacroix, Theodore Géricault, Paul Huet and Theodore Rousseau used it on a trip and for their landscape sketches. The Impressionists (Boudin, Jongkind) also appreciate it for its spontaneity. In the 20C studies of dancers of Auguste Rodin and the nudes of Georges Rouault show the freedom that can be attained with watercolor. The works of Vassily Kandinsky, Egon Schiele, Emil Nolde, August Macke and Paul Klee also testify.

In the 1960’s, a renewal of this technique appeared with Raoul Dufy, Jean Mazaine, Maurice Estève, Zao Wou-Ki,etc  pursued in the  1970’s by Pierre Risch, who develops a technique of watercolor on paper of very large format, entirely wet with the sponge and diverts a product intended for screen printing, (drawing gum) in order to preserve the white of the paper and not to gouache the watercolor. Until the end of the 20C, the majority of cartoonists colored with watercolor or gouache as well as illustrators of books, especially for children.

Some webpages of leading stores selling tools for watercoloring/aquarelles in France like Cultura

and my area of Morbihan , Arteis and Rougier:

There you go some enlighting post on a nice pasttime , maybe I try one huh! I know it takes time and care to do one of these. Enjoy it on the link above.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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