ABOUT AQUARIAN PAINTING TECHNIQUE (part 4)
But with the beginning of the technical revolution, with the advent of industrial methods for the manufacture of materials, broader opportunities arose for creative experiments and the popularization of watercolor painting.
Newer and cheaper materials have made this technique fragile and more vulnerable to storage. Perhaps that is why for a long time watercolor still remained an independent form of painting and was the lot of fans of plein air painting as a particularly delicate aesthetic pleasure obtained during outdoor recreation.
The perception of watercolors was often associated with the idea of some very simple, affordable and even frivolous way of painting, more suitable for the initial stage of training, preceding the training in oil technology. Watercolor technique did not arouse proper attitude of professionals. And today, such an established opinion is not uncommon. However, it is known that thanks to the efforts of professional artists such as Paul Sandby, Thomas Hertin and, of course, Joseph Turner, at the turn of the 18th – 19th centuries, watercolor was already able to become perhaps the most important national type of painting in England.
Widespread watercolor painting revealed the weaknesses of technology and the imperfection of newly invented materials. The watercolor manuals of the mid-20th century warn us of the dangers and difficulties associated with the technical characteristics of the materials available to artists of this period. Museum keepers and restorers are aware of the implications of using new unverified materials from their own experience.
In the book of M.F. Farmakovsky’s “Watercolor, its technique, restoration and conservation”, published by the State Russian Museum in 1950, one can find many examples showing how over time, depending on the mixing of pigments in the painting and the storage conditions of the works, various changes and irreversible chemical changes took place reactions: “… except for ocher and sienna, the old watercolor palette for a long time did not have a single completely reliable paint. This explains the sad appearance of most watercolors of the 18th-19th centuries, if they were longer the yellow paints, except for the ocher, almost or completely disappeared, the faces became deathly white, the landscapes turned blue. Some works of the best watercolor masters of the 18th – 19th centuries, even D.M. Turner, didn’t avoid this. the watercolors are chrome, darkening, but not fading.) The watercolors stored in the albums retained their beauty, as we see, for example, in Karl and Alexander Bryullov and their contemporaries. In this case, watercolors sometimes look pristine beautiful … ”
Next M.F. Farmakovsky writes: “In watercolors, carmine is no stronger than in oil, so many watercolors glorified by their brilliant color of the beginning of the 19th century are incomprehensible to us: for example, some works by Turner. If carmine met with such a companion as a gummig (yellow paint – approx. . auth.), completely disappearing, or greening chromium in the mixture – after a while there was nothing left, or a dirty tone with a yellow-green tint, or just a gray spot. ”
However, he notices an obvious paradox: “For the 250 years that have passed since Chennini’s time to Schaeffer, not the slightest step forward! Or rather, even since the time of Vitruvius and Pliny, that is, for 1500 years the palette has not changed significantly. there are paints that are considered very fragile or unreliable, and the miniatures made by them retain their color flawlessly now! Where is the solution? Obviously, exceptional knowledge of raw material, its selection, cleaning, sorting, processing of the most colorful mass, dough made and bad materials resistant We are Vlad eat only scraps of the old industrial tradition … “The imperfection of materials has created many myths about the fragility and poor preservation of watercolor works that portrayed so far. Both the uninitiated viewer, and especially the potential buyer are very worried about the fate of the favorite masterpieces. This impedes the development of watercolor techniques and explains the practical lack of a market for this type of painting.
Meanwhile, obsolete stereotypes must be destroyed. To do this, it is enough to inform that all the pigments used in oil painting, in tempera, and in watercolor were always made from the same components, which were only crushed especially finely for watercolor paints. And the better the pigment is ground, the higher the quality of the watercolor paint. The difference between paints is in binders: in oil paints, the binder is oil, and in watercolor – gums, vegetable glues. Modern technologies for creating paints are constantly being improved, and the resulting paints are becoming more and more resistant to light and time.