ABOUT AQUARIAN PAINTING TECHNIQUE (part 5)
This is confirmed by laboratory tests. Today, there are world-famous manufacturers who honor the traditions of the best manufactories, they have earned the high trust and respect of professionals. Information on the quality of the paint used can always be found by marking on its packaging. Knowing some of the laws of mixing, studying the behavior of paints of different companies and work experience will suggest the preferred choice of paints.
Another stereotype is related to paper quality. You can read a lot of interesting things from the history of paper production and its application. Without delving into history and moving on to practical recommendations, let’s say that a modern watercolorist has a wide selection of professional paper. The criterion for choosing paper may be its texture, grain size, density, sheet size and even price. Moreover, if you adapt to write on simpler and cheaper paper, it is quite possible that high-quality and expensive paper will not give the expected result in your work. The choice of paper is often determined by the manner of writing, or the manner of writing depends on the choice of paper. The experience and purpose of use is important here. Only one condition must be observed: paper must be professional. The best watercolor paper is made at manufactories according to old recipes from natural materials, mainly from cotton. It does not contain harmful chemical impurities, has a natural whiteness, has a beautiful texture, works great with water, evenly distributes pigment on the plane and holds well, keeps color.
There are many different tests for paper, most of them can be found in modern literature and on the Internet. When buying paper, you should pay attention to the following markings: 100% cotton (Cotton), but sometimes good paper is found with a content of 50% cotton; cast in mold (Mold made); protected against mold and mildew (Mildew and rot resistant); acid free (Acid-free); without optical brighteners (Free from optical brightness). Over time, paper of high professional quality does not turn yellow, is resistant to mechanical stress and, being an excellent basis for watercolor painting in the technical sense, does not contain impurities that adversely affect watercolor paints during long-term storage and exposure of works.
And finally, I want to say about the well-known harmful effects of UV rays present in sunlight. Indeed, daylight destroys paper made using cellulose and acids. Such paper turns yellow over time and becomes brittle, and acids react chemically with pigments, discoloring them. However, there is no reason for concern if the paper is of professional quality. In addition, the glass used in the design of watercolor painting, as well as glass in the window frames in the rooms where the painting is located, is, to some extent, a natural filter for ultraviolet radiation.
To preserve the works, it would probably be worth taking care of the humidity in the room, but with proper design, there are no problems, unless, of course, there is a direct effect of water on the work. So, if the master underestimates the quality of materials in his work, then this will inevitably be reflected on its result. Professional materials are the first most important condition for the artist’s creation to have a chance to become an “unfading” masterpiece in all the meanings of this epithet.
But what is appreciated in the technique of watercolor painting itself, and how to assess the level of skill of the painter?
These questions are well answered in his book “The Technique of Watercolor Painting” by architect P.P. Revyakin. The book was published in 1959 and systematizes the scientific, technical and artistic knowledge that has developed by the middle of the last century.“So, the most precious property of paints is their transparency,” the author writes. “All the techniques of the old masters rely on the transparency of the colors and the brightness of the translucent base; these methods use the laws of perception of colors in the light. Transparency of colors is the core of the painting technique. To understand this means a lot understand in the painting technique. The most important quality of paper for watercolor painting is its whiteness. The first concern of the watercolorist should be to preserve the whiteness and freshness of the paper. Whiteness of paper serves as a source light for visibility watercolor layer to the light, and therefore, watercolor ends where the lost feeling of paper under the paint layer. ” Another important edification given by the author in this book: “It should be remembered that before the first touch of the brush the paper should be completely clean and sufficiently moist, and the watercolorist should begin to work with impeccably clean hands, paints and brushes.”
Tortured, jammed, and overloaded with dirty paint mixtures in watercolor makes a depressing impression, and therefore in this technique the purity and freshness of the color layer through which the breath of white paper is felt is highly appreciated. In pure watercolor, it is unacceptable to use hard opaque whitewash, which transform the watercolor into gouache or tempera. The role of white ink is played by the paper itself, so in pure technology its whiteness is carefully preserved even in the tiniest and most delicate places, for example, such as glare on objects. It’s best to “go around” these places with a brush, then write them in a shape, plane or space. In critical situations, some painters resort to the “barbaric” method of scraping recorded places of paper with a special scraper or knife intended for this. But only very high quality paper can withstand it, and at the same time it must be dry. Another, more common way of reserving, preserving white spots, is to use special rubber glue, which is produced by some companies specifically for this purpose. The so-called “masking fluid” is applied to dry paper and, upon completion of its purpose, is removed with an eraser. But this method is very pragmatic and sins with one significant drawback: when dried around the reserved place, noticeable, too clear and hard edges of the dried paint are formed, which are then very difficult to “revive”. For admirers of pure watercolors, a live technique is important, and scraping and reservation remain a mechanical, artificial method of incorporation into painting.
Lightness, speed of execution, the ability to convey the materiality of various objects and textures, an unmistakable sense of drawing and composition, a delicate taste and sense of proportion when performing individual elements and detail at the end of the work are also highly valued in watercolors. No less important is the special spirituality of the material, close to the poetic feeling.
A very valuable quality of the painter is fluency in a variety of technical techniques – this gives unlimited possibilities for solving the most daring creative tasks.
The illusion of simplicity and ease of ownership of technology excites the desire to imitate it. But a superficial approach, not supported by true ownership of the material and the aesthetic feeling of the artist, leads to the appearance of empty and meaningless works.