This month's material is watercolor paint, which is something I've been getting into more this year. I began my career as an oil painter, and I still consider oil to be my main focus. However, I really enjoy working with watercolor because of its transparency. This is one of the themes of my work, but I don't work much with it with oil, instead leaving it to watercolor and oil pastels.
As one might guess, watercolor paint is water-based. It is made up of pigments (color), gum arabic (binder), additives (to improve the quality), and solvent (dilutant). It's the binder that makes it watercolor.
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The feature that I like most about watercolor paints, as noted above, is transparency. This means that light shines through the paint and allows one to see the white of the paper underneath. With this, it means that layering is something that is quite common when using watercolor paints. In other words, the original color changes with a new color painted over it, all the while the color of the paper still shines through. I also like this transparency because the original drawing is still visible after adding the paint on top of it, thus allowing for harder lines where the paint spreads out (at least that's what I like about it).
How do I work? My technique is to first lay down the masking fluid in areas where I want to preserve the white of the paper. And actually, I use masking fluid to preserve areas that I don't want to layer but I won't leave white as well. In Colonia del Sacramento I used it to block out the colors of the roof while I laid other colors down first. Then I draw out the image. I use charcoal, and while that may not be the preferred material to use with watercolor as a result of it blending with the paint, I actually like this and use the wet charcoal to help darken the color. From there, I use a lot of water and lay down very light washes first. I leave everything as light as possible just in case I make a mistake and want to lift out the color after. It also gives me a chance to build the painting up over time. I'm an oil painter first after all, but for me, building a painting over time allows me to watch it develop, to see how the dark and light work with each other, and to
I hope this helped you understand watercolor paints better.