Original Watercolor Paintings

Watercolor paintings are created using pure pigments mixed with a water-based solution. The history of watercolor dates back to as early as cave paintings found in Europe from the Paleolithic period, and ancient Egyptians used watercolors to illustrate books. Watercolor hit its stride during the Renaissance and was used as a popular medium by many artists from that time, usually to paint botanical pictures depicting flowers and other plant life. The German artist Albrecht Dürer was one of the earliest advocates of the use of watercolors, and he used watercolors to create many botanical, wildlife, and landscape paintings, including House by a Pond. In fact, the company Faber-Castell even manufactures a set of watercolor pencils that are named after him. Traditionally, watercolors are most commonly applied to paper, particularly watercolor paper, which is made either completely or mostly with cotton. Cotton minimizes water distortion when the paper is wet, and results in a nice texture when dried. However, watercolors can also be used on papyrus, bark, plastic, vellum, leather, fabric, wood, and canvas materials.

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Using watercolors can seem difficult, and even confusing, at first. This is because it can sometimes be an unforgiving medium. If you are a beginner, adding too much water to your paints can weaken the pigment and cause colors to run and bleed into one another. Watercolor artists must also be mindful of the decisions they want to make regarding color, shape, edge, and value, as the paint spreads so quickly that even one missed brushstroke can alter the finished product.

However, when the art of using watercolors is mastered, the advantages of the medium become quite clear. When the right amount of water is used, and the color is not too diluted, it can be as bright and as brilliant as any set of oil paints. Watercolors usually begin as translucent color, but become illuminated during use, due to the concentrated pigments in the paints that have almost no fillers and are activated purely by the water solution. The unpredictability of the medium can help artists think quickly and improvise, proving to be a great creative inspiration. Watercolors also dry more quickly than other mediums, and the need to make simultaneous decisions while using them, rather than planning each step individually, can result in the ability of painters to finish works faster and more efficiently than they are able to with oil paints.