As my artist's statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance. -- Calvin and Hobbes

Friday, March 5, 2010

#5 Watercolor Cubist Rhino; 31 Days of Rhinos

Watercolor: So old, a Caveman could have done it!

#5 Rhino; Watercolor; Cubism; 31 Days of Rhinos
Watercolor on Ampersand Aquaboard

So, I wasn't quite ready to let go of the Cubism. Today, an easier medium for Cubism is Watercolor, pretty much the oldest painting medium, since all it is are pigments which are delivered to their substrate using water. Simple as that! Even a caveman can do it!

Watercolor painting is perhaps the oldest art form but it has been best documented since, of all times, the Renaissance! And would you believe (you would if you knew me) that Albrecht Dürer, the greatest (in my opinion) print maker of ALL TIME was one of the earliest proponents of the medium. Even though he is best known for his wicked wicked etchings, such as Melencolia I, he was quite a dandy botanical painter! Botanical and wildlife illustrations are where the traditional foundations of watercolor lie. During the Renaissance, especially, hand coloring woodblocks made easy use of watercolor pigments.

But, for it's largest spread, I think we can thank the gentle landscape and flower loving British, for it was primarily in the 18th century England where the medium found its home and became beloved by most. Partly due to class structure in England, watercolors found a home among well educated women. Maybe it was like playing piano or embroidery. If you could paint, then you must be good for something! And, my land, if watercolors don't just deserve all the credit!

Mapmakers, military, archaeologists, every civil engineer and scientist in fact, could just carry a a the most modest little pack of watercolor cakes, a brush and a tube with paper. Easy peasy. Just add water!

If you aren't using watercolor or you think it's a tough medium, you're right. At first. If you are used to oil, you will bleed that crap all over your page and get frustrated. But, it only takes one quick lesson, or a cheap magazine article to get you started! Just remember, where there is wet, the paint will follow!

This painting was done on Ampersand Aquaboard, an interesting and forgiving surface, which allows you to scrub, and play and play and play. Start with paper, though, for it is cheap and you get lots of do-overs with a pad!

Good brushes are big on my list, too. Synthetic brushes don't hold water as well as natural, so get a couple of good natural brushes, a large filbert ($15-$50, but worth every penny until the day you quit painting) and a couple sizes of rounds, for sure a 10 and maybe a little one. That'll get you started. Can't wait to hear how you did!

This may be the only time I post a pic other than my own this month, but it is worthy of supreme mention, especially because my divine hero Albrecht Dürer created it AND it's a Rhino! yay!

Isn't it beautiful? He was beautiful! He really thought of everything, and if you didn't click above on Melancholia, now would be a good time!

Any hoo, Watercolor had other strong supporters, but you can go to Wikipedia to read all about them, and it gets really good in the 20th century with Kandinsky, who totally rocks my world with modern abstract expressionism (a mouthful) , and another of my great loves, Edward Hopper, that king of color blocking!

Albrecht Dürer
The English
Edward Hopper


[excerpt Wiki stuff Watercolor (US) or watercolour (UK) and also aquarelle, from French, is a painting method. A watercolor is the medium or the resulting artwork, in which the paints are made of pigments suspended in a water soluble vehicle. The traditional and most common support for watercolor paintings is paper; other supports include papyrus, bark papers, plastics, vellum or leather, fabric, wood, and canvas. In East Asia, watercolor painting with inks is referred to as brush painting or scroll painting. In Chinese, Korean, and Japanese painting it has been the dominant medium, often in monochrome black or browns. India, Ethiopia and other countries also have long traditions. Finger painting with watercolor paints originated in China.]

See ya tomorrow!
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  1. hehe...
    i digg this so much
    that i dugg it.

  2. great painting, great cubes, love that rhino in his latest colors.

  3. Thanks, ladies! I don't think I've been dugg before! that totally rocks! Now if Conan will follow me on Twitter, I'll be sound as a pound!

  4. Becca I love that Rhino, yours and Dürer's. This is a great series, must keep you very busy.

  5. This was great, especially since it was about Watercolor- my fav! I am really enjoying the art history lessons too. This was a great idea!


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