Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Brief History of Watercolor Painting on Paper in Western Civilization

How often do we consider the history behind art mediums we enjoy?  Probably not too often..Corinne, from 6catsart of Etsy, shares with us a brief history of Watercolor Painting!  Corinne is an accomplished artist whose medium is watercolors.  Be sure to check out her shop, her work is fabulous!  I especially enjoy her watercolor florals!


A Brief History of Watercolor Painting on Paper in Western Civilization
by Corinne Aelbers
6catsart


Watercolor painting dates back to prehistoric times however watercolor painting in today's context usually refers to a paint applied with water on paper. 


To understand the development of watercolor painting you need to start with paper invented in China around 100 AD. In Asia watercolor painting is an ancient art form with a rich history all it's own. The history of watercolor painting on paper in the west started when the method of making paper made its way across Asian into Spain in the 12th century and spread to Italy and France which have several of the oldest makers and sellers of paper today; Fabriano (1276) and Arches (1492). Championed by Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) the popularity of watercolor painting started to slowly spread but as an art form it was reserved for the aristocratic classes. Artists still mixed their own pigments and paper was an expensive luxury item not to be wasted. 


Eventually watercolors became the medium of choice within certain circles and found a niche home within the world of exploration. It was often used by explorers including mapmakers, engineers, botanists and archeologists. Watercolors provided a easily transported, quick and accurate way to capture scenes and artifacts. 


It was with the continued onset of the industrial age at the end of the eighteenth century that advances in technology provided affordable availability of both watercolor paper and paints to the masses making it possible for watercolor painting to really flourish in the west. It quickly became a favorite for those seeking a medium to create quick, clear and colorful impressions of the world around them. Although arguably the most important works in watercolor by western artists are botanical and wildlife illustrations, there is a abundance of other significant works that have been created including landscapes, portraits, scientific and museum illustrations. 


Today watercolor painting is enjoyed by a wide variety of people all over the world and continues to be used by the scientific community for illustrations because of the great qualities it possesses.


These are some of Corinne's favorite shops on Etsy that sell beautiful botanical and wildlife watercolor art:




'How Watercolor Made History' by 6catsart

Watercolor painting dates back to prehistoric times however watercolor painting in today's context usually refers to a paint applied with water on paper. Read more . . . later this week a brief history of watercolor in western civilization will be posted on the AWEteam blog http://aweteam.blogspot.com/ as soon as it is up I will post the link.


Original Antique Bo...
$29.95

ORIGINAL Turtle Wat...
$30.00

Sunny Outlook, Orig...
$60.00

turquoise butterfly
$45.00

MOURNING DOVEs by D...
$50.00

Dried branch with p...
$32.00

Frog - ORIGINAL Wat...
$25.00

1873 British Botany...
$28.00

Oriental Entomology...
$14.00

Black Swan and Wate...
$575.00

Aesops Fables- orig...
$500.00

1881 Antique Hand-c...
$30.00

Original Watercolor...
$90.00

Shore Bird Feather ...
$160.00

Yellow Butterfly Wa...
$200.00

1600's botanica...
$12.00

Treasury tool is sponsored by Lazzia.com A/B image testing.

8 comments:

  1. How interesting - it is always a bonus to learn something new about our craft! Thanks so much!
    High Street Vintage

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  2. What a great post - learned some things I didn't know. Thanks a bunch!

    Water In My Paint

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  3. I love this collection ~ thank you !!

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  4. Bravo, well done... Love the beautiful treasury and historical references. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. thank you for sharing such great information! love your collection. happy to be included!

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  6. It is so interesting, Thanks for sharing it with us and featuring my watercolor in this wonderful gallery

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  7. Very neat. Great treasury selections.

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