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Watercolor Medium: Advantages & Disadvantages

Inset: Les Champignon
Inset: Les Champignon

Its my belief artists who have never used watercolor pigments are not aware of the advantages of the medium.....and, of course, there are some disadvantages too.

Some of the ADVANTAGES
1.  Beautiful luminosity
2.  Shorter drying time
3.  The challenge keeps me on my toes----I continue to learn
4.  Carefully rendered, watercolor paintings can look as strong as oil paintings
5.  Easy clean up
6.  Mixing pigment is easy

1.  In the U.S. there is less respect for watercolor paintings than oil paintings-it is regarded as a sketch medium, a hobbyist's medium
2.  A lot of planning must go into a watercolor painting
3.  Preservation of whites and light colors must take practice
4.  Watercolor paintings must be preserved under glass
5.  Mistakes can sometimes be difficult to cover

A huge misconception about the watercolor medium is that it will fade within a few of years.  That could not be farther from the truth! With the technology of today and the high quality ingredients in pigments, plus sun resistant glass on the market, watercolor paintings can remain as beautiful and bold in color as an acrylic or oil painting for generations.  I know this because while visiting in Barcelona, I saw watercolors paintings by Picasso and Dali which are as strong as they were on day they were finished.  I saw a couple of  Hopper's watercolor paintings this summer at the Fine Arts Museum in Boston---beautiful bold colors  That's durability!!!

Many gallery owners, gallery directors, museum curators and art collectors shy away from watercolor paintings.....but, they are not educated on the durability of today's fine materials and supplies used by watercolorists.

So the next time you are visiting a gallery or museum, ask to see their collection of watercolor paintings.  You'll be surprised at how few they display.

All the best this Holiday Season,

P.S.  Artists, keep those brushes wet!!


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