Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Drawbacks of Aquarelle

Everytime I meet artists who use aquarelle as their main technique, I notice that we share that enthousiasm and motivation for the medium.
We all try out other types of paint, and other media, but most of us come back to using aquarelle. I have already written a couple of posts about "why that is the case" and I am pretty sure more will follow, but to avoid the impression that this is a new religion - I'd like to point out a couple of drawbacks!

Aquarelle by Sandra Seymour-Dale

The first is one that I have encountered -many times: Aquarelle is transparent and therefore "light" and subtle. This is a BIG disadvantage if you show your work together with oil, acrylic and other paintings with opaque media. Nobody will notice your work when it is hanging between an oil and an acrylic... (Solution: have your expo's together with sculpturers...)

Aquarelle is painted on paper and has at best the "grain" of the paper, but the big fat relief that you can have with other media is not possible. All the 3D will have to come from suggestion, shadows, shading etc. The painting itself is very 2D...

Aquarelle is not water resistant - it needs to have glass in front of it for protection. No big deal, but, when you do exhibitions, it is fragile. It reflects, lighting is important and the alternatives, matted glass or plexiglass are less beautiful.

Aquarelle by Bibbi Isaksson

And did I mention "heavy"? My paintings are rather big, I use simple aluminium frames, but a 70 X 100 cm frame weighs 7 kilo!! If I have an exhibition of 20 paintings I have to drag around 140 kilo's from my atelier to my car and from the car to the gallery... My next expo will be 30 paintings!! But I'll just walk up and down 30 times - aquarellista's fitness!!

Uhmmm. Yes, of course - last but not least: it is a difficult technique. You have to plan for the white, as the "white" (or the light) in an aquarelle is the colour of the paper - you can only go darker... It drips and bleeds. (these are also the good points by the way) And you cannot really repair mistakes - I'm doing several versions of one painting - and must admit I throw away the ones that I don't like. The more experience you get, the less that happens by the way...!

Did I leave out important disadvantages?? Please don't hesitate to give them!! It proves where the character is :)

Long live the aquarellista's!

Aquarelle by Cathie van der Stel

Needed: good websites of other Aquarellista's (member or not) We have Catherine Earl's and mine... There must be many more...

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