Painting Pastels Watercolor
Egg tempera is a medium that has been used since medieval days and was preferred by many early Renaissance painters. Affording an unsurpassed luminosity and the finest details, this medium offers effects not available by other methods.
Egg tempera forms an unusually hard, waterproof, elastic skin considered more resilient than oil color.
. . . it calls for strong discipline, clear thinking, and an accurate observance
of the rules of craftsmanship
. in the long run is as tough and permanent if
not more so than oil
more information, please consult The Materials
Of The Artist And Their Uses In Painting by
Max Doerner (1949, Harcourt Bruce & Company)
and New Techniques In Egg Tempera by Robert
Vickery and Diane Cochrane (1973, Watson~Guptill
When the binder for pigment is wax, it is
known as encaustic painting. Encaustic painting was practiced
by the Greeks
as far back as the 5th century B.C. The encaustic technique
also used in the 19th Century to solve the problem of dampness
faced by mural painters in northern climates. The 20th Century
brought a major, renewed interest in this technique.
Wax is considered as durable as oil and tempera and, as
an excellent preservative, was used by the Greeks to weatherproof
Additional information can be found at encaustic.com.
process uses environmentally safe, water-soluble dyes and
works by translating a digitized original from any source
into a high-speed stream of microscopic color droplets.
Prints appear smooth and continuous in colors and tone
because the original droplets are comparatively the size
of a human red blood cell.The giclée
process allows reproductions
to be printed on a variety of surfaces such as premium archival watercolor paper. Giclée prints also allow
the artist the versatility of controlling color relationships.
The rich saturation of color is comparable to dye transfer
and has a velvety surface reminiscent of either mezzotint
or sheet-fed gravure.
by Kim Victoria Kettler
Taste for Life by Kim Kettler
For me, the process of making a monoprint
involves the best of painting with the
best of printmaking. Basically,
one paints an image on a plate, (in my case, with specialized
water-based inks), aligns the plate on paper, and
the plate through a printing press, thereby transferring
the image from plate to paper. It
is a MONOprint because only one image can be made;
images” can be pulled from a second
passing of the plate through the
press, they are much much lighter in color, and bear
to the first print. The painting stage can take hours
or not, and it is possible to run the
same paper through the press several times,
building up a unique image with several passes.
part is in the transfer from plate to paper. Details
such as brushstroke lines and distinct
edges between colors are diminished, and the result
is a certain freedom between artistic control and pure
chance. This is how a monoprint
succeeds best in my work: when intuition plays with intention,
making the piece more like an improv than a strict exercise
in form and color.
Oil paints have been widely used since the
fifteenth century and have become the standard
for easel painting. The range of
oil paints and surfaces available offer painters great flexibility
for a variety of different techniques. This
range of options
continues to expand.
paints can be used on a number of wood, Masonite, glass,
metal and canvas surfaces. Canvas is used most frequently.
Cotton canvas is quite durable and the least expensive
the regularly used canvases.
some artists prefer linen over canvas for its texture and
permanence, cotton, polyester and jute are all widely accepted
What makes linen so attractive to
painters is its strength and its beauty... it never looks
or evenly woven as other fabrics.
more information, please consult The Artist's Handbook
of Materials and Techniques by Ralph Mayer (1985,
Viking) and The Oil Painting Book by Bill Creevy
(1994, Watson~Guptill Publications).
Pastel is a
dry medium in a stick form, consisting of powdered
pigments held together with a minimal amount
of a binder (usually gum tragacanth). Pigments
used in making pastels are the same pigments
that are ground for use in making oil and watercolor
paints. Painting with pastels, therefore, is
as close as one can get to painting with pure
in the 18th century for painting royal portraiture, the
soft pastel medium
can trace its roots back to prehistoric cave paintings.
In and out of style in the last four centuries, pastels
are now enjoying a modern-day resurgence of popularity,
due to their intense colors, permanence and “immediate” handling.
are the most permanent artists’ medium, if properly
created and protected. Pastels should be done on an archival
surface which is free of acid, and should be framed under
glass, preferably with a spacer between the glass and
the surface of the painting. As the pigments are the
those used in oil paintings, you should expect the same
level of resistance to fading.
for your pastel: You only need to know
a few things about caring for your pastel.
- When transporting,
lay a pastel glass side up, never glass-side down!
- When not hanging,
store a pastel glass side up or upright, never glass-side
- When shipping, leave
the job to professionals, who know how to pack and ship
pastels specifically. If uncertain of who to contact
in your area for shipping, contact a local pastel association.
Its members likely can supply you with a reputable, knowledgeable
shipper in your area.
- If reframing,
be sure to leave a spacer between the pastel’s
surface and the glass or mat. If a mat is used, use
mat. Plexiglass instead of glass is an option to lower
weight and make shipping easier, but static generated
by Plexiglass can be a problem.
Your pastel has
been created and framed for maximum protection and permanence.
It has been created on an acid-free and/or archival surface.
The pastels used are the finest in light-fastness currently
available on the market (equivalent to oils in light-fastness).
It is currently framed with an acid free backing (and
mat, if it has one). It is also framed with glass.
Watercolor has long been considered a very difficult medium
to master. The freshness of brushstrokes as well as watery,
seemingly uncontrolled effects are the hallmarks of this
versatile medium. Curiously it still retains a lesser status
among other painting mediums despite the difficulty factor.
The affordability of watercolors can make it possible for
a novice collector to step into the world of art collecting.
Experienced and novice collectors will find real value in
watercolors as they demonstrate an artist’s ability to draw,
design, and work with color and texture as proficiently as
in classic mediums such as oils. Watercolor painting styles
vary greatly from delicate pastel color schemes to those
that echo the masters such as Winslow Homer and Andrew Wyeth,
to contemporary abstract styles.
Watercolor is composed of two key elements, first a gum arabic
binder—a clear liquid that dissolves in water, and second,
pigment—mineral-based or synthetic-based colors. Watercolor
is available in a wide range of transparent or opaque paints.
Paints come in tubes, cakes or pans, watercolor pencils or
solid color sticks. Opaque watercolor or gouache (pronounced
gwash) contains a chalk-like substance that will cover over
transparent watercolors and are available in tubes or pans.
Transparent and opaque watercolors can be combined to create
a multitude of layered effects on paper or other synthetic
surfaces such as Yupo paper—a polystyrene sheet. Improvements
in paint quality have dramatically decreased the fading of
watercolors due to ultraviolet light. New developments include
an archival coating that offers UV protection from paint
fading and allows watercolors to be displayed without glass
Watercolor is primarily painted on paper prepared with
sizing which gives the paper body and, depending on the brand,
also provides a variety of distinctive absorption qualities.
Paper qualities are a very personal decision for an artist.
Paper is available in smooth (hot press—allows paintbrushes
and watercolor to glide across the surface), cold-pressed
(with texture—allows some of the pigment to settle into the
crevices), and rough (with coarse texture—allows even more
pigment to settle into the paper texture). High quality paper
will stand various scraping and mark-making techniques.
Paintbrushes used for traditional watercolor techniques
are primarily made of natural bristles—very soft so as not
to scrape the paper surface. Combination bristles of synthetic
and natural hairs are also a good choice. Sable brushes are
historically a long-lasting choice although expensive.
Watercolor can be used to produce very detailed imagery
as in the contemporary works of Andrew Wyeth, Charles Reid,
Robert Wade and John Salminem, and historic artists such
as Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, John Constable in England—an
early adopter of watercolor, John James Audubon an American—used
watercolor to enhance engravings of flora and fauna, and
John Singer Sargeant used watercolor for beautiful figurative
works. Abstract watercolor styles are also very popular because
of the free-flowing nature of this versatile medium.