What’s in a watercolor besides water?


“Goat Tea” by Cynthia Allman of Medina, appears in the Ohio Watercolor Society Exhibit.

    (NWPR-OH) – “Watercolor” encompasses many mediums and techniques, and quite a few of them can be found in the Ohio Watercolor Society Exhibit which opened at the Wassenberg Art Center last Sunday. The exhibit includes a wide variety of paintings done with water media. This means that in all the works, water is used to thin the paint. In this show you will see paintings that use some of the following water media.

     Traditional watercolors are known for their transparency; light goes through the paint and reflects off the paper to give a characteristic look to the painting. In pure traditional watercolor, the artist “reserves” or saves the white of the paper for the white areas of the painting.

     Opaque watercolors such as Pelikan brand are similar to transparent watercolors but do not allow as much light to pass through. They can be layered to the point where no light passes through to the paper.

Hope Wallace

     Acrylic paints are synthetic paints with a water base. They are fast-drying, lightproof and non-fading and can be used on any non-oily surface. They can be used like oil paints or thinned and applied transparently like watercolors. They can be thinned with water or special painting emulsions.

     Gouache is French for permanent opaque watercolor. Designer’s colors and casein are forms of gouache. Also, the mixture of opaque white with transparent watercolors can be used to create a kind of gouache.     

     Casein consists of a binder made from a milk derivative (casein glue) combined with pigments. It dries quickly with a waterproof surface and can be varnished. It can be used on paper or illustration board, etc., but is too inflexible for canvas.

     “Whiskey painting” is a specialty of the Whiskey Painters of America (WPA).  This select painting group specializes in miniature watercolor paintings using whiskey, vodka, or other alcoholic beverages instead of water to thin their paints.  We don’t think any of the pictures in this exhibit are whiskey paintings, but one of the artists whose work is displayed in this OWS show is a member of the WPA as well as the OWS.

     So “watercolor” is more than just the sort of watercolors many people are familiar with. Visit the art center during the OWS exhibit and see the amazing things that can be done with water media!  The show runs through March 27 and exhibit hours are 1-5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday (closed Mondays). Admission is free.

     The Wassenberg Art Center is located at 643 S. Washington St., Van Wert, Ohio. Contact us by phone at 419.238.6837 or email wassenberg@embarqmail.com. Visit the website at www.vanwert.com/wassenberg.

Published by on March 2011. Filed under Archives, Art-to-Art Marketplace Guide, At the Centers dept, PaletteBoards Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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