What is watercolor painting and why are watercolor painting lessons the most popular of all painting lessons.
It starts with watercolor paints.
They come in two forms, pans, (dry cakes of color) and tubes filled with buttery liquid color. The cakes are similar to the children's watercolors, you just wet them with a brush and them apply them. The tubes are even easier, just touch the brush to some of the freshly extruded color and its ready to paint with.
Now here is the great part. If your brush dries without having been cleaned; re wet it and its ready to go again. If this were oil or acrylic paint, that brush would have been ruined. If your wet paints have dried out; also no problem. Just re-wet them and they are good as new.
Watercolor paints are responsive.
There are so many ways watercolor paintings get a "look of their own". If you paint them thinly, they get this ethereal, "greeting card" look. Paint them thickly and they begin to look like oil paintings. Paint them onto pre wetted paper, and you get that soft, grainy look which is so distinctive, the "watercolor look". They are clearly the most versatile of painting mediums.
Watercolors are painted on paper, not canvas or panels. Paper is easier to buy and to tote around. If you mess up a piece of paper, so what; throw it away and start another. You don't have to prepare paper, or have it standing around for days or weeks waiting for it to dry. When you're done, so is the painting.
Watercolors frame so nicely.
Watercolor paintings are traditionally matted before framing. The reason is that should water condense on the inside of the glass, it could re wet the paper and the paint might smudge. Matting the painting makes the glass touch the mat, but not the paper recessed inside the mat cutout. It adds a little complexity to the framing process, but pays off so handsomely. First the painting is really dressed up by the right choice of mat texture and color. Second, small paintings appear bigger because of the added mat. Mats can even have several cutouts creating diptychs or triptychs etc. Huge "sofa sized" pieces of art can be made from two or three small watercolor paintings.
The matting process automatically adds a border the the paper. This allows for vignetting a painting. A vignette, is a painting which is not painted to the edges of the paper. A matted vignette, is a striking wall hanging.
Watercolor paints and paper are so versatile, its no wonder that the most popular art form of all is watercolor painting.