Putting it down on paper

“I use watercolour to give voice to what I would like to talk about…”

Jerry Pinkney

Watercolour painting as we now practice it, emerged in 17th Century France. Water based paints and pigments had a long history, but the production of reliable, refined paper was the key development. Commercial papermaking for the art market commenced near Dijon, at Arches et Archettes in 1620. Arches is still a must try paper for watercolour artists. True woven watercolour dedicated paper, emerged in the late 1760s. At that time cotton blends quite literally entered the picture. Standard paper weights, along with manufacturing textures of rough (grain trochon), cold press (grain fin) and hot press (grain satine), all became elements for watercolourist to consider. Sizing the paper, initially with gelatin, lead to reproducible paper tones or whiteness, and produced a more robust surface allowing heavier water application and repeated layers of paint washes. Watercolour painting was becoming more about the paper, less about the paints. #paperpenpaintandscalpel #letsmakelemonade

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