Examples of Painting Techniques:

Watercolor: The pigment is suspended in water and applied onto paper. Everyone has experimented with watercolor while in elementary school. The pigment is supplied in solid form, in a gum arabic. The artist will wet the brush and make contact with the solid pigment thereby releasing some color particles into the water, and then apply the colored water to the paper. The intensity of the color will depend on the density of particles in the paint: higher density - darker the color.



Advantages? Cheap, easy to use, non-toxic for children, color densities can be adjusted. Artists have the opportunity to mix or blend colors either before applying them to the paper or by layering colors already on the paper.

Disadvantages? The artist must be very skilled in judging the appropriate amount of water to apply. If too much water is placed on the brush, once contacting the paper, the paint will puddle or run out of control. The paper may ripple or even tear. Control is the main issue with watercolor. The more water the less control over the color intensity and forms being painted. Detail and sharp contours or edges are nearly impossible due to the running paint. Only a master watercolorist can achieve a successful painting. The example is Winslow Homerís Shore and Surf, Nassau, 1899. When Homer applied the blue paint, he knew instinctively how far it would travel leaving the high value white (the unpainted paper) open to suggest the crashing surf. The same with all of the other colors and brushstrokes. The darker purple in the bottom left creates a diagonal line, which as a low value area contrasts with the lighter aqua color. Again, the painting is fuzzy and less detailed due to these control issues.