Workshop - Watercolor and watercolor pastels on wood or paper

Workshop – Watercolor and watercolor pastels on wood or paper

Watercolor and watercolor pastels on wood or paper

The course focuses on classic watercolor on paper technique but also introduces the much less well- known watercolor on wood, a technique developed in Italy starting from the Middle Ages and widely used in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Experimenting with these techniques includes the preparation of the wood support with the traditional imprimitura method (the underpainting layer). The support itself will be modern and consists of plywood panels which are durable, inexpensive and easy to find.  We will look at and discuss the materials required to prepare the imprimitura in the past (Bologna gesso, rabbit skin glue, zinc or Lithpone white), but also see how this technique can be achieved with modern materials (such fondo gesso, available in art supply stores).

The advantages of imprimitura are the incomparable quality of the preliminary layer, which works for all painting techniques, and an extraordinary layering and absorbency of the color itself on the support that provides a highly satisfying pictorial quality.  This technique of course takes longer to execute than classic water color on paper.

After discussing supports and technique, the next step will be choosing subjects during our excursion to Cortona. We will walk around town in search of inspiring views and ideas.

In the afternoon we will start working on the support of choice, paper or the previously prepared wood panel.

Another advantage of watercolor on wood worth exploring is that it can be completed with other techniques, such as oils, watercolor pastels, tempera and acrylic, which allows the use of gold leaf (that should of course be applied beforehand).

Continuing with other techniques over the watercolor is not strictly necessary. It is certainly possible to use only watercolor in layers and complete it with a fixative (hairspray or a more specific product).

Different styles in the applying of painting are equally effective: classic, modern, impressionistic, etc.

Many painting in the past were executed in this manner, with a first layer of watercolor and a second layer of oil. This greatly enhanced the final pictorial quality of the work.

Participants should bring their own material with the exception of the wood supports that will be provided and prepared during the course.

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