Sunday, August 27, 2017

What does "watercolour" mean to you?

This is about the meaning of "watercolour" - the word. What does it mean to you?

Back in 2009 I did a very long blog post about the topic of What is watercolour? 

It's worth a read for anybody who is interested in this topic and a re-read for anybody who read it when it was first published.

Note in particular the Tate Glossary definition and what it means....

I'm reminded of it today having seen the painting that has won the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition which, we should all note, is NOT called the Sunday Times Water-Based Media Competition.

Below I've added in a few more definitions of watercolour - and paintings by artists who are truly skilled in the use of watercolours.

Corfu - lights and shadows by John Singer Sargent

Definitions of "watercolour"


Below you can find a number of definitions of 'watercolour'. The link to the source of the definition is in the name of the source

Oxford Dictionary

Artists' paint made with a water-soluble binder such as gum arabic, and thinned with water rather than oil, giving a transparent colour.
A picture painted with watercolours.
The art of painting with watercolours, especially using a technique of producing paler colours by diluting rather than by adding white.

Collins Dictionary

noun (usually plural)Also called : pure watercolour
  • water-soluble pigment, applied in transparent washes and without the admixture of white pigment in the lighter tones
  • any water-soluble pigment, including opaque kinds such as gouache and tempera
a painting done in watercolours
  • (as modifier) a watercolour masterpiece
the art or technique of painting with such pigments
The Hare (1502) by Albrecht DurerWatercolor and body color, heightened with white body color
Google (search query - definition of "watercolour")
watercolourˈwɔːtəkʌlə/
nounartists' paint made with a water-soluble binder such as gum arabic, and thinned with water rather than oil, giving a transparent colour.
"a self-portrait in watercolour"
a picture painted with watercolours.the art of painting with watercolours, especially using a technique of producing paler colours by diluting rather than by adding white.

Wikimedia

Watercolor (American English) or watercolour (British English; see spelling differences), also aquarelle (French loanword), a diminutive of the Latin for water, is a painting method in which the paints are made of pigments suspended in a water-based solution. Watercolor refers to both the medium and the resulting artwork.
Note that at no point does anybody mention the word "polymer" .  
(Yes, you are right I am very definitely NOT a fan of acrylic masquerading as watercolour - or oil for that matter!)
Watercolour sketch of the Burning of the Houses of Parliament by JMW Turner

Discussion of Watercolour


Plus do have a read of this article Watercolour - Review by Laura Cumming in The Observer back in 2011.

What do you think?

What does "watercolour" mean to you?