lunes, 18 de febrero de 2019


Eli Hill
Artist Michael Boyd’s painting studio is remarkably clean. There are no residual paint drips coating the wall, no haphazard buckets filled with dirty brushes, and no scraps of paper or canvas in sight. Instead, there’s simply a table with a block of cold press paper, a set of watercolor paints, and a neat row of brushes.

For Boyd, one of the biggest perks of using watercolor is the minimal amount of material needed to practice the art form. “I essentially have a portable studio,” he recently explained. “And I have taken it everywhere: Scotland, Berlin…I also like to use it on trains. Sometimes, I’ll even sneak in some painting while I’m at work.” (He runs the downtown New York gallery La Mama.)
While many artists have taken advantage of watercolor’s mobile potential during periods of travel––such as Georgia O’Keeffe, who used the medium to document travels in Texas––many others have used watercolor paint as a key part of their practice. Vincent van Gogh, Mary Cassatt, Albrecht Dürer, and Louise Bourgeois have all worked in the medium at one point or another.
For those who are looking to brush up on their watercolor techniques or learn the basics for the first time, we spoke to three artists who frequently use the medium: Boyd; Michiyo Fukushima, an instructor of watercolor at the New York Academy of Art; and Ben Blatt, a contemporary artist. Below, they share their best tips and strategies for working with watercolors.

One of the first tips that all of the artists shared is that the type of paper you choose is incredibly important. “A lot of problems beginners encounter can be avoided by switching their paper––that’s how much a difference paper makes,” Fukushima says. When selecting your paper, pay close attention to three factors: surface, weight, and format.
When selecting your paper, you’ll have to choose between three different types of surfaces: hot press, cold press, and rough. Hot press paper has the smoothest surface and tightest weave; cold press paper has slightly more of a tooth (or texture) to it; and rough paper is the softest and most loosely woven. Many watercolor artists (including Boyd and Fukushima) prefer cold press for the way it absorbs the water and pigment, yet offers the painter control. Others (such as Blatt) prefer hot press paper, as it lends itself well to sharp details.
When it comes to the weight of the paper, the term “pound” is used to reference the thickness of the page. For example, a business card is typically printed on 100-pound paper. Artists using watercolors will typically want a heavier paper, such as 140-pound or even as high as 300-pound, so that when you apply water to the surface, the paper will be less likely to buckle or warp.
Lastly, you will want to consider the format that the paper comes in. Paper made for watercolor will either come as an individual sheet of paper or in a block—essentially, a pile of paper that is glued together on the edge, so that when you paint onto the paper, its edges are tightly secured and will not warp. If you use a block of watercolor paper, you’ll remove the work by cutting an incision into the binding glue on the edge.
If you use an individual sheet of paper, you’ll want to take some steps to prevent your artwork from warping. The most basic strategy is to simply use masking tape or staples to adhere the edges of your paper onto a table or board. If you’re looking to get more serious, you can soak your paper in cold water for about 7–10 minutes, then let it dry before taping or stapling it down. This way, the paper will never be wetter than it was when you soaked it, and the fibers will be more taut and prepared for the water………………..

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