March 17, 2016

Painting With The Girls 77

March 17, 2016.

Day 77 (289 days to go)



Watercolor Postcard, collage. 5X7 Matted

I will pause for a little on the subject of painters to take a quick look at the history of painting materials.  

We took a look at cave painting and the first murals in antiquity. These were followed in antiquity by art in the form of painted vases and mosaics. All of these techniques used pigment. Pigments in pre history were available from the surroundings, such as charcoal from fire and burnt bones, and minerals, such as limonite and hematite, for white and red. These are called earth minerals.

Any pigments used before the Industrial Revolution were very costly and their origins were plant, animal or mineral.

During the Renaissance, frescoes became very popular and the technique of painting with water-based mixed pigments applied to lime stone was replaced by the practical and simple technique of applying pigments mixed with egg whites (tempera) or oils (linseed and others). Towards the end of The Renaissance, these methods were used to paint on wooden boards and panels.

That all changed with the Industrial Revolution.

In Europe, pigments were prepared ahead and put into tubes and sold in art supply stores. Also, brushes and materials to stretch canvases and boxes were created for the artists to be more mobile.

Painting outdoors (plein air) became popular in the 19th century, facilitated by the creation of better traveling boxes and art supply storage.