Watercolor is often one of the first mediums we learn to use, yet many of us never outgrow our love for them. In light of this, we put together some cool facts on watercolors to help inspire you along your journey.
Watercolor is water-soluble paint. Today, most manufactures use a gummy base with pigment, to hold the paint together. However, throughout history, people used natural pigments from fruits (like berries) to get color for their painting.
Watercolors tend to be semi-translucent, meaning you can see through the top layers of any painting and see an undercoat. This is great to keep in mind for scenic paintings like sunsets, because it will enable you to see details in the background of your painting that you can create with layers.
Watercolors range in opacity and pigment from color to color. The colors that are strongest and leave the most impact on a painting are called "staining colors".
The reason why watercolor paper was designed is because the hot and cold press applied to the paper will prevent it from bending while you paint. It is still recommended to use tape on the corner of your paper to hold painted paper down. The paper rises when the water is not applied evenly throughout, so it is better to be safe and use caution to preserve the painting.
Hot pressed paper is smooth with no texture. This means that water dries at a slower rate. It is best to use hot-pressed paper when you want to blend colors on the paper (for example, the components that make up a sunset are often blended together). It is believed that colors will also appear more vibrant on hot press paper. For example, teal and orange will appear stronger.
Cold pressed paper is rougher, with ridges and raised points, giving the finished painting texture. This paper absorbs water at a faster rate. So, you will have to paint quicker as you go along. Choosing between hot and cold pressed watercolor paper is subjective, however, we have an article here to help you make the choice.
You can browse our watercolor selection here.