Painting - Technique
A technique based on thin layers of special colors diluted with water on watercolor papers. The colors are substances consisting of high-quality pigments which allow taking full advantage of reflective qualities of the paper and the transparency of separate color layers.
The resulting shade is determined by the light which penetrates the separate layers of color and, at the same time, is partially reflected from them and the paper. The paper completely replaces the white color which is not used in watercolor at all.
The newest technique which makes use of colors on the base of acrylic resins. The colors can be diluted by water but usually another special medium is employed, the ingredients of which profoundly influence the properties of the color and the final appearance. After drying, acrylic colors create a very hard, flexible and resistant surface. Visually the overall impression may resemble oil painting.
Acrylic colors dry very quickly and that is why some aims are rendered impossible (such as fine gradient color transitions on a large area). On the contrary, working in a rather "plastered" way, that is with thick layers of colors, quick drying is an advantage. The basic background materials are generally the same as in oil painting.
A classical art technique, its way of usage ranges from entirely plastered painting "alla-prima" ("at once") with a minimal number of media to extremely complicated layer techniques during which the media are being changed from layer to layer.
Unlike acrylic, the drying process (of colors) is rather slow, sometimes, it is necessary to wait even for weeks till the previous layer is dry perfectly. This can be both an advantage and a disadvantage - not only of a technnical nature but also of a purely creative nature because the inevitable interruption of the work might be disruptive. Flax canvas, hardboard and wooden boards are usually used as the background material.
Paintings - Material
In a typical offering, there are several dozen watercolor papers - from hand-made to machine-produced, from very thin and smooth to high density or with a structured surface. Watercolor necessitates using special brushes characterized by substantial absorption and tip preservation.
Canvas probably remains the most used background material. Its main advantages are light weight and ease in transporting, including temporarily removing the stretching frame and cautiously rolling into a paper tube, if the characteristics of the painting permit. The main disadvantage is that it is prone to changes caused by atmospheric humidity and lesser mechanical resistance.
Unlike canvas, hardboard is not subject to changes in humidity and temperature and the preparation of the material does not require a streching frame. For work outdoors, its significant mechanical resistance is quite important. The same applies to the technique of assemblages because, quite often, it is not possible to fix solid objects on a canvas in a stable way.
Nowadays, the material is as common as canvas in the area of fine arts. On the other hand, hardboard is unsuitable when installing a painting without an outer frame because the frame provides a visual divide and also fulfils a stabilizing function. In the case of canvas, this function is carried out by means of the inner frame which the material is stretched on. However, for sizes larger than approx. 1m x 1m (approx. 40" x 40"), it's weight may be an obstacle.