What is the Difference Between Modern and Traditional Watercolor

What is the Difference Between Modern and Traditional Watercolor

From a young age, we learn to associate wordswith pictures.

So, chances are, when I say the word watercolor,an image is instantly going to pop up in your mind.

But what if I told you, there is more thanone style of watercolor.

Okay, wait – what? There are different styles of watercolor.

Yeah, I know.

It was mind-boggling for me too when I learnedthis.

It’s kind of similar to dance.

There are different styles and different expectationsfor let’s say ballet versus jazz; or better yet, even lyrical versus ballet.

Both are under the same genre of dance butthere are very, very different expectations in their own unique styles.

The same is true for watercolor.

Watercolor is the overarching style, whichcan be broken down further and further into smaller categories.

The two I will be looking at, as the thumbnailand the title say is modern and traditional.

Before I get into this, I'm going to clarifyright now… this is my own opinion and what I have kind of observed between modern andtraditional watercolor over the years.

So, getting that out of the way, let's goahead and jump into this topic.

In order to really get a good grasp on basicallythe differences between modern and traditional watercolor, the first thing that we’re goingto have to do is actually look at their similarities.

So, how are they similar? Traditional and modern watercolor have actuallya lot of similarities.

The first being that the overall sketch, basicallythat skeleton, is what I like to consider it as, of your painting, that is the utmostimportance for both.

The next similarity is that both use watercolorpaint as their primary supply.

And finally, the third similarity is thatthe basic foundations of how you are painting or how you paint are the same.

Now, let's look at how they are different.

The first difference is in the supplies.

Traditional watercolorists usually only paintwith watercolor.

However, some may use gouache but from whatI have seen, their primary supply and the main supply that they use is watercolor.

Modern watercolorists though, on the otherhand, will use an assortment of different supplies, such as ink, gouache, acrylic … theymay even use foil or glitter, and basically anything that their hearts desire.

So, that is the first difference between thetwo.

The second difference is in the actual looksof paintings.

Traditional watercolor tends to rely heavilyon photo reference.

This is because they really want to capturethe likeness of whatever they're painting – whether it would be nature or a person,they are really relying heavily on that.

Another form of it is they're still relyingon that reference photo but they might paint more loosely.

So, that is another aspect of traditionalcolor, how it looks.

Modern watercolorists tend to be more expressiveor imaginative on how they interpret the world.

This doesn’t mean a modern watercoloristwon't use a reference photo.

It just means they're most likely to bendtowards the expressive or imaginative side rather than sticking with the actual realistic.

The third difference is in the process.

Traditional watercolor tends to be less forgiving.

And the reason for this is because since atraditional watercolorist is only working with watercolor, which is transparent in nature,they have to think quickly on their feet when they start see a mistake or they have to thinkvery creatively on how to cover up the mistake after it is dried.

Modern watercolorists though on the otherhand, while of course, watercolor is still challenging, It allows … this style allowsthe artist to use other paint mediums, such as acrylic, ink, or gouache.

All of those are opaque, so it’s actuallyeasier to hide mistakes.

So, which do I prefer? Hmmm … I wonder which realm I land in? If you haven't already guessed, I prefer modernwatercolor.

I honestly wish I had learned this knowledgesooner.

I'm basically a self-taught artist and thereason is because of this very subject.

As a college student and also as a high schoolstudent, I did take a couple of painting classes from traditional watercolorists.

While I wanted to add some sparkly gold tomy paintings or some ink lines, let's just say my teachers weren’t amused.

That’s why I always taught of myself asa misfit in watercolor.

I like to play around with different typesof paints.

I like to add ink, acrylic paint, gouache,and pretty much anything else.

But that was a huge no-no to my teachers.

They basically said I was breaking the rulesof watercolor.

Now, I'm not saying I didn’t learn anythingfrom these teachers.

If anything, they really helped improve myskills with watercolor.

Going back to the similarities that I talkedabout earlier, remember that the foundation is the same for both.

So, I actually grew a lot in how I appliedthe paint and the basic foundations – they really strengthened me a lot.

I just always felt dissatisfied with the problemonce I finished my paintings.

To me, my paintings just didn’t reflectme.

They reflected the styles of my teachers.

That’s why I'm kind of making this videoand I'm drawing a line in the sand.

Right now, if you want more traditional watercolor,basically tutorials or tips and stuff like that, you're still going to find some stuffthat will help you on this channel but like me, you're going to be frustrated and youmight not even know why you're frustrated.

Well, it’s because I'm teaching in a differentstyle that you do not resonate with.

Like I said, there is nothing wrong with traditionalwatercolor.

But if you are a traditional watercoloristby nature, you are going to find this channel very frustrating.

The same way I felt when I was trying to paintmodern watercolor underneath a traditional watercolorist.

So, I've kind of rambled on a little bit onthat point.

With all that being said, the main thing thatI'm trying to say here is if you're interested in modern watercolor, that is my style andthat is what I teach best.

So, come along for the ride through Mistopiaand join me on this whimsical watercolor journey.

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Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this again andI will see you next time! (music playing).

Source: Youtube