California Landscape

  • Chayim Shvarzblat

It is considered that the oldest watercolors are the studies of landscapes and animals made in the fifteenth century by the German master Albrecht Dürer, who finished his drawings with watercolors on natural history subjects. These works do not constitute the majority of their production, but they are considered classic examples of detailed and precise drawings of nature. The artists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries only occasionally used water-based paints and the custom was to use them in monochrome. The bistre (brown pigment, coffee, obtained from soot) and cuttlefish (blackish pigment from squid ink) were preponderant in the works of the French artist Claudio de Lorraine and the Dutch master Rembrandt, who used them to create expressive atmospheric effects of clouds and sky in his drawings of landscapes in ink. The use of water paints was not frequent, that's why they are only found in the works of a few minor teachers.