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The Origins of Watercolor

When it comes to watercolor painting, artists don’t have to look far for inspiration. This type of paint has been used for millennia, possibly as far back as prehistoric times.

Origins of Watercolor Paints

However, its real history starts in the Renaissance, when painters began to grind and experiment with new pigments. Artwork during this period often centered around religion or the natural world, and many fine paintings were commissioned by rich and influential patrons. Painters made their own watercolors using secret — and sometimes dangerous — formulas.

Eventually, paint dealers or “colormen” started selling binders and pigments so artists could readily purchase materials when needed. Come the 18th century, pre-mixed paint blocks would appear on the market, offering watercolorists a more convenient way to work. These blocks eventually developed into the pan paints we all know and love.

The history of watercolor doesn’t end there. Metal paint tubes were introduced in the 1800s, allowing liquid paints to be transported and produced in large amounts. Watercolor became less expensive to produce, and is now one of the most affordable and accessible art mediums.

Today, watercolors are safe, convenient, and easy to use, with more hues available for full artistic expression. And with so many beautiful sets available, there’s never been a better time to pick up your paintbrush and start painting!

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