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Renaissance Watercolours: materials and techniques

By the Victoria & Albert Museum. Focusing on the three types of object featured in the V&A display Renaissance Watercolours: illuminated manuscripts, portrait miniatures and coloured drawings, this film showcases the qualities that made watercolour the medium of choice for many artists during the Renaissance. A modern-day painting of a pomegranate, using traditional watercolour techniques, by artist Lucy Smith, also demonstrates how watercolour painting remains a versatile medium, ideal for capturing life-like details that help us to record our diverse world. Find out more: vam.ac.uk/renaissance-watercolours.

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  • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user Nola
    why did they use oyster shells to hold the pigments and paints?
    (1 vote)
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    • aqualine tree style avatar for user David Alexander
      It wasn't anything special about the material. It was their ubiquity, size and shape. Oyster shells are plentiful and cheap. After one has eaten the animal that grew in it, the shell is free! An oyster shell fits comfortably in the hand that is not holding the brush. An oyster shell is like a cup, so stuff doesn't run off of it.
      (2 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user Trevor Niccoli
    why do. they use pigments.
    (1 vote)
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    • aqualine tree style avatar for user David Alexander
      "pigments" are the parts of paint that give it color. "Paint" is just something into which to add pigments and bind them to the surface upon which it is applied. "Paint" is, essentially, colorless. Without pigments, "Paint" is like oil, or shellac, or egg yolks, or water.
      (1 vote)

Video transcript