|Sketch for The Last Supper, Juda's Head by da Vinci|
Many artists in the past used watercolor and pen as a sketching tool out in the field to record roughly major shadows, shapes, and line. They would then return to the studio with their quick watercolor sketch and work up an oil painting from these sketches. The choice of oils in the past was mainly for its durability (or permanence) and also for its flexibility as a medium. Watercolor, on the other hand, being done on paper, was lightweight, not permanent, a rather fleeting medium. It was also less expensive and more portable. Hence, it was the perfect thing to take into the field to use for a quick study. At some point, watercolor became more than just a tool; watercolors are now finished pieces, beautiful in and of themselves. Maybe the invention of more permanent, fade-resistant colors, archival papers, and treated glass/plexiglas allowed people to display these more fragile works of art.
So... I was thinking about this today as I was doing a digital sketch, instead of a watercolor one... *gasp*... and I... liked... it... yikes! I never thought I would ever say that about anything digital. Technology has so progressed that I was sketching with a stylus on a touchscreen. Pixels are evermore portable, flexible, and in some ways, more permanent, plus infinitely pliable. What's not to love? I'm going to work at it until I can sketch like Master da Vinci up there with my stylus. Will post my work later!!!