Spontaneity of the artwork

Although Acrylic and watercolor are both water based mediums, their characteristics are quite different from each other. The spontaneity of a (transparent) watercolor work is best experienced through the watercolor medium itself. There is a certain warmth to the use of ‘layering’ in a watercolor work vis-a-vis Acrylics. Acrylics seem to appear ‘drier’ in comparison with watercolor. Mixing of colours appears more effortless with watercolours and a little contrived in Acrylics. This is because the viscosity of the colours is almost consistent optically in watercolours than in Acrylics.

To frame or not to frame

Framing an artwork is recommended for many reasons. The most important one, especially for watercolor paintings is to ensure the longevity of the painting by protecting it from environmental wear and tear as well as accidental damage. Exposure to direct sunlight can make the colors appear dull over time. The accumulation of other pollutants such as dust and grime may be impossible to get rid of from the surface of a watercolor painting. This eventually leads to a loss of the luminescence or brilliance of the colors. Whereas an acrylic painting is easier to maintain, it can be displayed without framing and easily cleaned from time to time. Another thing to consider while framing is the weight of the frame itself. For small size artworks, a framed artwork is easy to display but with larger sized works the weight of the frame can be detrimental for easy displaying options such as temporary wall hanging hooks that use adhesives.

Is watercolor art more expensive?

Ask any artist and they will tell you it is not the medium that is the sole consideration during valuation of an artwork. A skilled artist will be able to create a hyper realistic artwork easily. There is a reason why fake paintings of the great masters get made in small by-lanes of different corners of the world but need a skilled eye to spot a fake from an original. Many times, an original artwork in acrylic medium can cost way more than a fake one although the skill required for the watercolor work will be significantly higher. The ‘market value’ of the artist you are planning to buy from, also matters. So when deciding to buy an artwork, consider its originality, concept and its effect on you before you look at its medium. I always suggest “Buy the art you would like to look at first thing when you wake up in the morning” It is like choosing a companion. The artwork must move you or touch you in ways that makes you think out of the box and encourages you to look at life from beyond your immediate realities.


Having said this, there are many resources you can tap into to help you make the right decision. Consulting with a gallery or curator is a great option for first time buyers.


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