The Cotman Collection | 38

Cotmania. Vol. X. 1934-5

Archive: SDK Sydney Decimus Kitson Archive
Reference Number: SDK/1/2/1/10
Page: 16 verso

  • Description

    Article from The Studio by Martin Hardie discussing watercolour techniques

    Martin Hardie discusses the techniques painters deployed, stating Cotman would have seemed "modern" to his contemporaries.

    Date: 1934-1935

  • Transcription

    They do not choose the attractive "bit" of nature or aim at perfection of manual dexterity, but extract and arrange and organise what they have found in nature. After all, that is not very different from the course which Cotman pursued, and we must not forget how "modern" Cotman or Francis Towne must have seemed to their contemporaries. The gap is not so wide, as the modern critics sometimes make it, between the older painters and the modern, and certainly not so in watercolour. The modern is often stressing design at the expense of qualities of colour; the older man stressed colour perhaps, but in his finest work there is the underlying sense of design and construction which is what the modern brings to the surface. There is a century between Francis Towne's Source of The Arveiron and the work of the London Group, but the gap is not so wide as that between Burlington House and the New Burlington Galleries.
    Passing to other points of tech[illegible] which there is development, we may take the use of the hog's - hair oil brush and of dry colours. Turner and Cotman, to give two instances among the earlier men, both knew the value of dragging dry colour on the side of a sable brush, across their rough paper, and used the method, always with restraint, to gain richness of colour and variety of texture. The moderns have gone much further.

    {Kitson note}
    From an article by Martin Hardie "The Technique of Water-colour," in "the Studio" april, 1932

Article from The Studio by Martin Hardie discussing watercolour techniques