Water Colours then and now.
Watercolours have been used in traditional Chinese art from around 4,000 BCE when they were used for decorative art and then eventually for landscape paintings eventually dominating all Chinese brush painting.
Western artists began to hand grind all their pigments for water colour paintings as early as 1400s. Many of their mixes and recipes were kept closely guarded for fear of other artists copying their methods.
Famous artists known to have influenced Water colour painting are...
John Singer Sargent 1856-1925
Paul Klee 1879-1986
Charles Demuth 1883-1935
Elizabeth Murray 1815-1882
Winslow Homer 1836-1910
and one of the earliest
John James Audubon 17851851
Although Van gogh was not known for his watercolour paintings he produced 150 watercolours.
in 1957 Salvador Dali worked on 100 watercolour paintings as a tribute project to Dante which were revoked because Salvador was Spanish and Danti was Italian and critics questioned the appropriateness of a Spaniard being assigned to paint the tribute.
Many artists use watercolours much in the same way as sketching a draft in preparation before using their medium of choice etc. It is used in mixed me3dia and to compliment pen and ink drawings.