Watercolour is one of the oldest art mediums and is well-known for its transparency and almost ethereal aesthetics. Also known as aquarelle, wall art painted with watercolour has a distinct look that’s bright and luminous and serves as a delicate finishing touch to any room. This medium is delicate in more ways than one though. Since it’s water soluble, it requires a different level of care when you compare it to other painting mediums. Without proper care, your beautiful watercolour painting will start to crumple and buckle and even show signs of discolouration. In this post, The Canvas Art Factory shares five long-term care tips to preserve the beauty of your watercolour art.
Preserve with Proper Glass Framing
Watercolour artworks are very susceptible to the elements, especially humidity and sunlight. To preserve your new artwork for years to come, it should be housed in a glazed glass framing to protect it from the harsh sunlight. Plexiglass is a great choice since it’s UV-coated and has similar protective qualities as museum glass. There should also be a three-millimetre space between the glass and the artwork so that the paint doesn’t accidentally stick to the glazing.
Avoid Hot and Humid Areas
Although robust glazing adds significant protection to your watercolour artworks, it’s still important that you place your new art in a location that’s free from humidity. Bathrooms are not a good place to hang your watercolour art even with glazing as the heat and humidity will eventually find its way inside the frame. Similarly, you shouldn’t hang your painting in an area exposed to direct sunlight or has continuous fluorescent lighting.
You obviously want your new wall art to be displayed with proper lighting to bring out the colours. When setting up your painting, make sure the room has a source of ambient lighting that, while it doesn’t directly hit the painting, is enough to light it up. You can achieve this with indirect lighting fixtures or by using a mirror to redirect the light from the window towards the wall where the painting is hung.
Add a Dust Cover
The UV-coated glass may protect to the front of your painting, but what about the back? Even when it’s is perfectly flat on the wall, dust and small insects can still find their way on the vulnerable backside of your painting. Accumulated dust is a pain to clean and can damage the medium and insects may even eat the watercolour or deposit faecal matter that can permanently stain your wall art.
We recommend you add a sealed dust cover at the back of your frame. Not only does it protect from dust and insect intrusion, it’s an extra layer of protection from humidity.
Avoid Touching the Artwork
While this may seem obvious, there will come a time when you’ll eventually have to take out the watercolour piece from its protecting framing. Whether you’re swapping artworks, retouching the artwork or replacing the framing, avoid touching the watercolour directly.
Any stains on your hands as well as the natural oils our skin exudes will end up on the artwork and will be absorbed by the fibres. Not only do these leave permanent marks and stains, they may negatively affect the medium itself which may result in warping or deterioration of the aquarelle over time. Make sure you wash and properly dry your hands first or wear gloves before directly handling your watercolour painting.
Switch Your Art Around!
Another way you can preserve your watercolour painting is to simply switch your art around. This may seem contradictory to the point of featuring your new wall art, but it’s a good way to preserve for a long time as it limits the amount of exposure it gets from the elements.
You don’t necessarily have to hide away your artwork in storage; rather, rotate the artwork around your house, switching the pieces between the rooms. If your watercolour artwork is housed in the living room this month, consider swapping it with the painting in the bedroom. Not only do you help preserve your paintings, rotating your home’s art pieces is an excellent way to revitalise the aesthetics of your room, too!
At The Canvas Art Factory, we use high-quality and UV-resistant inks for our canvas prints that can last up to 120 years before they start to fade. That said, we still recommend you keep these tips in mind as it will help keep your new wall art clean and maintenance-free.
We can help you frame your watercolour artworks to preserve them, and we also offer a wide selection of watercolour prints on canvas to choose from – from beautiful aquarelle paintings to abstract and surreal prints.