Watercolor Vocabulary

Art 1
Binder - is what holds particles of pigments together in the paint tube and on the
palette. Gum arabic is the binder used in the medium of watercolor.
Bead - a tiny pool of color formed by gravity at the bottom of a wet wash when
applied to tilted or slanted watercolor paper.
Blocking in - arranging major elements of a painting using simple tone, shapes,
colors and forms when beginning a watercolor painting.
Block out - refers to reserving the white watercolor paper using any material (liquid
or stencil) to prevent paint from making a mark on the paper.
Buckling - the wrinkling and bending caused by expansion which occurs with
watercolor paper when wet
Damp - in watercolor "damp" has several meanings. A "damp" brush is a brush that is moist
enough to make a mark on paper but will not drip. Damp paper is limp from being moistened
but when held at an angle the water will not run or drip.
Hard edges - sharp shapes or lines that did not blend into adjacent areas.
Soft edges - allowing the value or color of an edge to blend or blur into nearby areas without
definite lines of separation. Soft edges happen when painting wet into wet or by blending off
a brush stroke.
Lift - to take out or remove paint from an area of a watercolor painting. Used to lighten
values and colors by sponging, scrubbing, are scraping. Some lifting techniques are harmful to
the paper surface.
Blotting - lifting away moisture and pigment with an absorbent material (facial tissue, paper
towel or sponge) used to lighten areas in a painting or to
create special effects
Wash - a thin fluid application of watercolor on either wet or dry watercolor paper.
A wash usually implies laying down color on a broad area of paper.
Gradation - any gradual change in hue, value, or color intensity.
Gradated Wash - a wash starting with one color gradually going from dark to light
or light to dark
Variegated wash - a wash starting one color gradually adding and blending into a
second color in a single application on either wet or dry paper
Gradated Wash
Variegated Wash
Dry Brush – almost opposite of wet in wet. A brush loaded with pigment (and not too
much water) is drug over completely dry paper. Creates crisp and hard edges. You
can go over with a brush to soften the edges. Good for creating texture.
Wet on Dry – the application of a layer of color on top of a dry layer of color. This
helps create clean crisp lines and overlapping colors can give you another color.
Glaze - a transparent wash of color over another color modifying the underlying
Wet in Wet – the application of wet paint onto wet paper. Also used to describe
adding more color into an area of wet paint of the same or different color. Creates
soft edges.
Scumbling – the application of pigment onto dry paper. Good for creating texture.
Dry Brush Technique
Glaze Technique
Wet in Wet Technique
1. Put your name and class period on the top right corner of the watercolor paper.
2. Turn the paper over.
3. Divide the paper into 21 boxes; 7 rows and 3 boxes.
4. Label starting at the top and going left to right.
Solid wash, graded wash, glazing
Wet on wet, drop color on wet paper, dry brush
Scumbling, negative painting, lift or feather out
Pushing out pigment, wipe out brush, detail painting
Masking fluid/tape, hard & soft edges, scratching wet & dry
Magic eraser, salt, water splatter/blooms
Sand paper/watercolor pencil, sponge, opaque vs. transparent
Watercolor Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbDawbOO8XY
Watercolor Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxK1dTJ4Nhk
Watercolor Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLOvMS2CmAI
Watercolor Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttbbXnQsMiw

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