Accelerator: A substance, such as rubbing alcohol or oxgall, added to paint to speed up the drying time.
Advancing Colors: Warm colors such as reds and yellows, or vivid colors, which appear to come towards the front of the picture. (Compare Cool colors).
Alla prima: A style of painting where the painting is started and finished in one sitting, while the paint is still wet. "Alla prima" comes from the Italian which means "at once". Some famous painters known for painting alla prima include Cezanne, Sargent, Cassatt, Homer, Caravaggio, and Frans Hals.
Analogous Colors: Colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Any three adjacent primary, secondary and tertiary colors such as blue-green, blue and blue-violet or yellow, yellow-orange and orange, etc. are considered analogous colors. Analogous colors are sometimes referred to as adjacent colors.
Aquapasto: A transparent gel medium that reduces flow and gives a bodied effect to water color and gouache. Aquapasto is mixed with water colors to thicken the wash. Aquapasto is squeezed onto the palette and just enough added to the water color wash until the wash thickens. Tube colors are easier to use for stronger washes or when large amounts are required. Aquapasto washes will not flow into each other so they are excellent for clouds or multi-colored areas. Available from Winsor and Newton.
Aquarelle Brush: The distinguishing characteristic of this flat brush is the clear acrylic handle that is bevelled on the end for scratching or scraping through damp paint. The end can also be used for burnishing.
Area of Interest: the region of the painting where you want the viewer to look. It is an area that should attract the viewer's attention. The area of interest often contains the sharpest edges, the brightest colors, the highest contrast, and the most detail. In addition, it often contains a color that exists nowhere else on the painting. This is the area toward which visual movement is directed.
Atmospheric perspective: Atmospheric haze causes the actual (local) color of an object to change when the object is viewed from a distance. The actual color of trees on a mountain may be green, but when seen as a distance, they change in value, hue and intensity. They become lighter in value, cooler in hue, and duller in intensity. Objects at a distance are also blurred, fuzzy, or indistinct; they have less detail and contrast the further they are from the viewer. (Atmospheric perspective is sometimes referred to as "aerial perspective").
Axial Hold: a design arrangement in which a high horizontal shape is connected to the top and a little to the sides of the composition with middle or darker values. The contrasting-valued subject is held in place against this, and it hangs down below this strip. (see 7 Keys to Great Paintings by Jane Hofstetter)
Back Runs (bloom, blossom): A back-run, or blossom, occurs only when we paint with a brush that has more water than the paper that is still damp from a previous wash. In general, if the paper is soaking wet, you can do anything to it with impunity. The same is true if the paper is dry. It's when it's at the half dry, half wet stage that the problem occurs. If a back run occurs, immediately brush up the excess moisture to stop it from growing. Then paint something darker over that area.
Backing Board or Support Board: A board to which your watercolor paper is attached with tape, staples, or by the surface tension of water. Support boards include homasote, corex sign board, plywood, masonite, plexi-glas, and gator board.
Balance: A principle of design that refers to the way the elements of art are arranged to create a feeling of stability in a work. Portions of a composition can be described as taking on a measurable weight or dominance. These elements can then be arranged in such a way that they appear to be either in or out of balance. Balance can be symmetrical or symmetrical.
Batik: A method of creating designs on cloth by applying wax resist and then successive dyebaths. Ancient pieces of batiked cloth have been found in present-day China, India, Egypt, Peru, Indonesia and other countries. The method has reached its highest form on the island of Java.
In watercolor batik, traditional cloth is replaced with watercolor paper, wax is replaced with a masking agent, and dyes are replaced with tube watercolors. Transparent washes of color, with additional layers of masking agent applied between washes, create vibrant batik effects.
Bead:A fluid gathering of excess moisture which forms at the end of a stroke or at the bottom of a wet, tilted wash.
Blending Medium: Used to slow the drying rate of water colors allowing you more time for blending. Blending Medium can be used in a number of different ways. For maximum blending time, mix the medium directly with the water color. Alternatively you can apply the medium directly to the paper in preparation for the water color. Dilution with water will provide a variety of blending/drying times. Once dry, further washes can be applied over any washes which included Blending Medium. Available from Winsor and Newton.
Blocking in: Laying down the initial statement of a picture by a broad indication of line, color, and tone. After blocking in, artists typically develop their compositions from general to particular by ever-increasingly refining shapes, colors, textures, etc., until an artwork is finished.
Blottesque: A distinctive technique of watercolour painting using dabs of pigment on wet paper and blotting them with a sponge. See also Lifting After Using Chinese White.
Blotting: Areas of a painting can be blotted to lighten them. A kleenex can be pressed onto moist pigment, lifting away most of the color. If the area has already dried, rewet it, wait a few seconds, then blot. In some cases it will be necessary to rub the area with a stiff, damp brush to looses the dried pigment before blotting. This will not take you back to the white of the paper, but it will lighten the area considerably.
Body Color: This term refers to opaque effects in watercolor. Body Color is different from Gouache. Chinese or Titanium White may be added to any transparent watercolor to make it more opaque. As with Gouache, the main use of Body Color in watercolor is as a means of painting a light color on top of a dark one without any of the underlying paint showing through.
Bone Folder: A tool used for smoothing, scoring, and creasing paper, mylar and cloth. Bone folders are used in paper crafts such as Japanese origami, scrapbooking and card-making. They can also be used to smooth out overcuts on matboard.
Bone folders can be found in most craft stores.
A classic bone folder is carved from real animal bones, often cow, deer or elk. More expensive bone folders are made from Teflon. (Teflon bone folders will not mark, burnish, abrade or damage delicate paper, cloth or leather. They create cleaner, sharper folds and creases. Paint, paste and glue will not stick to the Teflon surface.) Many bone folders are carved with ornate handles or other decorative features, but a basic bone folder is typically shaped like a wooden tongue depressor or a large popsicle stick. It often has a rounded end and a pointed end for working in corners.
Tips for using a bone folder to fold a card.
Place a straight edge along the fold line. Gently press the point of the bone folder into the card and pull it along the edge of the ruler, as if you were drawing a line with a pencil. (A dull letter opener, a stylus or a pen that has run out of ink could also be used as a scoring tool.) Use enough pressure to create an indentation or groove, but not enough pressure to cut the paper.
Without releasing the straight edge, reinforce the crease by folding the card 90 degrees and rubbing it firmly against the straight edge with your finger or the bone folder.
Fold the card along the score line and gently press flat. With the bone folder held perpendicular to the paper, move it along the fold with a slight downward pressure. (To protect the front of the card, either place a piece of plain paper on top of the card before creasing with the bone folder or apply the bone folder to the back of the card.)
Brayer: A rolling rubber cylinder with a handle. It resembles a paint roller, but it is smaller in diameter and shorter in length. It is used to spread (bray) ink or paint.
Bristle: The stiff rigid body hair of hogs and pigs, characterized by split ends on each bristle.
Broken Wash Compare dry brush. A wash that is applied in such a way that not every part of the paper is covered, and there are little gaps and strings of white dots where the brush has failed to make contact with the tiny hollows in the surface of the paper. A broken wash can be applied over white paper or over a previously applied and dry wash. The pool of color prepared for a broken wash should be slightly less liquid than for flat, graded and variegated washes, and should be applied with bold, horizontal strokes of a 1-in (2.5-cm) or a 1/2-in (1.25-cm) flat brush or a large round brush held almost parallel to the paper and drawn rapidly across the surface. This technique works best with deep-toned pigments.
Laying a broken wash:
1. dip the brush into the prepared wash, but do not overload it
2. hold the brush at a very slight angle to the paper--almost parallel to it--and draw it quickly and lightly across the paper
Bruising: (sometimes referred to as scarring) Takes place while the wash is still very wet. Stage one into early stage two provides the best results. During this early period the paint is not yet clinging to the fibers and is very mobile. The tool compresses the paper and breaks the delicate barrier between the paint and the moisture-filled fibers beneath. The pigment rushes into the bruised area, forming dark lines.
Buddha Paper:Buddha paper and Buddha boards were created to allow an artist to practice brush strokes without using paint, ink or paper. The surface of the paper allows you to paint on it with water, leaving a dark stroke that fades away slowly, leaving you with a clean blank slate once again. The Buddha Board encapsulates the concepts of impermanence and "living in the moment." Buddha paper is sometimes referred to as "vanishing image paper" or "magic paper."
Casein: a quick-drying, water-based paint that uses a milk product as a binding agent. Casein was used by Byzantine, Roman and Renaissance artists including the Old Masters. Up until recently, casein on illustration board was a staple of commercial graphic design. It always dries quickly to a velvety, matte finish and over time, it becomes resistant to moisture. The matte finish can be buffed to a shine with a soft cloth.
Comparison to other media. Casein has the wash capabilities of watercolor, the smooth opacity of tempera and gouache, and the richer textures of oils and acrylics. Casein can be used with water or a casein thinning medium to use them like watercolors. They work very similar to acrylics, but they remain somewhat reworkable until you fix them, whereas dried acrylics are completely set and cannot be reworked. Unlike oils, Casein is a clean, water-soluble medium requiring no strong solvents. And because it dries quickly, it's possible to lay on a glaze and move onto the next stage within a few hours instead of waiting for days, or even months, for oil glazes over oil to dry. Casein paints are very similar to egg tempera paints in the way that they handle and look when dry. Egg tempera has been the preferred choice of most artists over casein for hundreds of years, Most people who have considered casein paints in the last 30 years as a viable medium have gone to acrylics because they are more permanent and more versatile.
Corrections. The main advantage of Casein is that it's easily correctable. It can be removed with a cloth, brush or eraser, or if it's already dry, with a cloth dipped in ammonia and water (one part ammonia to nine parts water.)
Support. Because casein lacks the flexible structure of oil or acrylic paint, it's necessary to work on rigid supports so the paint won't crack or flake. Supports could include illustration board, wood panels, masonite, watercolor or canvas boards, or heavy watercolor paper (300 lbs and up). For the same reason, avoid heavy impasto. Mount canvas or linen on masonite and prime the canvas with PVA, glue or acrylic gesso.
Palette. Use a glass, porcelain or an enameled surface for a palette. A plastic palette can be used, but the paint will stain the surface.
Brushes. Any kind of brush can be used depending on the effect you want to create. Because it dries quickly, casein can be hard on brushes. If casein dries on a brush, it will be ruined. Keep brushes suspended in water during a painting session. Clean them thoroughly with gentle soap and water or a commercial cleaner when your painting day is over.
Drying. Casein has two drying stages: the first when the water evaporates, which can be anywhere from a few seconds to a couple of minutes; and the second over the course of a few days or weeks, as casein undergoes a chemical change that makes it resistant to water. After the first drying it can be altered easily with a wet brush, but when fully dried, the paint film is extremely hard and requires a solution of 1 part ammonia to 9 parts water for removal. If you find that it's drying out on the palette, add a few drops of water or use a spray bottle. Tightly cover the unused Casein with plastic wrap overnight and it will still be usable in the morning.
Varnish. If you brush varnish over a painting with delicate glazes, some lifting may occur, especially if your brush is too coarse.
If you've painted relatively thick, brushing on varnish will work if you're careful. However, the easiest way is to use spray varnish or Shiva Casein Varnish in a spray gun or an aerosol can.
Start the spraying process before the nozzle is over the area to be varnished and apply it in a diagonal direction over the painting, spraying in light, quick trails. Let it dry and repeat the process until you have the effect you want. When spraying varnish, open a window and always wear a HEPA rated double filter air mask. When you've finished, leave your studio until the fumes clear out. Shiva Casein Varnish or a gloss varnish will intensify the color. Using a matte acrylic varnish will preserve that "authentic Casein" look.
Mixing media. You can use Casein directly with watercolor, gouache and acrylics. With oils, use Casein after you've applied an intermediary varnish, otherwise the casein will absorb the oil, much as a paper towel would.
Cartridge Paper: A British term for almost any inexpensive paper . These may be of almost any weight or finish . Such paper is unlikely to be of archival quality , because it is probably not acid-free . Cartridge paper is typically used for sketches , much as newsprint is. The term is not generally used in the United States. Cartridge paper gets its name from its original use which was to form the tube of a shotgun cartridge.
Center of Interest: The center of interest can be any place in the painting as long as the distance from it to the edge of the paper is different for all four edges. The center of interest might be indicated by greater detail, greater value contrast, greater chroma, or by creating a shape that is larger than other like shapes in the painting. Another device is to design the two longest shapes or lines in the painting so they cross at the center of interest. The center of interest could also be the hottest hot color against the coldest cold.
Charging: Charging is adding a second color to a wet wash and letting the colors blend together with soft edges. Sometimes this is referred to as "dropping in" color, even though the paint is not actually dropped.
Paint an area with one color, rinse your brush and remove some of the water. While the first color is still wet, load your brush with another color. Lightly touch or dab the loaded brush onto the wet paint on the paper. A light pressing motion releases the paint in the brush.
The two colors will merge and gradually blend into one another.
Make sure that the first wash is still shiny wet when you add the second color. If the first wash has lost its sheen, the addition of wet paint will cause blossoms to appear.
Chiaroscuro: A word borrowed from Italian that refers to the creation of the illusion of three-dimensional forms through the use of light and shade. If light is coming from one direction, then an object with have a gradual transition from highlight, light, shadow, and reflected light. The cast shadow is usually divided into separate values as well. The area closest to the object is usually the darkest. Then the shadow lightens gradually until it reaches the shadow's edge.
Chroma: Chroma is the measure of intensity or strength of a color. Chroma is sometimes referred to as saturation. Pure, fully saturated hues are on the outer ring of the color wheel. Neutral, desaturated grays are placed near the center of the color wheel. Semi-neutrals are partially desaturated, dull colors placed between the previous two. Most paints are not at maximum chroma when squeezed from the tube. Maximum chroma is achieved when the paint is a creamy consistency--1:4 to 1:8 dilution. The most common method of reducing the chroma or "dulling" a color is by adding its complement.
Claude Mirror: The 17th-century French landscape painter Claude Lorrain is credited with the invention of the Claude Mirror or Claude Glass. It is a black convex glass designed to help assess the tonality of a scene by reducing the colors. You can make your own by painting one side of a piece of glass with black acrylic paint. Another way of making a Claude Mirror is to place a black paper over one side of a small piece of glass.
Claybord Textured: A clay coated hardboard panel that simulates the absorbency and texture of cold pressed watercolor paper. Available in a variety of sizes from 4x4 (4/pk $3) to 22x30 ($20). The design can be drawn on the surface with a conté crayon, graphite, or black charcoal. Corrections can be made to the drawing with a kneaded eraser, #600 steel wool, or by sanding or scraping. Paint can be applied heavily because the board won't warp, crack, or bend like paper. Color can be lifted easily with a wet sponge, cotton swab, white eraser, or a damp nylon brush (the stiffer the better). Color can be lifted back to the white of the board or back to one of the underlying colors. Fine lines and details can be added with a scratch knife. The board is very forgiving and durable. It will hold up to repeated wetting and scraping. Finished watercolors can be sealed with 3 or 4 coats of Claybord Fixative and displayed without glass or backing board. If additional protection is desired, a coat of UV varnish can be brushed on. The inventor of Claybord, Charles Ewing, has written a book The New Scratchboard. He also has an article in Artist's Magazine, August 1996. Karen Vernon has produced a video Unleashing Dynamic Color. It is a 60-minute video with step-by-step instructions for the watercolorist starting out on Claybord Textured.
Cockling: Curling, buckling, wrinkling of watercolor paper when it is wet. To prevent cockling, watercolor paper is typically stretched to make it taut.
Cold-pressed: Cold-pressed papers have an open or course texture. Some of the heavier papers are also available in Rough which has a still courser grain. (Compare Hot-pressed).
Color: Color is what the eye sees when light bounces off an object. The properties of color are hue (red, yellow, blue), intensity (pure or grayed out; sometimes called chroma or saturation), temperature (warm or cool; red-orange is warmest, blue-green is coolest), and value (light, medium or dark).
Color schemes: sets of compatible colors based on the color wheel. Some effective color schemes include monochromatic, complementary, double complementary, analogous, and analogous complementary. Several triadic schemes are also common. The triangle connecting three colors does not have to be equilateral, but two of the sides must be the same length. On a twelve-hued color wheel, there are twelve versions of each color scheme. The three color families of yellow, red and blue can also be used as effective color schemes. Limit your colors to seven hues of each family. For example, if you choose the red family, your color scheme will include blue-violet, violet, red-violet, red, red-orange, orange and yellow-orange. Another variety of color schemes can be created by simply eliminating any four analogous colors on the color wheel and using the remaining eight hues.
Color Temperature: Colors are considered to be either warm or cool. Warm colors are those in the yellow to red range, while cool colors are purple, blue, and green. These colors are opposite each other on the color wheel. The warmest color is red-orange; the coolest is blue-green. The situation is more confusing when considering two colors that are adjacent on the color wheel. The key to remember is that color temperature is relative. The blues are considered cool colors, but one blue may be cooler than another. For example, Ultramarine Blue leans toward red, so it is considered warmer than Cobalt Blue which has less red in it. Cooler yet is Thalo Blue which is closer to green. So Cobalt Blue is cooler than Ultramarine Blue and warmer than Thalo Blue. It's all relative.
|Examples of warm-cool pairs|
|Alizarin Crimson||Cadmium Red, Winsor Red
|Cadmium Lemon||New Gamboge
|Aureolin Yellow or Lemon Yellow||Cadmium Yellow, Raw Sienna
|Thalo Green||Sap Green
|Cerulean Blue||Ultramarine Blue
|Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue||New Gamboge
|Prussian Blue||Thalo Blue
Color Wheel: A circular arrangement or primary, secondary, and intermediate colors based on one of several color theories. The wheel has each color opposite its complement for quick reference. The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. The secondary colors are orange, green, and purple.
Complementary Colors: Any two colors on opposite sides of the color wheel are said to be complementary. They are also called contrasting colors. Examples of complementary colors are yellow and purple, red and gree, blue and orange. Opposite colors are called complementary because each appears brighter when placed close together. Oddly, if you instead mix two complementary colors, just the opposite happens: each becomes more dull, grayer. The practical use of complements, then, is mixing them to "gray down" a color or placing them near each other to brighten them.
Composition: Composition organizes space and guides the viewer's eye. Composition is the way the art elements are arranged within the picture space to express emotions and ideas. The arrangement follows certain principles that facilitate the communication of the artist's ideas and emotions to the viewer. In addition to the eight principles of design, there are several considerations necessary for producing an effective painting: center of interest, leads and traps, foreground, horizon, and the illusion of depth, and a recurring theme.
Conté Crayons: drawing sticks that combine some of the characteristics of crayon, pastel, and graphite. They are thinner and harder than traditional pastels. They produce a sharper line and a slightly glossier effect than pastels and blend or shade more softly than a wax or grease crayon. Sticks are 2.5 inches long x .25 inches square (63 mm x 6 mm). Because Conté crayons are waxier and much firmer than soft pastels, they produce little dust and are easy to control. By breaking a conté crayon and drawing with its broad, flat sides, you can create wide sweeps of color and shading. The edges or the tip can be used to get thinner, sharper lines. They come in four colors: bistre (a brown hue), white, three shades of black, and sanguine [~] the classic red-orange pigment favored by Renaissance and Baroque masters. Conté crayons were invented by the 18th century French scientist, Nicolas Jacques Conté, because of a shortage of graphite caused by the Napoleonic Wars. He also invented the graphite pencil.
Contour Drawing: An outline drawing that represents the edge of a form.
Contrast: The use of opposites beside one another, such as large/small, warm/cool, angular/curvaceous, rough/smooth, dark/light or the use of complementary colors . This emphasizes differences, creates visual interest, and prevents a picture from becoming static or boring.
Cool colors: Greens, blues and violets are considered cool colors. They are calming colors and appear to recede into the background or distance. The opposite of warm colors , which appear to advance into the foreground. See Color Temperature.
Copse (pronounced Kops): A term used in British watercolor books referring to a thicket or grove of small trees or a dense growth of bushes.
Counterchange: Counterchange is the technique of placing light objects against a dark background and dark objects against a light background. Other terms for counterchange include reciprocal tone, alternating contrast or induced contrast. To exploit counterchange, you must first see your subject as an interlocking pattern of light and dark areas. This jigsaw of light and dark provides the abstract underpinning for a composition, which is deliberately manipulated to introduce pleasing patterns, and rhythms.
Crosshatching: Lines crossing each other in different directions used to indicate volume or shading in a drawing. Fewer lines create a light image, while more lines, more closely spaced creates a darker more dense image. With colored pencils, layers of different colors can create new colors.
Deckle or deckled edge: The rough edge on handmade paper or produced artificially on machine-made paper.
Direct Painting: a style of painting where the painting is completed in one session, while the paint is still wet. The style is also referred by the French term premier coup or by the Italian alla prima. Rather than building up colors with layers or glazing over an underpainting, the alla prima artist applies each stroke of paint with the intention of letting it stand in the picture as part of the final statement. The alla prima painting style was pioneered by the Flemish oil painter Frans Hals (c. 1582-1666). The Impressionist movement made extensive use of this method which gave their paintings a fresh and spontaneous feel.
Directional lines: Edges of objects, such as roads, trees, folds in clothing or even people's line of sight, can create lines that direct the eyes of the viewer. Our eyes tend to follow lines towards the center of a picture and towards the areas of greatest contrast, however, they also follow arrow-type-shapes so be sure not to lead the eye away from your focal point.
Dominance: Dominance is one of the Principles of Design. Dominance is applied to the elements of design as follows:
Shape: There are three categories of shape—angular, curved, and rectangular—but only one category should be dominant.
Size: There might be several sizes, but only one should be dominant.
Line: There are two types of line—curved and straight—but only one type should be dominant.
Direction: There are three directions—vertical, horizontal, and oblique—but only one should be dominant.
Color: There are three primary colors and three secondary colors, but only one hue should be dominant. The color wheel can be divided into warm and cool colors&mdashonly one should be dominant.
Value: We work in three value ranges— light, dark, and mid—but only one (the mid) should be dominant.
Texture: There are three textures—hard (smooth), soft, and rough—but only one should be dominant.
Dropping in color: The application of paint by letting it flow from the brush, usually on to wet paper, rather than painting it on. Also referred to as Charging.
Earth colors: Stable colors made from earth materials, siennas, umbers and ochres.
Edges, hard: Sharp lines and shapes that do not blend into nearby areas.
Edges, lost and found: Lines and edges that fade or blend into each other and then reappear.
Edges, soft: Lines and shapes that blend and blur into nearby areas without a definite line of separation.
Egg tempera: (not to be confused with powdered poster paint which is commonly referred to as tempera paint) Egg tempera is a painting medium that combines dry pigments, distilled water, and fresh egg yolk removed from the yolk sac as the binder. Sometimes oil is also added to the mixture. Egg tempera is best used on a rigid board prepared with traditional chalk gesso to create an absorbent surface. Egg tempera does not seem to stick well on acrylic gesso. Egg tempera dries almost immediately and becomes very brittle as it ages, so it is not recommended for canvas or paper. When applied in thin layers the results are more transparent than transparent watercolor; when applied more thickly the results are opaque like gouache.
Egg tempera was a very common medium before the invention of oil paints. It was popular during the Renaissance. In the 15th century, oil painting replaced egg tempera because oil paints stayed wet much longer, giving the artist more freedom.
Christina's World by Andrew Wyeth is a modern example of a painting done with egg tempera. Other artists known for using egg tempera include Reginald Marsh, Thomas Hart Benton, George Tooker, Paul Cadmus, Robert Vickrey, and Jared French.
Most artists mix their own egg tempera and use it the same day, before it goes bad and begins to smell. However, egg-oil emulsion temperas are now being offered in tubes by the Rowney Company and the Sennelier Company. Sennelier Artists Egg Tempera can be purchased from dickblick.com. After thinning with a little distilled water, the paint can be used straight from the tube, saving the artist the inconvenience of having to prepare the color from the raw materials before each painting session.
Detailed information about this medium is available from The Society of Tempera Painters (http://www.eggtempera.com/) or at http://www.paintmaking.com/grinding_egg_tempera.htm
Ferrule: The metal cylinder that surrounds and encloses the hairs on a brush.
Fixative: See "Workable Fixatif."
Flow-altering techniqueA process that disturbs the way the pigment settles in a wash, causing it to flow or relocate in a modified, textured manner. Flow-altering techniques include blotting scrubbing, lifting, dropping or spraying water, blowing, bruising, scraping, impressing, salting, dropping in or painting with alcohol.
Foreshorten: A term used to describe drawing or painting an object in perspective from a viewpoint that is close to the object and at right angles to the picture surface. In the foreshortened image some lines of the object are drawn shorter than they actually are in order to give the illusion of proper relative size, in accordance with the principles of perspective. A drawing of a person lying on a table viewed from either the bottom of the feet or the top of the head would need to be foreshortened to give the proper perspective. A good example of foreshortening is Andrea Mantegna's Dead Christ (http://history.hanover.edu/courses/art/mandc.html). The distance from the feet to the head is greatly shortened and the size of the feet are exaggerated relative to the size of the head, thus creating the illusion of three-dimensional depth.
Format: The shape, size, aspect ratio and orientation of the watercolor paper. For example, the format might be rectangular, 5" x 10", with an aspect ratio of 1:2 (height to width), and horizontal.
Fredrix Watercolor Canvas: an archival quality, 100% woven cotton artist canvas with a special coating that performs similar to a cold press or rough watercolor paper.
It will accept a wide range of watermedia: transparent and opaque watercolors, acrylic and watercolor inks, fluid acrylics, and watercolor pencils. It will also work with traditional acrylic paints in different viscosities.
Acrylic matte medium or acrylic gel medium may be used as a glue for collage work.
Watercolor can be lifted by simply wetting the area to be removed with a damp brush and then blotting or brushing the color off. Mistakes can be easily corrected, or you may wash over the complete image and start over. However, this characteristic makes glazing difficult because watercolor pigment will lift if you go over a previously painted area with a heavy hand.
The canvas sheets will buckle, so it is suggested that you staple (not tape) the canvas to a support board.
Fredrix Watercolor Canvas is available in large pads and boards in sizes up to 18x24, pre-stretched canvas up to 24x36, and in rolls 58" x 3yds and 58" x 6yds.
Paintings on Fredrix Watercolor Canvas can be displayed with or without frame, mat or glass. Pre-stretched canvas mounted on stretcher bars can be painted on the edges and hung without a frame. If framed without a mat or glass, spray with a good quality UV finishing spray such as Krylon or 3M to protect the surface from damage.
Some watercolor societies will only accept painting on paper. framed with mat and Plexiglas or glass.
French Curve: A transparent plastic drafting guide that has multiple irregular curves. A common way of using a French Curve is to identify a starting point and an ending point of the curve you want and then use the French curve to draw an approximate best-fit curve. A computer generated French Curve is called a Bézier Curve after the French engineer, Pierre Bézier. In sewing circles it is known as a sleigh curve. French curves inspired a series of works by American artist, Frank Stella in the early 1980s.
Fugitive colors: Pigments that are prone to fading over time with exposure to light. Many pigments are resistant to light when used full strength but have a tendency to fade when they are used as weak washes. See also Lightfast.
Gatorboard: A rugged, durable 1/2 inch thick board that resists dents and punctures. Unlike foam board backing or card stock, it is not susceptible to bashing in on the corners. It is used as a backing board. Watercolor paper can be taped or stapled to its smooth surface.
Gesso: White and black gessos are ready-to-use liquid grounds formulated for the use of acrylics and watercolors on any commonly used painting surface. They are flexible and can be applied in thin layers to conform to a variety of textured surfaces without cracking. Gesso can be mixed with acrylics to produce a range of colored grounds. Gesso can be thought of as the bridge between the support and the paint. Gesso is designed to penetrate a support and provide a surface for the adherence of paint.
Gesso can be applied with a brush, a palette knife, an adhesive spreader. Things can be embedded in gesso such as string, thin wire, aluminum foil, or egg shells. Things can be mixed into gesso such as paint, salt, sand, sawdust, or tiny beads. Patterns can be made in gesso by scraping, imprinting, stamping, stenciling, or applying plastic wrap. Things can be glued onto the surface with gesso such as tissue paper or aluminum foil.
Areas can be protected from the layer of gesso by applying contact paper first. Areas can also be protected by applying a porous object, such as a mesh or grid. The porous object is impressed into the gesso, then a credit card can be used to push the mesh into the gesso and wipe off the excess that oozes up. The mesh or grid is then removed.
Giclée: A Giclée (zhee-CLAY) is an individually produced, high-resolution, high-fidelity reproduction done on a special large format printer. Giclée are produced from digital scans of existing artwork. Also, since many artists now produce only digital art, there is no "original" that can be hung on a wall. Giclée solve that problem, while creating a whole new vibrant medium for art.
Large format professional ink-jet printers spray billions of microscopic droplets of ink per second capable of producing a single droplet as small as 4 picoliters to create a beautiful, almost continuous tone reproduction. The result of this process is an image as close to the original as possible.
Giclée can be printed on any number of media, from canvas to watercolor paper to transparent acetates. Giclée are superior to traditional lithography in several ways. The colors are brighter, last longer, and are so high-resolution that they are virtually continuous tone, rather than tiny dots. The range, or gamut of color for giclée is far beyond that of lithography.
Quicksilver 1130 Cornwall, Bellingham, WA, 676-2725, Al Sanders (Scan $10.00, Print on 11x14 watercolor paper $16.50)
301 W. Holly
Bellingham, WA USA
Glazing: The application of a wash over a previous wash that has dried. Transparent colors allow light to bounce off the white of the paper creating a glowing effect. Glazes work best with only a few layers of paint as more reduces the amount of light being reflected back resulting in a heavier color. Be sure that each layer of paint is thoroughly dry before adding the next so that the colors remain clean.
Glycerin: Glycerin is one of the components of watercolor paints. It retards the drying time of watercolors by slowing down the evaporation of water. Additional glycerin can be added to keep an area of a painting wet for longer than usual. Add a single drop of glycerin to a mixed wash or to a cup of clean water before mixing. To keep your watercolor paint wet while working plein air in the heat or even a warm, windy day, add a drop or two of glycerin to your clean water container. Glycerin can be purchased from any pharmacy.
Golden Rectangle: A Golden Rectangle is one whose height and width are related by the Golden Ratio. The ratio of the golden rectangle's short side to its long side is the golden ratio, or approximately 1:1.618. (The exact ratio can never actually be known because the ratio is an irrational number. The number of decimal places goes on infinitely.) Other names that refer to this ratio are the divine proportion and Phi. You can divide the golden rectangle into two sections where one is a square and the second is a smaller golden rectangle. The sides of the square equal the length of the shorter side of the golden rectangle.
If you add a square along the long side of a golden rectangle, the new rectangle is again golden. Add another square along the long side of the new golden rectangle and you have still another golden rectangle. And so on forever.
A golden rectangle was considered by the Greeks to be the most aesthetically pleasing rectangle that could be constructed.
Notecards (3x5 and 5x8) approximate the golden rectangle.
Leonardo da Vinci and Piet Mondrian are two artists who are famous for their use of the golden ratio. The divine proportion can be found in the Greek Parthenon, the Renaissance architecture of Leon Battista Alberti's Santa Maria Novella in Florence, and the modern architecture of Le Corbusier.
Gouache: (pronounced goo-wash) An opaque water-based paint which has a flatter, more matte color than watercolors. It is sometimes referred to as designer color. It is thinned and applied in the same manner as watercolor. Regular watercolors can be added to white gouache to give it color. In watercolor painting one of the main uses of gouache is as a means of painting a light color on top of a dark one without any of the underlying particles of paint showing through. (Compare Body Color.)
Graded wash: A wash that smoothly changes in value from dark to light or from color to another. Also called a Graduated Wash.
Start by thoroughly wetting the surface of the paper. With the paper at a slight angle, place a stroke of your darkest color in one sweep along the top of the sheet. (Watercolor paint dries slightly lighter than it appears when wet so colors should be made a bit stronger than the desired finished result.) The next stroke has slightly more water and less pigment. Using your brush add a bit more water before creating the next stroke. Continue down the sheet until the water runs almost clear. To have one color blend into another create the first wash as described above and have it end about 1/2 way down the paper. Let the 1st wash dry. Turn the paper over, and create the second wash the same as the first, once again ending with almost clear water 1/2 way down the paper. See also Flat Wash.
Gradation: One of the principles of design. A gradual, smooth, step-by-step change from dark to light values or from large to small shapes, or rough to smooth textures, or one color to another.
Granulation: The effect given by some pigments when granules of the pigment settle in indentations in the paper to produce a 'grainy' effect. Burnt Siena, Raw Umber, Cerulean Blue and Manganese Blue are examples of granulating pigments. Other granulating pigments from Daniel Smith are Lunar Red Rock, Perylene Scarlet, Cascade Green, Goethite (Brown Ochre), Buff Titanium, Pompeii Red, Rose of Ultramarine, Manganese Blue Hue, Nickel Titanate Yellow and Lunar Black.
Mixing granulating paints can produce interesting effects. Cerulean blue and burnt sienna granulate on their own. Mixed together, the effect is pronounced. Raw umber granulates strongly. Mixed with phthalo blue, it produces a rough texture. Ultramarine mixed with sepia creates a subtle, gently mottled texture. Indian red mixed with granulation medium separates into distinct particles, creating a very grainy effect.
Hooker's green deep mixed with granulation medium results in a very mottled and grainy texture.
Granulation Medium: Gives a mottled or granular appearance to colors which usually give a smooth wash, such as Winsor Red or Winsor Blue. By adding Granulation Medium to colors that already granulate, such as Viridian or French Ultramarine, the effect is further enhanced. For maximum effect, dilute water colors with medium alone. For maximum granulation use Rough paper and for less granulation use a Cold Pressed/Not surface. Granulation Medium is resoluble simply by re-wetting. Available from Winsor and Newton.
Grisaille: Derived from the French word gris, meaning gray. It describes a method of monochrome painting that begins with a gray underpainting that establishes form and value as a basis for the work. Many works from the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance were executed in grisaille only. A mixture of Phthalo Blue (red shade) and Quinacridone Burnt Orange could be used for the gray.
Ground: the prepared surface--paper or canvas--on which the artist works.
Gum Arabic: Gum arabic is the binder that holds the pigments together in transparent watercolor and gouache. It also helps the paint adhere to the paper. Gum arabic is also a painting medium--a substance added to the paint to change the way it behaves. Adding Gum Arabic to your water color has three effects: it slows down the drying time of the paint, giving you slightly longer to work on creating your image or working wet into wet; it adds further transparency to your water colors and it increases gloss. Gum Arabic washes will have greater depth and appear more luminous than color washes alone. Gum Arabic is usually mixed into the water color wash but can be added to the jar of water if you prefer to use it throughout the painting. Gum Arabic should not be used directly from the bottle because thick films will be brittle. See also Water Color Medium and Ox Gall Liquid.
Gum arabic is easy to use. simply pour some into a mixing saucer, dip a clean brush into the gum, carry it over to the wash, and mix it well. Mixing paints with gum arabic gives washes more body, making the fluid paint less runny, more viscous and easier to manipulate. Paint becomes glossy and more transparent. With paint mixed with gum arabic, every brushstroke remains visible unless you go go over it. Swirling, circular motions with the brush create a lively, busy texture. If the paint is thick enough, you can scratch right back to the paper to leave a white line. You can do the same with your fingernail, a comb or a piece of cardboard, creating random or squiggly lines (sgraffito). If you scrub into a gum-water wash with a brush or piece of tissue, you make little air bubbles. These burst, creating a speckled effect that remains on the surface of the paper when the paint dries, making a highly textured surface.
Caution: too much gum arabic makes the paint layer brittle.
Mix gum arabic with the colors in your paintbox and you will se that each responds in a slightly different way. When gum arabic is added to cadmium red, the paint becomes more transparent and brilliant, and dries with a glossy sheen. Spattering with water: lay a wash of paint mixed with gum arabic. Lay a wash of paint mixed with gum arabic. When it is dry, spatter clean water over it. It dries to give a randomly dappled effect.
Brand new natural hair brushes have their hair sized with a gum arabic solution and shaped to a point. The sizing fixes the final shape of the brush and protects the brush hairs during shipping and on the shelf until you buy it. To properly break in a new brush, you must dip it in your water container and swirl it around until the sizing softens up and washes away. Don't bend the hairs while they are stiff; breakage can occur if they've been sized too heavily.
Harmony: One of the principles of design. It refers to a way of combining elements of art to accent their similarities and bind the picture parts into a whole. It is often achieved through the use of repetition and simplicity.
High key: Characterized by an overall feeling of lightness but without strong contrasting colors or values. The opposite of low key .
Highlight: The area on any surface which reflects the most light. They are the lightest, brightest areas on the painting, often accented by dark or strong contrasts nearby.
Homasote Board: An excellent alternative to gator board or plywood when stretching watercolor paper with staples. It is much lighter than plywood. It is easy to staple into it with a home office stapler, it can take repeated staplings, and it is easy to remove staples.
Homasote Board is a structural fiberboard made from recycled paper that is compressed under high temperature and pressure and held together with a glue. It is used in residential and commercial buildings for exterior vertical sheathing, sound control, roof decking, concrete forming, expansion joint, and insulation.
Half inch thick 4'x8' sheets can be purchased from Bellingham Millwork Supply, 3879 Hannigan Rd. They are open 7 to 5:30 M-F. Their phone number is 734-5700.
Homasote Board is not acid free, so paintings should not be left on an unsealed board for long periods of time. To prevent this problem, homasote can be sealed with water-seal products, polyurethane, varnish, primer, or a combination of primer and latex paint. White contact paper can also be attached to the surface.
For more information about homasote board visit their website at http://homasote.com.
Horizon line: an imaginary line at the artist's eye level. Vanishing points are usually located on this line.
Hot-pressed: Hot-pressed paper is smoother than cold-pressed paper. Hot-pressed paper is ideal for painting smooth, detailed flowers. (Compare Cold-pressed).
Hue: (1) The name of a color — red, blue, purple, etc. Often the words color and hue are used synonymously. (2) a term used with paints to denote that a synthetic pigment has been used in place of a natural pigment in the production of a colour e.g. Lemon Yellow Hue.
Imprinting: Pressing objects into a wet surface or coating an object with paint and pressing it onto a dry surface, leaving a pattern. Objects with raised or a textured surface work best. Apply paint to a textured surface ( a leaf, a piece of cardboard, etc). Use the textured surface as an applicator to apply paint to paper. Paper can be wet, dry, or wet in some spots and dry in others. Different textured materials can be applied, one over the other.
Integrity of Plane: Plane integrity occurs when foreground, middle ground and background all have colors and values unique to them.
Intensity: One of the characteristics of color. The purity of a color, its brightness or grayness, often used interchangeably with chroma or saturation. For instance, the intensity of the pure color blue is very bright. When a lighter or darker color is added to blue, the intensity is less bright, or more subdued.
Intermediate colors: Colors located between primary and secondary colors on the color wheel. Also known as tertiary colors. They are produced by mixing equal amounts of a secondary and an adjoining primary or by mixing unequal amount of two primary colors. For example, adding more red to the combination of red and yellow will produce the intermediate color of red-orange. Other intermediate colors are orange-yellow, yellow-green, green-blue, blue-violet, and violet-red (also known as purple).
Iridescent Medium: Give pearlescent or glitter effects to your water colors. Iridescent Medium can be mixed directly with water colors or applied over a dried wash. Particularly effective when mixed with the most transparent colors and over dark backgrounds. Available from Winsor and Newton.
Key: The overall lightness or darkness of a painting. A painting with a high key would range from medium to light values, low key would have medium to dark values. Full range paintings take advantage of all the values from light to dark.
Kolinsky: The finest sable brushes. They are made from the fur of the Siberian mink.
Köttbulle (Shut-bhuu-leh): means Swedish meatballs, but can be used as a creative expletive, simply because it feels so wonderful on the tongue, in either moments of frustration or jubilation.
Leads and Traps: Once a center of interest is established, it is useful to provide a lead to trap the eye into that area. Converging lines and shapes lead the eye to one point. Curved lines and shapes that lead to one point are more pleasing than straight lines. The usual device is a winding road or stream or a similar cloud pattern in the sky. Zigzag shapes and lines are more entertaining. The runs should be a various length and no two angels between them should be the same.
Any object with a point, such as a boat, acts as an arrow and helps direct the eye to the center of interest if it points either toward it or toward something else that in turn point toward it. It should not, however, point to the edge of the painting, leading the eye out.
Lifting: Removing paint with a tissue, damp sponge, or thirsty brush. If the paint has dried, rewet the area with clean water, then blot or brush. Sometimes a damp, stiff bristle brush can be used to loosen the pigment. A template can be used to lift a specific shape.
Lifting: The removal of pigment from a previously painted area with absorbent material such as a cloth, a tissue, paper towel, blotting paper, a piece of mat board, a damp sponge, Q-tip, or thirsty brush. Damp pigment can also be lifted by scraping with a rigid object such as a razor blade, spatula, palette knife, knife, fingernail, paintbrush handle, or credit card. If it is too wet, the paint will flow right back in. Results will vary depending on how dry paint is, the staining power of the paint, the type of watercolor paper, and the object used to lift the pigment. As the paint dries, it can still be lifted by blotting, but more of the paint will remain on the paper.
After the pigment has dried it can be lifted by scraping with a craft knife, razor blade, or sand paper. You can also rewet dry pigment and scrub the area with a stiff brush and then blot.
Lifting after using Chinese white as a base: Using Chinese white as a base makes it easier to lift and manipulate applied color to create hazy, misty effects, and soft-edged, subtly blended areas of tone. This technique is also known as blottesque. In blottesque, you apply a thin layer of Chinese white to your paper, let it dry and then paint over it with layers of transparent watercolor in the usual way. At any stage, you can lift, scrub or rub off color to achieve the effect you want. You can use the technique all over your painting, but if you do not want Chinese white to mix the transparent color, confine it to a few appropriate areas, such as the sky, to create naturalistic cloud effects.
The blottesque technique is ideal for lifting color where you want subtle gradations of tone. It gives more control than basic lifting techniques because both the white of the paper and the white pigment contribute to the lightening of tones.
When you lift color laid on a base of Chinese white, the edges are soft and merge into neighboring washes. Exploit these effects for naturalistic skies, and hazy, moisture-drenched weather effects.
Lifting Preparation: Allows dry washes, including staining colors, to be more easily lifted from paper with a wet brush or sponge. Lifting Preparation must be applied to the paper first and allowed to dry. Once dry, continue painting as normal. Any corrections can be made by sponging or lifting the color away with a wet brush. Washes will be most successfully lifted within five or six hours after the initial aplication, but will remain more removable than if paper alone had been used. Available from Winsor and Newton.
Lifting with a Stencil or Template: With a single-edge razor blade, cut a stencil shape out of watercolor paper (or use stencil paper). On a prepared watercolor wash, use a toothbrush dipped in clear water to scrub and lift the stencil shape (for fragile paper, use a natural sponge). A staining color will not lift to the white surface, but you will see a variation; acrylic won't lift at all. You can also lift using an erasing shield. Wipe up excess water with a paper towel before removing the stencil. Remove the stencil to reveal the lift. You can use this technique to put a sailboat in water, a seagull in the sky or clothes on a line. The edge is softer than you'd get from liquid mask. The erasing shield is great for lifting little highlights. See Keys to Painting Textures and Surfaces, edited by Rachel Rubin Wolf
Lightfast: The ability of a pigment to resist fading with long exposures to daylight. The term "lightfast" on the label of artist's pigments indicates permanence under normal conditions. See also fugitive .
Local Color: The natural color of an object seen in normal daylight, unmodified by highlights, shadows, shade, atmospheric perspective, early morning or evening light, or the artists imagination.
Lost and Found Edges: See Edges, lost and found.
Low Key: A term used to describe a painting created in medium to dark values. The opposite of high key .
Mahlstick or maulstick: (Dutch: malen, 'to paint', and stok, 'stick'). Sometimes called a rest-stick or a bridge. A long wooden or metal rod with a padded knob at one end. Used by an artist to support and steady their painting hand while working on fine details. It is also used to prevent the painter from touching wet paint with his or her hand. If you are right-handed, hold the end of the stick in your left hand and rest the padded end lightly on a dry section of the work or on the support. Rest your painting hand on the stick above the painting's surface.
Masa paper: A soft, white paper with the traditional absorbency and feel of handmade Japanese papers. Machine-made in Japan from sulphite, it is acit-free and internally and surface faces. Used as an inexpensive sumi, printmaking, marbling and fine letterpress paper.
Sketch your composition on the smooth side. (At least mark the smooth side, because it will be difficult to differentiate rough from smooth after it is crumpled and wet.)
Crumple the Masa paper and soak it in water until the paper is saturated.
Smooth out the very wet paper, smooth side up, onto a support with a 2 inch brush.
While very wet, drop the first colors into the background.
Allow to dry naturally, because colors will continue to blend for several hours.
Rewet the paper before every broad application of color.
Add final detail work on a near dry surface.
(Some artists glue the crumpled Masa paper to watercolor paper with wallpaper paste, bookmaking glue, acrylic medium, or a 1:1 mix of Elmer's and water.)
Masa paper is available from Dakota Art for $1.15 per sheet. Larger quantities can be ordered from dickblick.com, cheapjoes.com or jerrysartarama.com.
Examples of watercolor on Masa paper can be seen at http://www.johoutz.com/news.html
Masking: Protecting part of a surface from receiving paint. The protected area can be the white of the paper or a previously painted area. Small areas can be covered with masking fluid, sometimes called liquid frisket. Larger areas can be protected by masking fluid on the borders, masking tape, or a combination of tape and paper. Masking with ripped paper or cotton wool can also be used to create an irregular or soft edge.
Wet the brush and rub it in soap so that it is well coated. Dip into the mask and paint over the areas you wish to protect. Let dry completely. This only takes a few minutes. Then paint the background right over the mask. Use a rubber cement eraser or your finger to remove the mask. Rubbing gently until you can no longer feel it on the surface. (Masking fluid should not be left on the painting for more than a few days as it can become hard to remove and may rip the paper).
Masking fluid: A latex gum product that is used to cover a surface you wish to protect from receiving paint. Miskit by Grumbacher and Art masking fluid by Winsor & Newton are two such products. Also referred to as liquid frisket. See also Permanent Masking Medium.
Masquepen: A fine point applicator filled with pale blue water-based latex masking fluid. The screw top lid has a strong fine wire that inserts back into the tiny opening, clearing the channel for the next use.
Masstone: The hue that is seen when a pile of freshly squeezed paint is sitting alone on the palette. (The undertone is the bias of the same color when applied in a thin film). See Toptone.
Mediums: See Aquapasto, Blending Medium, Granulation Medium, Gum Arabic, Iridescent Medium, Lifting Preparation, Ox Gall Liquid, Permanent Masking Medium, Texture Medium, Water Color Medium.
Mingled Wash: Created by wetting the paper then applying a variety of colors so that they blend together on the paper. Angle painting support to about 15 degrees (so that a bead forms at the bottom of the wash). Use enough water to create a bead. Lay in the first color. Rinse brush and load with a second color. Pick up the bead of the first wash and carry it downward. Every time you recharge your brush, do so with a different color. See Variegated Wash.
Modeling: Representing color and lighting effects to make an image appear three-dimensional.
Monochromatic: A painting done in different tints and shades of a single color. Tints and shades can be made by adding the complement of a color, diluting with water, adding black.
Monoprint: A technique for making a single, unique print. First, the artist applies paint or ink to a sheet of metal, plexiglas, or other flat nonabsorbent surface. A piece of watercolor paper is then placed on top of the painted surface and pressure is applied with a brayer. Finally, the watercolor paper is removed, creating a one-of-a-kind print. (Sometimes a second sheet of watercolor paper is pressed into the paint that remains after the first paper is removed. This produces a second, similar monoprint.
Create overlapping puddles on surface of plastic, glass or tile. Place paper over the mixture and apply pressure with hand, ruler or brayer to transfer pigment to paper. Lift paper from painted surface and twist and turn until something emerges from the patterns that form. Removing paper rapidly gives one type of pattern, removing it slowly another.
Neat: In some British tutorials, authors use the term neat to mean pure, not diluted or watered down. Neat burnt sienna, for example, is pure burnt sienna that has not been diluted with water or mixed with any other color.
Negative Shapes: The areas around the positive shapes . They can be described as the background. Also called Negative Space.
Neutral Colors: Blacks, browns, grays or white are considered neutral colors. A pure hue on the color wheel can be neutralized by adding some of its complement. An even amount of two complementary colors results in a neutral gray or brown. Mixing nequal amounts of complmentary results in semi-neutral colors.
Notan: A Japanese word meaning "dark-light." As a Japanese principle of design it involves the interaction between positive (light) and negative (dark) space. These opposites do not conflict but complement one another and thus create balance. The yin-yang symbol illustrates this equilibrium.
A strong notan design (a simple, strong value structure) is the key to a strong painting. When compositions work in black and white--they work. Edgar Whitney emphasized the primacy of notan when he said, "Think pattern first, then drawing, then color. The character of your painting is resolved in the pattern."
Opaque: A dense paint that obscures under layers of paint. Something that cannot be seen through. The opposite of transparent. Almost all watercolors are transparent. The opaque pigments are ...
Optical Mixing: Paints can be mixed in one of two ways, physically and optically. To mix paint physically, simply mix two colors on the palette. When you mix optically you first apply one color to the paper, allow it to dry, and then apply a second color on top of the first.
Optical mixing also takes place when spots of pure color placed side by side on the painting surface. They are mixed by the eyes of the viewer rather than on the palette.
Overdrawing: a technique that involves drawing over an area on which a watercolor wash has already been laid.
Ox Gall Liquid: A wetting agent used to improve flow when mixed directly with water colors. A few drops of Ox Gall are added to a jar of water and this is used to dilute the water color. Ox Gall is also used on very hard sized papers to reduce surface tension. See also Gum Arabic, Water Color Medium, and Wetting Agent.
Paper Dam: Dry paper area between two wet areas.
Permanent Masking Medium: Used to mask specific areas of the paper making them resistant to water. This medium can be mixed with water colors and is ideal for isolating areas of fine detail. Sections which have been treated with Permanent masking Medium must be allowed to dry before overpainting. A hair dryer can be used to speed the drying. Once dry these areas remain protected and cannot be fully penetrated by further washes. Permanent Masking Medium is not removable. Permanent Masking Medium can be applied directly to white paper, to dried washes on the paper or mixed with water colors first. All water color washes mixed with permanent Masking Medium remain open and workable while the wash is still wet. Once dry, the area become isolated. Brushes should be washed in warm water and soap before using other colors. Available from Winsor and Newton.
Plane-Change Accent: When painting a building with one side facing the light source and the other out of the light, it will look more realistic if you'll make the shadow side darkest right at the edge where it turns out of the light. This is called the plane-change accent because of the dark accent where the plane changes from one facing the light to one not facing it.
Exactly the same thing happens to any cylinder or sphere that is lighted from one side. The same plane-change accent is there, but since the shape is round and has no planes, it is called the core of the shadow.
Polychromatic wash: Flat or graded wash in more than one color; prepare color puddles before beginning wash technique.
Positive Shapes: The objects themselves. They are surrounded in a painting by what are called the negative shapes .
Primary Colors: The basic colors of the spectrum from which all other colors can be mixed. These are red, blue and yellow. Mixtures of these produce the secondary colors orange, green and violet. Further mixtures produce intermediate or tertiary colors. The primary colors themselves cannot be produced through a mixture of other colors.
Priming: The process of wetting a region of the painting, letting it dry until the sheen is gone, then rewetting the region to prepare it for each wash of color. A method used by Susan Harrison-Tustain.
Principles of Design: The Principles of Design are what we do with the Elements of Design. They are balance, gradation, repetition, contrast, harmony, dominance, and unity.
Puddle and Pull: Use a fully loaded brush to apply a puddle of color to the tip of a pointed petal or leaf. Then with a clean damp brush, touch just the edge of the puddle and pull pigment away from the tip of the petal or leaf.
Quinacridone: Quinacridone pigments are modern synthetic organic pigments. (They are composed of five interlocking carbon rings, thus the use of "quin.") All quinacridones are non-toxic, mid-valued, transparent and moderately staining pigments. Their discovery is significant to artists, because quinacridones have superior lightfastness. Now we have a choice between the quinacridones and the troublesome fugitive natural organic pigments such as Rose Madder, Alizarin Crimson, and Genuine Carmine. The quinacridones also provide a vibrant alternative to the earth colors. Quinacridones are available from Daniel Smith in violet, sienna, magenta, burnt scarlet, pink, coral, burnt orange, rose, gold, red, and fuchsia. Winsor & Newton offers quinacridones in gold, magenta and red. The following Winsor & Newton paints are also quinacridones: Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Permanent Carmine, Permanent Magenta, and Permanent Rose.
Rabatment: The term is reportedly derived from a French word that means to fold back or rotate. Charles Bouleau used the term in his book The Painter's Secret Geometry: A Study of Composition in Art. to refer to the process of constructing the internal structure, or armature, of the rectangle. This internal structure consists of diagonals of the rectangle, reciprocals, squares, diagonals of the squares, and horizontal or vertical lines drawn through any of the intersections. The purpose of drawing the internal structure is to aid in the placement of the elements of the painting.
A diagonal of the rectangle is a line that connects opposite corners. A reciprocal is a line from one of the other two corners to the opposite side, perpendicular to the diagonal.
The squares are formed by rabatment (folding or rotating) of the short sides of the rectangle. Fold or rotate one of the short sides of a rectangle down until it is parallel to the longer side. Mark the length of the shorter side on the longer side. At that point, draw a line perpendicular to the long side. This will form two shapes within the original rectangle: a square and a smaller vertical rectangle.
If the original rectangle is a Golden Rectangle, the smaller vertical rectangle created by rabatment will be proportional, or reciprocal, to the original. A diagonal of the smaller vertical rectangle crosses the diagonal of the original rectangle at 90 degrees. This diagonal is called a reciprocal.
A second square can be constructed at the other end of the rectangle by repeating the process with the other short side.
A more elaborate internal structure can be constructed by drawing the diagonals of these two squares in the rectangle. The intersection of these diagonals forms a third square in the rectangle. This third square is rotated 90 degrees, forming a diamond shape. The four points of this diamond shape can be used to make two new horizontal and two new vertical lines.
These internal lines and the spaces they create are used to guide the placement of shapes in the painting.
Reducing Glass: Sometimes called a distance viewer, reducing lens or a reducing glass lens, it is basically a magnifying glass in reverse. Rather than magnifying an object, it reduces its apparent size. When you are painting, you are only inches away from your canvas, but it will not be seen that way when it is hung in a room or put on exhibition. By using a reducing glass, you can judge how a particular piece of artwork will appear when it is viewed from a distance. This allows you to evaluate whether the shapes, the value patterns, the colors, and other design elements work when viewed across the room.
Used by artists, graphic designers, ad agencies and quilters. Great for small studios and workshops where you don't have the space to step back and view your work from a distance.
A 3" diameter lens mounted to a handle can be purchased from jerrysartarama.com for $20. Quilting stores carry a "quilt and print viewer" for under $10. A Dritz Design Reducing Glass can be purchased from amazon.com. A similar effect can be achieved by viewing artwork through the wrong end of binoculars or through a door peeper that can be purchased from a hardware store. Finally, a digital image of the artwork can be reduced to the size of a thumbnail to achieve the same purpose.
Reflected Color: Color that bounces off nearby objects.
Remarque: A small sketch, drawing or painting added to a print of an original work of art. Artists have placed these additions in various places: on the print itself, near the artist's pencil signature, in the margins of the print, or on the mat surrounding the print. Originally, remarques were remarks made in pencil that identified the various stages a printing plate when through while in the process of being finalized. Today artists make the additions to add value to their work. Whistler seems to have been among the first to make remarques desirable to collectors. He painted a butterfly next to or in lieu of a signature on many of his pictures.
Rembrandt Lighting: A lighting technique often used in portraiture. One side of the face is well-lit while the other side is in shadow. The key to Rembradt lighting is the creation of a triangular-shaped light area below the eye on the shadowed side. This triangle is generally no longer than the nose and no wider than the eye.
Repetition: Similar shapes, colors, etc. that are repeated in several areas within a painting to create unity.
Retardant: a substance added to paint in order to slow down the drying time. (Gum arabic, glycerin, honey)
Rice paper (washi): textured, oriental handmade papers used for collage; most often made from three basic fibers, none of which is rice: kozo, gampi, and mitsumata. Some washi are strong, heavy, and very opaque. Others[~]most notably the lace papers[~]are delicate and translucent. Some are heavily textured, whereas others are flat; and some have long, twisting fibers while others have short, straight ones. Washi are available in a wide range of colors, from white, neutral tan, or grayish tones to tie-dyed, tie-bleached, blockprinted, or colored and patterned by other methods. Washi can be adhered with any of the polyvinyl acetate (white such as Elmer's) glues diluted a bit with water. A bristle brush should be used to apply the glue. You may also use acrylic mediums (matte or gloss) or other water-based blues or pastes. supports should be substantial, with 300-lb watercolor paper (rough) being almost ideal for many techniques. One of the most common ways to prepare paper is to color them prior to collaging. this can be done in many ways, with either large sheets or smaller pieces.
Rigger: A brush with long hairs and a fine point used for expressive detail work such tree branches, twigs, cracks in rocks etc. (originally used to paint the rigging on ships).
Rubber Cement Pick-up Square: A 2" square crepe rubber that is used to remove liquid frisket (mask) after it has dried.
Rule of Thirds: a common guide for arranging space and objects on the paper. Divide the paper into thirds, horizontally and vertically. The area of interest could be placed at or near any one of the intersections.
Ruling Pen: a technical pen used primarily to draw precise lines of various thicknesses with ink, watercolor paint, or masking fluid.
The pen looks like a pair of tweezers. It is composed of two adjustable tapered metal blades and a screw that opens and closes the blades to adjust the thickness of the line.
Ink or other drawing fluids are placed between the blades. Fill a dropper or pipette with drawing media and squeeze a small amount between the two blades of the pen. You can also load a brush with paint and then drag the brush across one of the blades. If you dip the pen directly into a bottle of ink or masking fluid, be sure to wipe off the excess from the outsides of the blades. Be careful not to allow the ink inside the pen to touch the paper towel or it will suck up your entire load of ink.
It may be necessary to dilute masking fluid with water to get it to flow easily. Pebeo brand masking fluid will not need to be diluted.
CAUTION: Do not fill the pen above 5/16" from the tip.
When drawing a uniform line, hold the ruling pen perpendicular, making sure the tips of both blades are in contact with the paper. Keep the blades of the pen parallel to the direction of the line.
If you use a ruler, triangle or French curve, make sure they have a beveled or elevated edge. If the ruler lies flat on the paper, the ink will seep under the ruler due to capillary action. Rulers can be purchased that have either a cork or rubber backing that elevates the edge. Beveled rulers should be used upside down so that the edge of he ruler is 2 or 3 mm above the paper.
If your ruler, triangle or French curve is not beveled or elevated, you can tape pennies onto the bottom to raise it up.
You can draw long thin lines before the ink runs out. If you draw a thicker line, you will not be able to go as far. To make a long, thick line, draw two parallel thin lines and then fill in the space between with a brush later.
Circles can be make with a compass that comes with a ruling pen attachment. (See the Basic Bow Compass with Ruling Pen by Alvin. Available from amazon.com for approximately $20). To make larger circles, it is important that the compass have an adjustable joint to keep the ruling pen perpendicular to the paper, ensuring that the tips of both blades touch the paper.
To clean the pen, first remove the ink from the pen by drawing until the ink is drained. Then slide a scrap piece of paper between the tips of the two blades to absorb any residual ink. Rinse the pen under running water and dry thoroughly so the pen won't rust. (In some ruling pens, one of the blades swivels to facilitate cleaning).
Salt: Salt placed on a moist wash absorbs moisture and pigment. The salt granules turn dark as they absorb paint. Given enough moisture, the salt begines to dissolve. The resulting saline solution flows outward, reacting with the paint and pushing it back. It's uncertain how the salt residue will affect paper and paint over time.
Saturation: One of the characteristics of color. The purity or brilliance of a color. See also chroma and intensity.
Scraping:Takes place during late stage two when the pigment begins to settle into the fibers but the paint surface still has a damp sheen. Pulling a blunt tool through the wash at this time will squeeze a good amount of pigment out of the paper fibers and shove it ahead and to the sides, like a bulldozer moving dirt.
Scumbling: Applying an uneven layer of color over an already dry underlayer. The scrumbled layer is created using an irregular scrubbing motion of the brush. The same as scrumbling.
Sedimentary colors: Colors settle into the valleys of the paper creating a granular effect. Sedimentary colors include cobalt violet, raw sienna, raw umber viridian green, ultramarine blue, manganese blue, sepia.
Secondary colors: The colors obtained by mixing equal amounts of two primary colors. Blue and red produces violet, yellow and red makes orange, and blue and yellow makes green.
Sedimentation: The physical and visual appearance of the grains of watercolor pigments upon drying.
Semi-neutral colors: A color wheel contains three types of colors: pure hues, semi-neutrals, and neutrals. Pure hues are placed on the outside of the color wheel; they are bright, saturated colors. Semi-neutral colors are somewhat neutralized, desaturated, dull colors; they are placed inside the circle. Neutral or gray colors occupy the center of the color wheel.
Colors directly opposite each other on the color wheel are complementary colors. As a color is mixed with a small amount of its complement, it begins to gray or desaturate, producing a semi-neutral color. Adding more of the complement further desaturates the color, creating another semi-neutral color and bringing it closer to gray. When equal amounts of complementary colors are mixed, the result is a neutral gray. If increasingly larger amounts of the complementary color are added, a second range of semi-neutral colors is created, approaching the color of the complement.
Colors that are equally spaced on the color wheel form a triad. Every mixture of two of the three pure colors of a primary, secondary, or tertiary triad results in a semi-neutral.
Triadic color schemes can also be created with semi-neutral colors. For example, Holbein's raw sienna, Prussian green, and violet gray, or Winsor and Newton's olive green, Mars violet, and indigo are effective triads. (See Color Choices by "Stephen Quiller," 1989). [in the 2002 version was Prussian green updated to hooker's green? was Mars violet updated to purple madder?]
Spalter Brush: an extra wide flat brush used for painting large areas. Some have referred to it as "a chip brush on steroids." It is commonly used in faux finishing and in mural painting. Spalter brushes are made from a variety of materials: white bristle, badger hair, black ox, and Chungking hog bristles. Spalter brushes are sometimes compared to Mottlers which are also used for faux finishing techniques and for covering large surface areas.
trompe l'oeil: French for "fool the eye." A genre of still life painting that is so realistic that it tricks the viewer into thinking the objects in the scene are real rather than painted.
Sgraffito: a technique of scratching back into the paint surface, usually to reveal the paper or an underlying color, to create an interesting texture.
Shade: When a color is darker than it is in its pure form, it is said to be a shade of that color. Compare Tint. One way of making a shade of a color is to add black.
Side-loading: A technique used to create a soft or lost edge. Also known as "floating," it is used for applying shading or highlighting. A flat or angular brush is usually used with one side loaded with paint and the other side loaded with water.
Simultaneous Contrast: An optical illusion that occurs when two contrasting hues, values, or intensities are placed next to each other. For example, in this image the middle rectangle is a uniform color and value throughout. However, it is perceived as being lighter when it is surrounded by a dark background and darker when surrounded by a light background. Simultaneous contrast exaggerates any difference between the color properties (hue, value, and intensity) of two adjacent colors to some degree in the mind's eye.
This phenomenon is noticeable when you look at the edge where two walls come together. The edge adjacent to the lighter wall has an exaggerated dark shade while the edge on the darker one has an exaggerated lighter one. A photograph of the same junction will not exhibit the phenomena since it is processed into the perception by the brain to enhance the edge and make it more easily recognized.
Sizing: A solution added to watercolor paper to both hold it together and to make it less absorbent. Sizing usually contains a mixture of gelatin, water and a preservative. The sizing affects the hardness and absorbency of the paper and consequently the way in which the paint will react on it.
Sizing can be added at two stages. Internal sizing is added to the paper pulp before the sheet is formed and chemically bonds to the paper fibers. External sizing is applied to the surface of the finished sheet of paper after it has dried, sometimes by dipping the entire sheet into a tub of sizing solution (known as tub sizing). External sizing, makes the paper less absorbent of the pigments and keeps them from bleeding.
Unsized paper absorbs paint like a blotter, preventing manipulation of the paint. The more sizing you remove, the more the paper will soak up the paint like a blotter. Small amounts of sizing will be removed when wetting an area with a sponge. The amount of sizing is also reduced when the paper is soaked before stretching.
Spattering: Spots of color flicked onto a wet or dry surface from a brush held above, creating a random pattern of dots. It is generally used in small areas, as it is overdone quite easily. Areas may be protected from spatter with masks of paper held down with masking tape if necessary. An old toothbrush or a stiff paintbrush is loaded with fairly thick paint then a finger is pulled through the bristles or the brush is tapped against your hand or another brush to create a spray of color. Pulling your finger through the brush creates a fine spray while tapping the brush creates larger spots. Once the droplets have dried another layer of color can be added on top creating variations of tone or varigated effects.
Larger, irregular spatters are created with an oil painting hog hair fan brush. The stiffness of the hog hair brush snaps paint off the brush.
Sponge: Synthetic sponges have an even texture that works well for wetting paper quickly and for laying down flat washes. Natural sponges have interesting textures that produce irregular, mottled patterns. Layers of different shades or colors can be laid one on another, (being sure to dry each layer before adding the next.) Sponges work well for creating the textures of rock, the leaves of trees. Drybrush effects may be created by lightly stroking with fairly dry paint so that a skipping effect is created. Twist the sponge and create soft, swirling effects.
Stippling: A series of small dots similar to pointillism but used mainly to accent areas of a painting or to create texture where needed. Dots close together create darker areas while spacing the dots farther apart creates a lighter, more airy appearance. As in pointillism the separate dots of color creates a shimmering effect. Stippling can also be done with a stiff brush, a brush handle, or a stick. Using a sponge produces a similar effect and is much faster than painting each dot with a brush.
Stippling: a technique of applying color to paper in dots, using the tip of the brush. the brush handle, a stick.
Stylus: A hard, pen-shaped, pointed tool for marking, writing, drawing or engraving.
Temperature: One of the characteristics of color. The relative coolness or warmth of a color. Colors in the green/blue /violet range are considered cool , while those in the red/orange/yellow range are considered warm . Within a painting cool colors recede into the distance while warm colors appear to come forwards.
Tertiary Colors: Colors produced by mixing primary colors with secondary colors. For example, mixing red and orange produces red-orange and violet and blue produces a violet-blue. Also called intermediate colors.
Texture: An element of art which refers to the surface quality or feel of an object, its smoothness, roughness, softness, etc. Textures may be actual or simulated. Actual textures can be felt with the fingers, while simulated textures are suggested by the way the artist has painted certain areas of a picture.
Texture Medium: contains fine particles and can be used to give the impression of depth and structure to water color paintings. Used with multiple washes, Texture Medium catches different layers of color and really gives a new dimension to water color painting. Texture Medium can be applied directly onto the paper or mixed with water colors first. More layers of color can be applied over the top. Texture Medium is resoluble, but like all water color washes, some color will remain on the paper. Available from Winsor and Newton.
Thirsty brush: A wet brush that has had excess water removed by squeezing with a towel or tissue. Water will move from the wet page to the brush. (See Techniques, August 8, 2004 posting, Painting Dry on Wet).
Thumbnail sketches: Small sketches with only the very basic information included. Because of their small size it is quite easy to do several sketches to help determine the best possible compositions and values for the finished work.Try several different layouts with various combinations of pictorial elements of various heights and widths. Examine different vertical and horizontal layouts and closeups as well as the more traditional distant views.
Tint: When a color is lighter than it is in its pure form, it is said to be a tint of that color. Compare Shade. A tint, or lighter value of a hue, can be made by adding white or by adding water to the original color.
Tinting Strength: Tinting strength indicates how much a pigment will dominate the color of a mixture with other pigments. Alizarin Crimson and Phthalo Blue have high tinting strength, while Yellow Ochre and Oxide of Chromium have low tinting strength. Phthalocyanine blue has a tinting strength about 40 times that of ultramarine blue, and twice that of prussian blue. Cerulean Blue and Cobalt Violet have very low tinting strength. The tinting strength of a pigment is determined by the amount of pigment that is required to impart color to a test amount of white paint.
Tjanting (pronounced "jonting"): A tool for applying melted wax in batik. Heat wax in an electric frying pan, tin an in water, or a double boiler. Melted wax is poured into tjanting needle and wax flows through fine needle spout and onto the fabric or paper. An electric batik tool allows you to melt and draw with a single tool. A double tjanting tool enables you to create parallel lines and accurate swirls. A Concorde Tjanting is a unique design preferred by many textile artists.
Tone: The relative darkness or lightness of a color. Also called value.
Toptone and Undertone: Toptone, also called masstone, is what a paint looks like right out of the tube or in heavy applications. A paint's undertone is revealed by thinning it down with water. Some paints, especially those made with opaque pigments, vary little in their appearance from their toptone to their undertone. When viewing a paints toptone, light bounces off the surface of the paint. In watercolor, when viewing the paints undertone, light passes through the layer of paint and hits the surface of the paper. This is one of the factors that gives watercolor its sparkle.
A paint's undertone reveals its bias towards another color. By brushing out the color thinly on a white surface, the undertone and its color bias is easier to see. This is particularly important when trying to mix intense, bright cvolors, because those with a bias towards one another create the most intense mixes. (See octanic mixes of Jeanne Dobie.)
Underdrawing: A technique of drawing the subject before applying paint. It can be used as a technique in its own right, to create a particular artistic effect, or as a guide to enable the artist to establish the correct size and shape of his or her subject before beginning to paint.
Underpainting: The first, thin layering in of color in a painting. By blocking in the main shapes with thin layers of paint, you help organize shapes and values before adding color details. Sometimes called Underwash.
Underwash: See Underpainting.
Unity: Unity is the principle of design that draws everything together. The quality of wholeness or oneness that is achieved through the effective use of the elements and principles of design. A totality that combines all of its parts into one complete, cohesive whole. Often it is realized through a deliberate or intuitive balancing of harmony and variety. However, this balance does not have to be of equal proportions. Harmony might outweigh variety, or variety might outweigh harmony. Harmony aids efforts to blend picture parts together to form a whole. Variety adds visual interest to this unified whole. A composition is unified when the relationships between its parts interact to create a sense that no portion of the composition may be changed without altering the aesthetic integrity and meaning of the artwork. When unity is achieved with insufficient harmony and variety, the result is monotony. Unity is largely synonymous with coherence.
Unryu Paper: Japanese or Thai tissue paper made from mulberry trees (kozo). One side is smooth and the other textured and porous. It is translucent and comes in many colors. Strands of fibers are added to the basic kozo pulp, creating swirling patterns. Unryu is a Japanese word which refers to these patterns that look like dragons riding on clouds.
Sheets are 24" by 39" (approximately 61 cm by 99 cm), not sized, and acid-free, with deckle edges. It comes in 20 and 10 gram weights.
Place a piece of 10-gram white unryu paper over a watercolor painting, rough side up. Starting at the center of the painting, apply a 50:50 mixture of water and Elmer's glue (or matte medium) on top of the unryu paper. Brush in a circular motion out to the edges, being careful not to trap any air bubbles. As you glue, the paper will stretch, so move slowly and carefully. After the glue dries, you may continue to paint or leave the painting as is.
See Watercolor Fun and Free by Karlyn Holman
Value: One of the elements of design that relates to the lightness or darkness of a color.
Values: The range of lights and darks in a painting. Strong changes in value grab the viewer's attention no matter how close or far the object appears to be, while light objects blend into light surroundings. The focal point of the painting should have stronger changes in value than the rest of the painting to draw the viewer's eyes there first. After their eyes have had a chance to travel around the rest of the painting those same contrasts will bring them back to your center of interest once again.
Value key: The relative level of a color's value, whether referencing an individual color, or a color scheme seen either in an artwork's entirety or in a passage within one. The lighter the value, the higher and more cheerful the value key; the darker the value, the lower and more somber the value key. Also see chroma key, contrast key, cool colors, tonal key, warm colors, and temperature key.
Value Pattern: The arrangement or organization of values that control compositional movement and create a unifying effect throughout a work of art.
Value scale: A series of spaces filled with the tints and shades of one color, starting with white or the lightest tint on one end, and gradually changing into the darkest shade or black on the other.
Vanishing point: A point on the horizon where parallel lines in a perspective drawing converge. The number and placement of the vanishing points determines which perspective technique is being used.
Variegated Wash: Created by wetting the paper then applying a variety of colors so that they blend together on the paper. Angle painting support to about 15 degrees (so that a bead forms at the bottom of the wash). Use enough water to create a bead. Lay in the first color. Rinse brush and load with a second color. Pick up the bead of the first wash and carry it downward. Every time you recharge your brush, do so with a different color. See Mingled Wash.
Viewfinder: A small window cut in a piece of heavy paper or plastic, that shows what will be in a picture's composition. An empty slide frame can be used also. It helps determine what to include and what to leave out of your picture.
Viscosity: The relative resistance of a liquid to stirring or movement, and its stickiness. The thicker it is the greater is its viscosity; the thinner it is the lesser is its viscosity.
Warm Colors: Colors in the yellow to red range are considered warm colors as they are associated with such things as the sun and fire. Color temperature is relative. There are warm and cool yellows, warm and cool reds, and warm and cool blues. Warm colors make an object appear to adveance into the foreground. Cool colors appear to recede into the background. See also Cool Colors and Color Temperature
Wash: The act of laying water or pigment on the surface of a watercolor painting with a brush. Washes may include lesser or greater amounts of water or pigment. They may include one or more colors. They may be graded or flat.
Washi: See Rice Paper
Water Color Medium: Slows the drying time of the paint just as Gum Arabic, but also increases the wetting of the paper. This will improve the flow of washes across the surface of the paper. Water Color Medium is usually mixed into the water color wash but can be added to the jar of water if you prefer to use it throughout the painting. This medium should not be used directly from the bottle because thick films will be brittle. Caution: Water Color Medium should not be used with acid sensitive colors, namely those containing Ultramarine. See also Gum Arabic and Ox Gall Liquid.
Wax resist: The application of wax to the paper to prevent it from accepting paint. Wax can be applied to the white of the paper or to areas that have been previously painted. Use crayon, colored pencil, wax paper and blunt instrument, candle. To remove the wax, cover the waxed area with several layers of paper towels and heat with a hot iron. The hot wax will be absorbed by the towels.
Wet Media Acetate: Grafix Acetate comes in a pad of 12 - 11" x 14" sheets or a roll. It is clear acetate treated on both sides with a thin coating of gelatin that will accept all wet media (ink, tempera, watercolor, acrylics and airbrush). Colors may be washed off and the original surface is ready to re-use. It works great for trying out a color on a painting without touching the work. It can also be used to correct mistakes. For instance, if you've painted leaves and one is not quite right, lay acetate over the leaf, trace around it with a marker, then cut the acetate tracing. Place the hole on top of the original leaf and scrub it out. (I would use cheaper acetate for cutting out correcting stencils).
Wet Media Acetate can also be used to create monoprints. The acetate is directly painted upon with a media then transferred to paper through pressure resulting in a original print. Dry plate transfers are where the image is created upon the plate and allowed to dry before being transferred to a dampened paper. Wet plate transfers are done straight from the plate while the inks are still wet onto the waiting paper.
Dura-Lar is an acetate alternative. It combines the best features of Mylar and acetate, and offers a variety of products so that you can purchase the film that suits your needs precisely. It is always consistent in color and overall clarity, and won't discolor with age. Dura-Lar is archival quality, safe for overlaying artwork, and it lays flat. It will remain dimensionally stable for as long as you need. Dura-Lar Wet is specially coated on both sides to accept paint, marker, pen, and airbrush without bleeding, crawling, or chipping. It's available in individual sheets (larger sizes), in pads of 12 sheets (smaller sizes), and in rolls of varying lengths and widths.
Wet on dry: Technique in watercolor painting in which a wash is laid over a dry area of paper.
Wet-in-wet: Technique in which a pigmented wash is laid over an area still wet from a previous wash of clear water or a wash of color.
Wetting Agent: Wetting agents are used with watercolor to increase its flow. They can also create a host of unusual textures in wet washes. You can add them to your washes or apply them directly onto the paper. Water has a high surface tension--in other words it tends to form droplets rather than spread out to wet the surface. Also, some surfaces, such as very hard, sized papers, are less "wettable" than others. A wetting agent applied to such papers reduces the surface tension. This makes the paint flow more easily and evenly across the surface.
Ox gall is the traditional wetting agent. Add a drop of ox gall to a wash to enhance its flow, or, for the same effect, mix it with clear water and apply it to the paper first.
Drop it, spatter, it, vary the wetness, use staining and nonstaining pigments. Apply an ox gall wash and add color to it while still wet. Drop ox gall into a staining pigment such as sap green--it dispels the pigment immediately in a wet wash. In a drier wash, the effect is subtler.
Watercolor medium is another wetting agent that enhances the flow of washes in a similar way to ox gall.
White line technique: Leave the white of the paper between positive shapes. Compare Paper Dam.
Workable Fixatif: Krylon Workable Fixatif is a reworkable clear, archival finish that prevents smudging of soft art materials like pencil, pastel, chalk, charcoal, conte crayon and india ink. The finish also prevents lines from being lifted when dried masking fluid is removed. This fixative is considered "workable" because after a light coating has been applied and dried, lines can still be erased and lines can be added on top. Watercolor can also be painted over the top. Workable Fixatif dries in seconds.
Artists like Stephen Quiller spray finished watercolor paintings with Workable Fixatif and display them without glass.
Be sure to follow the application instructions and the safety precautions on the label.
Yupo paper: A synthetic paper machine-made in the USA of 100% polypropylene. It is waterproof, stain resistant and extremely strong and durable. Because it is non-absorbent, Yupo remains perfectly flat, eliminating the need for soaking, stretching or taping. Colors applied retain their true clarity and brilliance. Due to the unique nature of this paper, dirt and oils will hinder its performance. It is recommended that you remove spots and fingerprints with soap and water before use.
- Use the fixative in a well-ventilated area.
- Place the artwork in an upright position and not flat on the floor.
- Test your spraying technique on a scrap piece of paper before you spray your artwork.
- Hold the spray can a minimum of two feet away from the artwork when spraying.
- Start the spray off the artwork on one side. Move quickly across the artwork and continue beyond the opposite edge. Keep the can moving from left to right, going beyond the edges each time.
- Spray a light coat. If more is needed, add a second light coat. Avoid applying a heavy coat.