watercolor

Watercolors are a type of paint that can be mixed with water to create translucent layers of color on paper. You can also call a painting made this way a watercolor. Anyone can paint with watercolors, from toddlers to professional artists.

Historians believe that watercolor painting has been around since Paleolithic cave paintings, but it was during the Renaissance that watercolors gained popularity as an artistic medium. It was particularly common for illustrations in books and botanical guides to be made using watercolors into the 19th century, when John James Audubon began his well-known watercolor bird illustrations and field guides.

Definitions of watercolor
1

n water-soluble pigment

Synonyms:
water-color, water-colour, watercolour
Type of:
pigment
dry coloring material (especially a powder to be mixed with a liquid to produce paint, etc.)

n a water-base paint (with water-soluble pigments); used by artists

Synonyms:
water-color, water-colour, watercolour
Types:
gouache
an opaque watercolor prepared with gum
Type of:
water-base paint
paint in which water is used as the vehicle

n a painting produced with watercolors

Synonyms:
water-color, water-colour, watercolour
Types:
gouache
a watercolor executed with opaque watercolors mixed with gum
wash, wash drawing
a watercolor made by applying a series of monochrome washes one over the other
Type of:
painting, picture
graphic art consisting of an artistic composition made by applying paints to a surface

n the art or technique of painting with watercolors

Synonyms:
water-color, water-colour, watercolour
Type of:
painting
creating a picture with paints

v paint with watercolors

Synonyms:
watercolour
Type of:
paint
make a painting

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.