Watercolor Paint

Watercolor Paint


Watercolor has been known for almost 2 thousand years. However, people used to produce it in a little different way than we do nowadays. Modern paint consists of pigment, a binder agent, and additional components.

The main substance that determines the color is pigment. Coloring agents are of vegetable or mineral origin. By the way, one got used to applying aniline pigments. However, it is not so wide-spread now, because aniline poorly dissolves in water, seeps through the paper, and hardly washes off from the hands. Powder coloring agents are added to the watercolor too.

The second component is a binder, which function is to keep the dye on the sheet surface. For this, various ingredients have been used from the old days: glue, resins, starch. Since the 18th century, one began to use the gum arabic, a transparent acacia resin. People also add cherry glue, candy sugar, dextrin, and gelatin nowadays. These binders are mixed with the pigment separately or in combination with each other.

The third component is the additives. Their function is to make it easier for the liquid watercolor to soak with the water. Besides, paint does not dry out as well as become moldy. Also, one uses molasses, honey, and glycerin as plasticizers and moisturizers. Besides, antiseptics, preservatives are also added to the watercolor.

How Are Colors Created?

The pigment is the main watercolor component. Manufactures prefer mineral dyes since it is easier to produce. Furthermore, this substance and more stable. Meanwhile, one avoids plant pigments these days, because the mineral ones have more benefits.

Do you know that a specific color requires different components?


Yellow is obtained from chromium-lead salt, called the crown. This dye comes in several shades. It is also sated and bright and can change the shade while being subjected to sunlight.


White color consists of lead or zinc oxide. Sometimes heavy spar and chalk are used as pigments. However, in such a case, the quality is much lower. Thus, metals are more preferable.¬


is made from cinnabar or minium. These are the mineral dyes, so the shade depends on the grinding quality. Plant pigments are extracted from madder dye.


Blue is obtained from artificial ultramarine and azure blue. Previously lapis lazuli used to be ground into powder. It was the ultramarine color.


Blue is obtained from artificial ultramarine and azure blue. Previously lapis lazuli used to be ground into powder. It was the ultramarine color.

Watercolor Color Paint Palette

Watercolor can change the shade. Such an effect can be achieved by applying several layers of paint. It seems easy at first glance but you have to try to obtain the desired result. An artist must know in advance what color he or she wants to see in the end.

Besides, the painter will be deprived of the opportunity to correct something afterward, so working with watercolors requires certain skills. When drawing, it is difficult to limit yourself only to the basic three primary colors. However, due to such property as transparency, you can get a variety of watercolor shades.

Also, it is necessary to apply a layer of paints one on top of the other for a picture to be more saturated. To do this, one needs to use plenty of water. Moreover, the basis for drawing always remains wet, making the process more complicated. However, this is the essence of liquid watercolor.

Of course, one must not forget about the watercolor tools, without which it is impossible to draw a high-quality picture, even if you own good watercolors. Since liquid watercolor implies using a lot of water, you need to take care of the appropriate watercolor paper. Furthermore, it is better to choose brushes carefully. These nuances are important.

Watercolor Paint Palette

Types of Watercolor

Watercolor is available in different packaging. There are two types:

Watercolor Half Pans

watercolor half pans

  • The colors are usually brighter than in half pans;
  • Watercolor tubes a small in size thus it is easy to use;
  • With tubes it is more convenient to apply paint on a brush;
Watercolor in Tubes

watercolor in tubes

  • The sets contain the basic colors;
  • It is suitable to carry around;
  • Empty cells could be replaced with the new ones.

What is the difference between them? In general, they are of the same quality. They only distinction is that one can paint with the watercolor in tubes immediately. The watercolor half pans go through an additional processing step and are dried, so you need to dilute it with water first.

As a rule, one decides on the watercolor in tubes when there is a need to draw on huge canvases and, accordingly, more paint is required. Also, one may fill half pans with paint from tubes. During the night, the substance dries and acquires the properties of ordinary watercolor half pans.

Finally, each artist independently chooses the type of packaging according to his needs or desires.