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WATERCOLOR (or watercolour also known as aquarelle) is a painting technique using paint made of colorants suspended or dissolved in water. Although the grounds used in watercolor painting vary, the most common is paper. Others include papyrus, bark papers, plastics, leather, fabric, wood, and canvas Parastoo Salehi Watercolor painting began with the invention of paper in China shortly after 100 AD. In the 12th century the conquering Moors introduced papermaking to Spain and the technology spread to Italy decades later. Some of the oldest paper manufactures include Fabriano, Italy, opened in 1276, and Arches, France, opened in 1492. The forerunner of watercolor painting in Europe was buon fresco painting — wall-painting using pigments in a water medium on wet plaster. One well-known example of buon fresco is the Sistine Chapel, begun in 1508 and completed in 1514. The earliest known use of European watercolor painting is by Italian Renaissance painter Raffaello Santi (1483-1520), who painted full-scale cartoons as precursors for tapestry designs. The broader term for water-based painting media is watermedia. The term watercolor most often to refers to traditional transparent watercolor or gouache (an opaque form of the same paint). Basic watercolor technique involves washes and glazes. A wash refers to the application of a uniform color over an area of the painting. Typically this might be a light blue wash for the sky, a uniform color on a field or other area. Washes can be "graded" or "graduated" if they gradually become lighter or darker in parts such the fading of color to show the lighter sky near the horizon. A "variegated" wash blends more than one color such as a wash with areas of blue and perhaps some red or orange for a sky at sunrise or sunset. Two methods of applying paint to the surface for special effect are "wet-in-wet" (or "wet-on-wet") and "dry brush". Wet-in-wet is used to avoid a hard edge at the margin of the paint. Wet-in-wet paint flows on a wet surface. The paint is wet (diluted) and the surface of the medium is wet. Dry Brush is used to obtain a rough, textured appearance for the edges of beach grass, a rocky exposed hill surface, tree bark, sunlight skipping on the surface of water, are some examples. A brush is loaded with relatively thick paint then lightly pulled over the dry surface of the medium. Some artists hold the brush with just two or three fingers at the very end of the handle so just the weight of the brush glides along the surface. Watercolors are typically made darker on the paper by repeated application of the same color. These coats of paint are called "glazes. A glaze of a different color can also be used to create a combined color. It is also possible to achieve various lightness and darkness of a color (value) by diluting the paint in the mixing area before application.


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