Watercolor / aqueous paint

Watercolor is an aqueous paint [Lat. "aqua" = water], a medium for painting diluted in water in water. Watercolor painting is recognisable from the colors, which are usually pale and applied in washes allowing the ground to show through. The first layer of color must be dry before a second one can be brushed over it. However, there is also a technique known as wet-into-wet, by means of which the paint is applied to a wet coated surface to create softly diffusing colors and blurred contours. Watercolors are based on the difference between color washed on and applied as an opaque surface cover a surface. Painters in watercolor usually work from lighter color tones to darker ones. The ground is also incorporated in a composition although it is sometimes worked over. The roster of celebrated watercolorists includes Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851), Emil Nolde (1867-1956) and Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717).