Why watercolor paint is transparent

What is watercolor and what makes it so special?

What is watercolor and what makes it stand out? What exactly is special about watercolor and how do I use it?

These questions will be answered in the following video and of course in the text.

Video: what is watercolor and what makes it stand out?

What makes watercolor so special?

Watercolor looks so special because of the transparencies that can be achieved with it. The painting technique has transparency as the foundation of its complete functionality. Through the play of the different transparent layers on top of each other, you can achieve a very unique and special lighting effect with watercolor. As with any other technique, watercolor takes some practice, or good teachers, to achieve the first satisfactory results.

Why is the quality of the material important in watercolor?

Qualitative material doesn't make a beginner a pro, but poor quality can drive a pro to incandescence and ruin pictures. For example, low-quality pigments are not lightfast, low-quality brushes lose their hair, and low-quality paper can even tear while you are painting. - So high quality material can save you from some grief.


The pigments in watercolor are dissolved with water. To paint, for example, the pans are slightly moistened with water, the paint is then picked up and further diluted with more water in a palette. This creates the transparent solution with which you paint watercolors.

A basic distinction is made between two techniques. One is called “on dry” and the other “on wet”.

If you paint watercolor on dry paper, clear shapes and precise edges can be created.
On the other hand, if you paint on wet paper, you get flowing colors and smooth gradients.

Use transparency and apply colors

The colors in watercolor are transparent. By applying more layers (this is called glazing), colors become darker, more intense or completely changed. If you apply a light blue in several layers, it becomes darker and the colors richer. If you apply a blue layer to a yellow layer, you get a green tone.

Lighten and wash out

Lighten and wash out works by blotting damp areas of the painting with a dry cloth. Depending on the type of watercolor paint, it is also possible to moisten already dry areas and then remove the pigments again. However, this does not always work, because some pigments are absorbed into the paper and can then no longer be removed. So if you want to work with the method of washing out, you have to know your colors beforehand in order to know which pigments can be dissolved again.