Watercolor Terms You Should Know

A Quick Guide to 10 Easy Watercolor Techniques


Here at The Splatter, we try to be as helpful as we can when it comes to teaching you more about art. So, in the spirit of keeping things simple, here are a list of terms for beginner watercolor painters to learn more abut the techniques every watercolor painter should know:

Wash- A large body of the paper that is covered in water or pigment to create an even background color or effect.

Flat Wash- A wash that is one solid color that takes up the entire page. 

Graded Wash- A wash that gets lighter with every stroke, as the painting progresses, each stroke becomes lighter than the last.

Backlighting- Washing the background with lighter colors so the source of light is behind the subject.

Masking- The process of using a liquid latex to protect a part of your painting so that you can paint over it without disturbing or affecting the paint below.

Mud- Occurs when a still wet wash is met with more paint before it has had time to dry forming a rough, dull looking area.

Pre-Wet- When you wet the paper with clear water before you paint so that that the water will take the paint from the tip of the brush instead of having to fully lay down the paint.

Broken Edge- a technique where the side of a brush is speedily dragged over the surface of the paper to leave a broken edge of painted and unpainted areas of a wash.

Alcohol Texture- Alcohol and water don't mix so when alcohol is sprinkled into watercolor paint, it forms a unique texture.

Splattering- An easy technique to spread out and "splatter" drops of paint over your watercolor paper. The effect is achieved by putting paint on your brush and then pulling the bristles back with your thumb so that when released the bristles catapult the paint onto the paper.



Adding Art Into Other School Subjects Makes Learning More Fun

Art is Important as a School Subject, but Can It be a Teaching Tool too?


Although many schools cut arts first in their search to slash budgets because of the expense of art supplies (the answer is that they aren't shopping at Jerry's where all the deals are), recent studies have shown that exposure to art can help students grow academically. So in response to cutting art class budgets, many teachers are integrating art into other subjects to help students learn. Not only have they found that teaching with art helps students raise their academic grades, but it can also boost self-confidence, creativity and school spirit.

 So far, art integration has been showing positive results in schools because it taps into both left side and right side hemispheres of the brain  while forming different interests and abilities all in the process of learning. 

What does this art look like in, say a geometry lesson? One 4th grade geometry lesson had students examine the art of Russian artist Wassily Kandisky and imitate his paintings and extensive use of angles in their own artwork. Students used paint to make their art, then had to measure the angles used in both works of art and identify the types of angles used.

One student remade Van Gogh's Starry Night with her biology notes. 

"If you pick a subject area like science, social studies, math or literacy and you integrate it with an art form, what you do is connect the two and find ways to really integrate the two so they lean on each other," says teacher Judy Klima of the Integrated Arts Academy of Burlington, Vermont. "When you engage hands-on and you are creating your own learning, you are deepening your level of understanding about a specific topic."

Other examples of integrating the arts into other areas of learning include biology lessons where students drew realistic drawings based on the patterns found on leaf's edges to learn about both the scientific qualities of leaves and the difference between realistic and abstract art. Other students performed dramatic skits based on what they had learned about the Revolutionary War. 

Although many schools don't have the commitment of integrating art into other lessons like the Integrated Arts Academy, many individual teachers across the country are making it their mission to mix art in with other studies such as math, science, history and literature. The goal is for students to collaborate and be able to use their minds to creatively explore the process of learning and growing into more well-rounded people who can think outside of the box. 

And while art itself is still getting cut as a necessary class from many curriculums, we hope that the trend of art integration and innovative and creative teachers is one that continues to rise.


Enter the 2015 Winter Back to Class Contest with Strathmore

What Have You Created with Strathmore?

Jerry's is proud to announce a new contest with Strathmore Paper. If you like to draw, sketch, color or paint on Strathmore paper, whether its from their lines of Artist Tiles, 300 Bristol Pads, 300 Sketch Pads, or 400 Watercolor Pads, let us know about it and enter 2015 Winter Back to Class Contest by Jerry's Artarama and Strathmore for a chance to win!

The Prizes

 How to Enter

To enter, please upload a picture of your artwork created using Strathmore to our official JerrysArtarama.com Facebook Fan Page. Follow the submission process on Facebook. Submissions must include a photo of your artwork and a testimonial about why you enjoy using Strathmore. Entries not meeting these requirements will be disqualified. One image must be entered per contestant. Only submissions made on the official Facebook contest page will be eligible. Contest valid from JerrysArtarama.com only.


  • Contest runs January 21st-February 26th, 2015.
  • Voting begins Friday February 27th, 2015.
  • Winners announced Friday March 6th, 2015.

Want Strathmore Paper to Enter the Contest? Check out this Sale!

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