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What are the classifications of watercolor paints


Watercolor paints can be classified based on various factors, including their composition, form, and characteristics. Here are common classifications of watercolor paints:Composition:Traditional/Gum Arabic Watercolors: These are the most common watercolors. They are made with pigments, gum arabic (a water-soluble sap), and sometimes glycerin or honey to improve brushability and moisture retention.Watercolor Pans: These are small, dried cakes of watercolor paint. Pans are convenient for travel and studio use. Artists activate the paint by adding water with a brush.Watercolor Tubes: Tubes contain a more liquid form of watercolor paint. Artists squeeze out the desired amount and dilute it with water on a palette.Opacity and Transparency:Transparent Watercolors: These allow light to pass through the paint layer, creating luminous and vibrant effects. They are ideal for glazing and layering.Semi-Transparent/Semi-Opaque: These have a moderate level of transparency, allowing some light to pass through while also providing more coverage.Opaque Watercolors: These are more solid and block light from passing through. They are suitable for more opaque effects and covering underlying layers.Permanence:Permanent Colors: These are resistant to fading over time and exposure to light. Artists often prefer permanent colors for archival purposes.Fugitive Colors: These colors are less stable and may fade over time, especially when exposed to light. Artists should be cautious when using fugitive colors for artworks intended for longevity.Pigment Characteristics:Staining Colors: These pigments tend to adhere strongly to paper fibers, making them challenging to lift once dried. Staining colors are useful for creating vibrant and permanent washes.Non-staining Colors: These pigments are easier to lift or rework even after drying. They are suitable for techniques that involve lifting and correcting.Specialty Watercolors:Granulating Colors: These watercolors contain granules that settle into the paper's texture, creating a textured or granulated appearance.Iridescent/Shimmer Colors: Infused with reflective particles, these colors create a subtle shimmer or metallic effect.Pearlescent Colors: Similar to iridescent colors, pearlescent watercolors have a pearly finish, adding a touch of luminosity to artworks.Understanding these classifications can help artists choose the right watercolors for their specific techniques and preferences.
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