Glossary of Art Terms - W

Warm colours

Those which suggest a sense of warmth, i.e. red, yellow, and orange and including brownish grays. All Warm Colors "lie in the red-yellow half of the Color Circle. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"


A wash is a technique used as part of a piece of work or used to create a piece of work in it's own right. Washes can be desribed as a broad layer of diluted pigment, ink or glaze used particulaly in watercolours and brush drawings, but also occasionally in oil paintings and sculpture. The wash is often used to give a starting point to a watercolour.


Watercolour is a type of paint with water soluble pigments used primarily to create works known as 'Watercolours'. The popularity of watercolour soared throughout the 20th Century due to the stigma surrounding it (that it was only good for creating sketch studies for future oil paintings) being for the most part lost as the years past. However, this stigma is still widely reflected in the price of watercolours in comparison to oils, this could be put down to the differing skills and levels of skill involved, however that is a rather contencious view of the matter.

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An artwork which within, includes a body of water, specifically those artworks which depict rivers, lakes and oceans.


Wax is a plastic-like form produced by bees. Although it has a low melting point, it's form at habitable temperatures is solid and so can be used as a protective coating. Wax is also a popular choice for many sculptors, due to it's relative ease of manipulation, however, it's durability is certainly questionable.

Woodcut / Woodblock

Woodcuts/blocks are relief methods of printing, using inked blocks of wood with a design, scene or pattern engraved into their surface. Woodcuts/blocks are set apart from other printing methods in that the printed design comes from the positive space, not the negative space.

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