Watercolor is often defined as a medium that incorporates the pigment with water to extend it onto the paper. That could include many kinds of paint like tempera paint/poster paint - from grade school - plus opaque watercolor made by mixing chalk with the pigments (gouache) to acrylics to water based inks to casein and egg tempera paint. Even watercolor pencils and crayons technically qualify as watercolor if water is added. But transparent watercolor is what the majority of people 'think' when they hear the word 'watercolor.'
This painting, done on the slick YUPO surface, includes 'regular' transparent watercolor with fluid acrylics over parts of it, with gouache added in thin layers plus water based inks drawn in last. It's a 'watercolor' technically, but PURISTS wouldn't consider it one.
Very few watercolor societies limit the definition of 'watercolor' to mean just transparent watercolor (as PURISTS do.) There's certainly validity in having a group or show for only transparent watercolor paintings because the difficulty and challenge of painting with only transparent watercolor is great. It's good to compare apples with apples in a 'watercolor' show occasionally.
The majority of my paintings are only transparent watercolor, yet it is exhilarating to be able to select whatever medium it takes to produce art. Years ago, I let the restrictive interior "WATERCOLOR POLICE" keep me from trying out other water mediums. My goal was to increase my expertise with the transparent stuff, and I (unwisely) shunned all the other possibilities.
For so many watercolor artists, it can be a big deal to take that first step away from using ONLY transparent watercolor. It was a giant step for me several years ago. However, now, whatever it takes, whatever works - that's what art's about for me, and it certainly allows so much more freedom to be able to express and create.
This painting's title came about partially because of my 'fall' from transparent watercolor. It was one of the very first that I'd tried as I used gouache and acrylics and broke away from the limits I'd set on myself. It's several years old, and tomorrow's post will include another oldie from that time, using gouache, too.
"FALLEN ANGELS" Transparent Watercolor, Gouache, Acrylics, Ink on YUPO 13 x 8"