A wash is a large area in a watercolor painting where the paint flow and diffusion have been manipulated to efface individual brushstrokes. Within wash areas, color transitions are usually gradual and span analogous hues.
Laying a wash — a flawless portrait background or a landscape sky that shades from bright to mist — is one of the most satisfying tasks in watercolor painting. It’s a skill that takes practice to master, although the essentials are not difficult to learn.
As a novice painter, I discovered that the instructions provided in watercolor handbooks are often inadequate. You’re sometimes told to use incorrect techniques, or to use a single approach in …