Art Terms and Definitions — W

A vocabulary list of art terms and definitions that begin with the letter W.

War Artist
An artist commissioned by a government, publication, or self-motivated, who documents their first-hand experience of war in the form of an illustrative record.
Warm Color
Art Terms and Definitions -- WColors whose relative visual temperature makes them seem warm. Warm colors or hues include red-violet, red, red-orange, orange, yellow-orange, and yellow.
Wash 
Used in watercolor painting, brush drawing, and occasionally in oil painting to describe a broad, thin layer of diluted pigment or ink. Also refers to a drawing made in this technique.
Watercolor 
A water-based paint that is a translucent wash of pigment; a painting produced with watercolors.
Watermark 
A watermark is a design embossed into a piece of paper during its production and used to identify the paper and papermaker. The watermark can be seen when the paper is held up to light.
Waterscape 
A painting of or including a body of water. It might otherwise be called a marine picture, a seascape, or a riverscape, etc.
Wet-on-wet 
A painting technique that is well-known as being the primary method of painting used by Bob Ross. Since lighter colors will usually mix with darker colors if laid over the top of them while wet, the technique relies on painting from light colors up. This gives the painting a soft look and allows the colors to be blended to the painter’s desire.
White 
The lightest of all colors. White objects fully reflect and scatter all the visible wavelengths of light. It is often argued that white is not a color because it is achromatic (having no hue); however, since color results from human perception, many individuals consider white as a color. The compliment or antagonist of black.
Wildlife Art
Works of art that portray the natural world and the wildlife or domesticated animals that inhabit it. Click for more information about wildlife art.
Woodcut
Illustrations produced when the original printing plate was engraved on a block of wood. One of the oldest methods of printing, dating back to 8th century China.
Word Art
Any art that includes words or phrases as its primary artistic component appearing in various media, including painting and sculpture, lithography and screen-printing, and applied art (T-shirts, mugs, etc.).
Worm’s-eye View 
As if seen from the surface of the earth or the floor looking up from below. A variation on a landscape painting where the horizon is placed very low in the painting or outside of it entirely.
WYSIWYG
(Pronounced “wizzy-wig”) is an acronym for What You See Is What You Get and is used in computing to describe seamlessness between the appearance of edited content on the monitor and the final product.

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UPDATED: 23 March 2021

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