Art Terms — W

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A glossary of art vocabulary and definitions beginning with 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
Colors 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 for identification of the paper and paper maker. 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 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 is the result of human perception, many individuals consider white as a color. The compliment or antagonist of black.
Wildlife Art
Works of art which 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 a variety of different media including painting and sculpture, lithography and screen-printing as well as 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 picture, or outside of it completely.
WYSIWYG
(Pronounced “wizzy-wig”) is an acronym for What You See Is What You Get, and is used in computing to describe a seamlessness between the appearance of edited content on the monitor and final product.

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UPDATED: 23 March 2021


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