wash - A thin, translucent layer of pigment, usually watercolor or India ink.
Often it is the background of a picture, prepared using watery paint applied quickly using large, sweeping brushstrokes. A wet area of wash can be made lighter by blotting.
Examples of the use of wash:
Turkey, c. 1575, Dragons Entwined On A Spray of Foliage, ink, color washes, and gold on paper, 7 1/8 x 3 3/4 inches (18.1 x 9.4 cm), Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, called Il Guercino (Italy, 1591-1666), An Assembly of Learned Men, c. 1625-1627, brown ink and wash, 10 5/8 x 15 3/8 inches (26.99 x 39.05 cm), Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Pietro da Cortona (Italian, 1596-1669), Christ on the Cross with the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene, and Saint John, about 1661, pen and brown ink, with gray-brown wash, heightened with white body color over black chalk, 15 7/8 x 10 7/16 inches (40.3 x 26.5 cm), J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA.
Francesco Guardi (Italian, 1712-1793), Triumphal Arch on the Embankment, Venice, pen and brown ink with brown wash, watercolor, heightened with white, 28 x 19.1 cm, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (Spanish, 1746-1828), It's Your Saint's Day (Es el Dia de su Santo), 1796, brush and grey wash, 0.235 x 0.146 m, Louvre. See caricature and Romanticism.
Caspar David Friedrich (German, 1774-1840), Moonrise, 1835-1837, sepia wash over a pencil sketch, bordered with India ink, 24.5 x 34.5 cm, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. See German art and Romanticism.
Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917), Standing Figure, Robed, c. 1880-1882, pen and brown ink, brown wash, and watercolor, 7 x 4 9/16 inches (17.78 x 11.59 cm), Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Theodore Robinson (American, 1852-1896), Portrait of a Woman Seated on a Balcony, 19th century, gray wash, laid down, 12 1/16 x 9 1/8 inches (30.64 x 23.18 cm), Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Also see acrylic paints, autographic ink, body color, Chinese art, gouache, heighten, highlight, India ink, ink, Japanese art, oil paint, quill pen, sepia ink, stain, watercolor, and zinc white.