ArtLex Art Dictionary




wwash - 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.




see thumbnail to leftGiovanni 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.



see thumbnail to rightPietro 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.





see thumbnail to leftAuguste 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.





see thumbnail to rightTheodore 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.



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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.




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