Introducing the Watercolor Glossary!

Watercolor Glossary

Watercolor painting has a reputation for being difficult and, as with any craft or hobby, starting to learn to paint can be daunting. Maybe you don’t feel confident in your drawing, or you aren’t sure how to work up the courage to actually put paint to paper, or maybe you are overwhelmed by the amount of supplies and techniques you have to learn. Supplies with names like frisket, hot-pressed, Kolinsky sable, and half-pans.

It’s okay! I’ve got you!

This glossary will be an on-going series that explores the supplies and techniques specific to watercolor. My hope is that it will become a comprehensive resource for students of watercolor. Whether you’re just starting out and need someone to hold your hand for a little while or if you’ve been painting for a while and are looking to get some more detailed information.

As a self-taught artist and self-proclaimed Art Supply Nerd, I’ve learned and absorbed information for years and my students can tell you that sometimes I get a little carried away talking about art supplies and just where those paint pigments originated* but there is an endlessly fascinating world out there, and I believe that the more we learn, the better we will become at this craft.

I’ll be starting with simple supplies and techniques. Just what is the difference between hot- and cold-pressed paper? What kind of brushes do you need? Why are there so many kinds of paint out there!? And then I’ll move on to some questions that I would really like to know the answers to, like…how exactly do they get the hair for watercolor brushes? And where does the name liquid frisket come from??

Eventually, I hope to include interviews with specialists and artisans who continue to create beautiful supplies and use both traditional and contemporary techniques. I sure don’t know everything, but what I don’t know I’ll find out. Feel free to send me your questions for future editions by writing to No question is too basic, I promise! A new post will go up each Wednesday and I’ll be answering questions here and on my Instagram page where you can find me @alexsgardenstudio.

There’s a lot to learn out there, so let’s get to it! Let me know in the comments, what are you hoping to learn about?

*Hint: cow urine, crushed beetles, burned bones. INTERESTING, right?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s