Watercolor painting is the utilization of pigments that are soluble in a liquid. Typical paints are comprised of four principle ingredients. The colorant refers to the pigment used. The binder is the substance that adheres the pigment to the surface to which it is applied. The additives alter the viscosity, durability, or color of the pigment mixture. And finally, the solvent is the substance which is used to thin the paint in order to apply it to a surface. The surface used in watercolor painting is most commonly a specially made paper with the ability to absorb the watercolor.
The technique behind watercolor is vastly unique in comparison with painting in other mediums, such as oil painting. Because the paint is thin, there is the ability for it to spread from the spot it was initially applied to. Different colors and strokes may blend together. Thus watercolor painting is mostly about the ability to understand the behavior of water and adapt oneself to it, rather than trying to control it. In addition, because water color is vastly transparent, mistakes are not easily hidden or erased. Thus each brushstroke must be intentional and exact in a medium that is anything but.