Watercolour

Transparent paint made from powdered pigment bound with gum Arabic and thinned with water in use. The term usually refers to a type of painting where the paint has been applied in washes onto specially prepared white or light coloured paper. It is the light reflecting back from the paper through the colour that gives watercolour its special luminous quality. More generally the term can be used to describe any paint mixed with a medium soluble in water.

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Queen Elizabeth I, by Nicholas Hilliard, 1572 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Queen Elizabeth I
by Nicholas Hilliard
1572
NPG 108

Charles Rousseau Burney, by Edward Francisco Burney, circa 1775-1780 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Charles Rousseau Burney
by Edward Francisco Burney
circa 1775-1780
NPG 1860

Edward Francisco Burney, by Edward Francisco Burney, circa 1785-1800 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Edward Francisco Burney
by Edward Francisco Burney
circa 1785-1800
NPG D14387

Claudine de Begnis (née Ronzi), by Alfred Edward Chalon, circa 1823 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Claudine de Begnis (née Ronzi)
by Alfred Edward Chalon
circa 1823
NPG 1328

The Children of Benjamin and Elizabeth Mayson, attributed to Henry Dorling, 1848 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

The Children of Benjamin and Elizabeth Mayson
attributed to Henry Dorling
1848
NPG 5473

John Ruskin, by Sir Hubert von Herkomer, 1879 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

John Ruskin
by Sir Hubert von Herkomer
1879
NPG 1336

William Roberts, by William Roberts, circa 1912-1913 - NPG  - © William Roberts Society

William Roberts
by William Roberts
circa 1912-1913
NPG 6135

Marlene Dietrich, by Anthony Wysard, published 1937 - NPG  - © reserved; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

Marlene Dietrich
by Anthony Wysard
published 1937
NPG D271

Jean Elizabeth Muir, by David Remfry, 1981 - NPG  - © David Remfry / National Portrait Gallery, London

Jean Elizabeth Muir
by David Remfry
1981
NPG 6556

Sir Roy Yorke Calne; John Bellany, by John Bellany, 1992 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir Roy Yorke Calne; John Bellany
by John Bellany
1992
NPG 6193

Dame Anita Lucia Roddick, by Sara Rossberg, 1995 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Dame Anita Lucia Roddick
by Sara Rossberg
1995
NPG 6335

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