Found this on the cover page of some book:

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It looks as if the colors have been splashed here. What is the way to make such painting?

2 Answers 2


The process is called working wet into wet.
Wet into wet means the paint medium (be it water colour, acrylic paint, oil paint, ink) is applied to a surface still "wet" with solvent/medium.

The solvent used to apply the previous layer of paint is still present on the surface where the new layer is being applied. The solvent has not yet evaporated (or the oil oxidized). With the solvent still present on the surface any additional paint added to the surface will dissolve as it makes contact with the solvent.

Depending on the surface the paint is applied to different effects are achieved. Paper, wood panel and canvas are very different surfaces on which paint can be applied. If the solvent is infused into the painting surface (such as the fibre weave of a canvas or paper) then the paint will, through capillary action, be drawn into the surface.

Solvent that only sits on the surface (such as when applied to a hard panel board or onto dried paint surface) will only draw the applied paint to where the solvent is present. The wetter the surface (more solvent present) the paint will dissolve further into the surface. But since it's solvent the paint will be further diluted and thinned.

Controlling the wetness of the surface controls how far the applied paint is allowed to diffuse and expand from the point of application.


If you would like to experience the process you wish to know about, do the following:

  1. At your Arts & Crafts Store purchase:
    • inexpensive tubes of water color paints (primary colors blue-red-yellow)
    • a couple of cheap sable brushes
    • cheapest water color pad
    • water color pencils and a sponge
  2. At home tack or tape one sheet of the paper to a board or table
  3. On a paper plate, put a dab of each color you bought to make your pallet and lay out your brushes and pencils if you bought them
  4. Wet your sponge and saturate your paper to the point of almost causing the fibers to separate
  5. Grab a glass with water for your brushes, some paper towel, and q-tips
  6. While the paper is still wet pick up some (not a lot) of paint with the tip of a moistened sable and lightly touch the paper. The paint will want to flow into the water and should travel some distance.
  7. Mix your primary colors on your paper plate and continue to repeat step 6
  8. You'll have the idea and with effort you'll capture the wash technique
  9. As with all projects, stay organized and buy a water color instruction book. this is a great venue but having a library to research at any hour is better.

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