How Do You Make the Color White Using Watercolor Paint?

If you come to watercolor painting from oils or acrylics, you may find yourself wondering where the tube (or pan) of white paint is. The answer is: in watercolor there isn't one. The white in watercolor painting is the paper. You 'make' white by having the paint thin so the white of the paper shows through.

But if you're not a purist, determined that only transparent water-based paints qualify as "watercolor", then get yourself a tube of white gouache, also known as opaque watercolor.

 Some artists also use white acrylic, but remember once acrylic has dried you can't lift it off again, unlike watercolor and gouache which remain water soluble.

If you're submitting a painting to a watercolor competition, be sure to check whether the rules allow for white, or not. Some do, some don't.

See Also:
Watercolor Art Supplies List
Watercolor Painting FAQ