There is a temptation amongst beginners to describe a painting as having made use of one medium in its creation when, in fact there are more than one. The finished work should be described as a mixed media product. If graphite (pencil) is used it not purely a watercolour painting. If body paint is included to add white for instance, it should be included in the description. Many artists use acrylic paints to fill in the blocks of paint before finishing with oils. This can hardly be described simply as an oil painting. Waterproof pens add detail and depth to watercolour depictions and should be described as line and wash or wash and line, depending on which was used first.
Acrylic paint is useful as a body paint to achieve paler shades over existing dark watercolour washes but is also body paint and, therefore, not transparent as is watercolour. Inks mixed with watercolour must be described.The only media that can be ignored and not described as 'mixed' are varnishes and masking texturizing fluids as these have always been used in painting techniques without the need to mention them. In the same way the description would not mention the use of salt or sugar as a granulating method. The person considering purchasing a painting deserves honesty in the same way that any consumer buying consumables does. They may not be concerned with that amount of detail but that does not excuse the lack of information up front.
by Barbara G Le Blanc