Watercolor refers to both the medium and the resulting artwork. Aquarelles painted with water-soluble colored ink instead of modern water colors are called aquarellum atramento (Latin for “aquarelle made with ink”) by experts. However, this term has now tended to pass out of use.
The traditional and most common support—material to which the paint is applied—for watercolor paintings is watercolor paper. Other supports include papyrus, bark papers, plastics, vellum, leather, fabric, wood, and watercolor canvas (coated with a gesso that is specially formulated for use with watercolours). Watercolor paper is often made entirely or partially with cotton. This gives the surface the appropriate texture and minimizes distortion when wet.