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The Watercolor Art Index – the WAI – is a qualification system for valuing watercolor artworks and thus the watercolor artist on various aspects. The Watercolor Art Index was developed by Aquarel Art with the main purpose of helping you as a buyer of watercolor art in your choice to buy a particular work of art. Is that really necessary?


Choosing a work of art is easy

Your primary reaction to seeing a work of art is the best indicator of what you like. Without any doubt, you will be able to directly choose the painting from a wide range where everything comes together for you; the subject, the composition, the style, the colours, the expressiveness and the mood that the work of art radiates. You don't need a qualification system for that.

Of course, sometimes you need to consult with your partner. It goes without saying that you have to think about whether it fits into your interior. However, that does not make the artwork any less beautiful for you. So it's so easy to choose art!


Buying a work of art is difficult

After your choice, rational questions are usually addressed. Still reeling from your spontaneous choice, you wonder what others might think; family, friends and other associates of your choice. And after your choice follows the inevitable question of what price you should or want to pay for the painting. Each answer to that produces a secondary response. It forces you to reconsider.

Is that worth it? Will it keep that value? Is this type of artwork doing well on the market? Are we talking about a well-known or emerging artist? Is it not only beautiful, but does the work also have other qualities to appreciate? Is it art with a small or large A? And finally, but not exhaustively, am I making a good buy or am I paying too much?

To answer these questions, we have developed the Watercolor Art Index.


Watercolor Art Index Judging Criteria

There are dozens of refined criteria that can be used to assess a watercolor. The WAI qualification system has summarized this into four main criteria:

  • Mastery of watercolor technique, application and use of color and fabric expression.
  • Drawing skills and composition quality.
  • Creative concept and originality.
  • individuality; a distinctive personal style.

An assessment committee, expert members of the Advisory Board of Aquarel Art, assess on the basis of a points system whether there is sufficient, good, high or excellent quality. Several works are assessed per artist so that a balanced assessment is possible.


Appreciation and Recognition: The WAI Qualification

Not leading, but co-determining is the extent to which an artist is valued and honored with exhibitions, solo exhibitions, assessment by peers or critics. Is an artist written about in professional magazines or public magazines? Are works of art included in museums or public spaces? The extent to which an artist sells his or her works of art is of course also an indicator of appreciation and success. National or international.

The organization behind the Watercolor Art Index registers and verifies recent achievements. By the way, not without losing sight of the fact that previously achieved achievements and tributes paid do count.

Combined, the qualitative assessment and the performance appreciation enable the Watercolor Art Index organization to assign a quality level and award a title to assessed artists. You understand that only the best watercolor artists are eligible for a title.


WAI-EA: the artist is qualified as Emerging Artist. Artworks are characterized by sufficient to striking quality.

WAI-RA: the artist is qualified as Recognized Artist. Artwork characteristics are usually of sufficient to high quality.

WAI-MA: the artist is qualified as Master. Artworks are of very high quality to indisputable excellence.

WAI-IM: the artist performs at the same level as a Master, but also does this at an international level and is therefore qualified as International Master. Works of art are characterized qualitatively by an indisputable excellence.

The WAI title awarded is listed with each artist's profile.


Our promise; reasonable prices for every quality level

We have conducted broad and deep national and international research into the current prices for watercolor art. We have taken into account many factors that are important for the European market.

For each WAI title awarded, we have established certain bandwidths within which the price for a work of art can move. The rating system we use guarantees reasonable prices at every quality level. Prices that we can defend based on quality and performance. Explained differently; if we find an asking price of a work of art unjustified, we will not include this work in our collection.


View all by Watercolor Art Index here honorary titles awarded.

Read more about the Advisory Board of Watercolor Art.

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