Many different mediums can be used for painting, and watercolour often comes to mind. However, not everyone knows that this type of painting can also be done on canvas. In fact, doing so can create some lovely and unique pieces of art.
Keep reading to learn more about watercolour painting on canvas and see if it’s something you’d like to try!
Watercolour painting is done with water-based colours, which gives it its unique look and feel. It’s also one of the oldest forms of painting used for centuries. It is still popular today despite being one of the older forms. Many artists choose to use this medium because of its versatility and ability to create beautiful art pieces.
Watercolour painting is known for its soft and gentle look, which can greatly contrast more harsh or bright paintings. Several washes of colour can be applied to create a range of different effects, which makes this type of painting so popular.
Traditionally, watercolour paintings are done on paper because they are light and absorbent. Moreover, the paper’s surface creates luminosity and transparency often desired in watercolour paintings. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t do watercolour painting on canvas.
Watercolour Painting on Canvas
When it comes to watercolour painting, many different mediums can be used. Some people prefer to stick to traditional methods and paint on paper. However, others are starting to experiment with watercolour painting on canvas.
So, what is a watercolour painting on canvas? In a nutshell, it’s the act of painting with watercolours on a canvas surface. However, take note that watercolour painting cannot be done on standard canvas for oil or acrylic painting; instead, there is a specific type of canvas made for watercolour.
Watercolour canvas is specially made to absorb the water-based paint, and it also has a finer tooth than other canvases. This allows the watercolour to be absorbed more quickly and prevents the colours from spreading too much. The finished product is often a softer and more delicate painting than if it were done on paper.
Pros & Cons of Watercolour Canvas
Although watercolour canvas is a relatively new product and surface, it has been growing in popularity in recent years.
One of the watercolour canvas pros is that the paint can be lifted and blended very easily, which is desirable in watercolour painting. You can even wash the paint off the canvas completely and start over if you don’t like how it’s looking. This can be a great way to experiment with different techniques and colours.
Another pro of watercolour canvas is that it doesn’t require as much preparation as other surfaces. You don’t need to gesso or prime the surface before you start painting, which can save you some time.
Moreover, the watercolour canvas can cope with a fair amount of water without warping or buckling, just like paper does. This means that you can use a lot of washes and layers in your painting, which can create some beautiful effects.
However, watercolour canvas does have a few cons as well. One is its subpar absorbency compared to paper, meaning that it can take a bit longer for the paint to dry. If you’re not careful, this can lead to smudging and streaking.
Another con is that watercolour canvas is more expensive than other canvases. So, if you’re on a tight budget, this might not be the best option for you.
Types of Watercolour Canvas
When it comes to watercolour canvas, there are a few different types that you can choose from.
This is the most popular type and is designed with watercolours right out of the box. The surface is primed and ready for painting, and the canvas itself is a lightweight material that’s easy to work with.
There are three formats available: pre-stretched, pad, or board format. The pre-stretched option is the easiest to use, as it doesn’t require any additional stretching or preparation. The pads are perfect for travelling, and the boards are great for larger paintings.
Technically, this is a standard canvas that has been primed for watercolour painting, but it’s not as absorbent as the ready-made variety. This type is good if you have extra canvas lying around and want to try out watercolour painting, but it’s not as ideal as the ready-made variety.
You need to create a special base to absorb the watercolour paint to get started. Gesso should be used when priming a canvas for watercolour, as it’s the most absorbent and will achieve the best results.
The following are the steps to take for priming a canvas for watercolour:
Step One: Coat of gesso to the canvas
The first step is to apply 2 or more coats of gesso to the entire surface of the canvas. This will provide a suitable surface for the paint to adhere to and give you a white base to work with. Apply it thinly and allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next.
Step Two: Paint the canvas with a watercolour ground
The second step is to paint the entire surface of the canvas with 5-6 thin layers of watercolour ground. This will help seal the canvas and create a more absorbent surface for the paint.
There are several different types of watercolour ground available, mostly in transparent or titanium white variants.
Step Three: Allow the canvas to dry completely
Once you’ve applied the watercolour ground, allow the canvas to dry completely before starting to paint. This can take anywhere from 24 hours or more, so be patient and let it dry thoroughly before beginning your project.
Start Your New Project
Now that you know all about watercolour painting on canvas, it’s time to start your new project. Using a canvas when doing a watercolour painting can be a different experience to start with, but it is worth trying out. If you are accustomed to working on paper, there can be a learning curve in using a canvas. Nonetheless, doing a watercolour painting on canvas can be a rewarding experience, as the artwork could be something that you hang on your wall or give as a gift. Just remember some of the things to consider when using this medium and get started on your next masterpiece.