Watercolour grounds

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Watercolour grounds

How do I paint with watercolour on canvas?


Ask Jacksons: I love painting with watercolour but find framing paper limiting. How do I paint with watercolour on canvas?


Watercolour paint requires a delicate balance of absorbency - the surface needs to be absorbent enough to accept the paint, but not too absorbent or the result will be dull. Watercolour paper is designed to provide this balanced surface, making it ideal for watercolour - but it’s not the only option. Most canvases are designed for acrylic and oil and are not absorbent enough for watercolour. A watercolour ground, also known as an acrylic primer or absorbent ground, is an acrylic-based primer that can be applied to many surfaces, including ready-primed canvases, to make them suitable for watercolour painting. While paper is delicate and requires framing to be exhibited safely, stretched canvases provide sturdy supports for artworks and can be exhibited without framing. Watercolour grounds are available in different textures and colours. Read our comparison of several watercolour grounds on canvas to find out more.



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