Continuing canvas and watercolour experiments

So, I was feeling quite smug after experiment number one. Watercolour on canvas? No problem…

Then I decided to try an ordinary primed canvas. Utter disaster. Ended up washing it off under the tap. The paint just skittered about on the surface, which I expected, but it seems to fade and dilute. I paint with a lot of water, so unless I really strengthened up my mixes, I don’t think I could get the colour saturation I am after. The grain of the canvas was prominent and not in a good way. The contrast to the Daniel Smith primed surface I used in experiment one was stark.

Muttering to myself, I suddenly remembered a friend had given me a Frisk canvas designed for watercolour. So I hoiked that out of my shed and decided to have a go on that:

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Watercolour on canvas, experiment three

The canvas was quite small – 30x40cm and only a cm or so deep, so would need to go in a tray frame I think to give it a bit of substance. The paint went on better, but did not seem as clear or as reactive to texture, as it had on the canvas primed with DS. It could be down to the pigments but I don’t think so, as the quin magenta and diox purple are usually quite lively. Overall, not that impressed.

From this unscientific sample, I would say I much prefer the DS primer.

I looked on Jacksons and they do three brands of watercolour primer – DS, Golden and Schminke. The Schminke comes in fine or coarse, which might be interesting. But for now, I will prime a few more canvases and carry on….


About lizintheshed

Watercolour artist and copywriter, living and working in the Thames Valley.
This entry was posted in animal portraits, Art, how to, step by step, Techniques, Watercolour and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Continuing canvas and watercolour experiments

  1. Interesting experiment. I have to say, the magenta on the ears has quite a punch. Too bad much of the other color decided to spread and become so dilute. I don’t think I typically use as much water as you do (I formerly painted with oil and acrylic paints, and a lot of that technique has stayed with me), so I think colors would stay put for me a little more, but I bet I would still feel a good deal of lost control with this. Thanks again for sharing…very neat to see the results and hear about your experiences!

    • lizintheshed says:

      For me the dilution is intentional. If you don’t use water and enjoy the flow, marks and transparency, then I am not sure you are using the medium to the full potential. And I think the lack of control is one of the attractions too – happy accidents make watercolour fun!!

      • This is great insight, and a lovely reminder. I am way too fussy with things at times, and I’m really trying to let go a little bit more as I can. Watercolor has definitely taught me to do that not just in painting, but in life in general :-).

  2. Love this! Makes me miss painting sooo much 😦

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