How to blend watercolor on canvas?

How To Blend Watercolor On Canvas: 6 Awesome Tips!

We're an affiliate

We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Thank you if you use our links, we really appreciate it!

If you’re a watercolor painter, I bet you are always looking for new surfaces to paint on. There may be many surfaces available for you to experiment your watercolors on, but there’s a certain attraction towards a regular canvas.

There’s one thing you should remember before using a standard canvas, used for oils and acrylics, for your watercolors that it won’t work out as you have hoped. And that’s why watercolor canvas was invented. But if you’re still keen on switching from watercolor canvas to standard canvas, then here are some important things that you should consider,

How To Blend Watercolor On Canvas

If you want to blend the colors to work on standard canvas,

  1. You can use liquid paint to rub a wet color onto your palette to combine watercolors.
  2. Then dab in a third, or even a couple more colors.
  3. To begin mixing and matching colors, drag them together in the palette.
  4. Then, once you have the mix you desire, change it by adding more and different colors.

Remember that you can use different mixing strategies when you begin. The majority of watercolor paintings are produced using a variety of techniques. For your under-paint layer of pigment, you might, for example, use a wet on a wet wash. Then, using wet on dry glazing, you can finish the drawing.

Experimentation and experience are ideal. You could lose control of the paint in one area while gaining control of fine details in another. You’ll eventually find a mixing style that fits you the best. Watercolor artists use watercolor canvas instead of the canvas used for acrylic or oil paints. 

Priming For Watercolor On Standard Canvas

To use watercolors on canvas, a special base is needed, which is why watercolor canvas was made. If you’re planning to consider using watercolors on a canvas that will usually be used with oil or acrylic paints, you’ll need to take special precautions to prepare it.

The results may not be perfect, but they’re doable, and you’ll also need to make a lot of the adjustments listed for watercolor canvas.

  1. Apply at least two coats of gesso to the canvas as normal, allowing each to dry entirely between the coats.
  2. Enable 5-6 thin coats of a watercolor layer, such as QoR Watercolor Ground or Golden Absorbent Ground, to dry fully between each coat.
  3. Allow at least 24 hours for the canvas to dry before applying watercolor ink.

What Are Watercolors?

Watercolor paint is a translucent medium for painting. Watercolor is made up of colored pigments suspended in a water-based binder. When you apply water to the ink, it dissolves, helping you to scatter the color with a brush.

What Are Watercolor Canvas?

Watercolor canvas is a relatively new addition to painters’ surface choice. Unlike standard canvas, this one has been prepared with a special mixture that makes it more absorbent and compatible with water-based paints. 

A watercolor canvas, like anything else, has benefits and drawbacks. Even seasoned watercolorists will discover that they need to learn and use a few different watercolor techniques.

Tips For Using Watercolors

Here are some tips and tricks you need to know before using watercolors

1. Have Proper Art Tools

It makes a huge difference with the right equipment in your toolbox. To get results you’ll be satisfied with, you need to use high-quality products.

Poor-quality materials often fail to perform as anticipated, resulting in dissatisfaction, wasted time, and resources.

It can also discourage you from continuing to paint because the effects would be inferior to those obtained with high-quality materials such as paper, paints, canvas, brushes, etc.

2. Water To Paint Ratio

Based on what you’re aiming to do, the water to paint ratio will change.

If you use too much water, the colors would be too light. It can even trigger paint to scatter further than you’d like, as well as color mixing and muddying. 

A lack of water may result in thick colors that don’t flow or lay down properly, or in brushstrokes that are clearly streaky.

3. Wet On Wet Technique VS. Wet On Dry Technique

Although watercolor painting can be done in a variety of ways, there are two simple techniques that will yield various results depending on your goals:

Wet On Wet TechniqueWet On Dry Technique
refers to the application of wet paint to wet paper or the addition of wet paint to a fresh paint washRefers to the application of wet paint on dry paper or wet paint on a dry paint surface
This results in a fluid, entertaining, and unpredictable outcomeMore control and crisp
With a wet-on-wet strategy, you have less leverageDefined edges are possible with this technique
To try it, wet the paper with clean water and then apply watercolor paint to the wet areas. The paint will flow to the damp areas.  The color can just follow the path of the brush.  

4. Work From Light To Dark

When working with watercolor, it’s important to start with the lightest colors and work your way up to the darker ones. There’s no need to rush; take your time.

We begin with the light colors because it is difficult to undo after the dark colors have been applied. Because of the transparency of watercolor, if the light colors are masked by dark colors, they won’t appear.

Often, since the white and light areas of the painting are created by the paper, prepare ahead and keep track of which areas you want to leave white. Masking fluid is an excellent way to keep parts of the artwork white.

5. Dry Time

The amount of time it takes for your painting to dry depends on your goals. Apply layers on top of wet paint if you want shades to mix and blend into each other.

When using wet paints, be careful not to over-layer so the shades will quickly get muddy.

6. Mixing Paints

Watercolor art necessitates a great deal of time and preparation. Often mixing more color than you think you’ll need for your palette, is a good rule of thumb.

If you run out of pigment, mixing the very same color again can be extremely difficult, so be careful.

Final Verdict

You can blend the watercolors on the canvas following the above techniques but it is preferred to use a watercolor canvas instead of a normal canvas because it can give you a much more defined finish and is specially designed for watercolors.

If you liked this article, you may want to join our community through this Newsletter. I look to provide something extra to the people who are interested! See you on the other side!