Sunday, December 4, 2011

Painting Watercolor on Canvas

QUESTION: Can you paint watercolor on canvas? Any special preparation or tips?
Thanks! Kathy, Duluth, MN
Susie's Reply: In a word...YES! And you guessed correctly, raw canvas does need to be treated or preped for the watercolor to adhere to it without soaking into the canvas. Gesso is widely used as a ground applied to canvas to prep it for painting but regular gesso is non absorbent and doesn't work for watercolor. Daniel Smith developed a watercolor ground that makes it possible to paint with watercolor on almost any surface.
You'll find out more about this new product on the Daniel Smith website:

Just a little disclaimer: I don't work for Daniel Smith, I recommend their products because I believe in them and I am familiar with the products I recommend.

There is also a watercolor canvas made especially for watercolor by Fredrix. It's available in pads, stretched canvas, and mounted on watercolor boards. Most art suppliers carry this product.
I have experimented with painting on watercolor canvas and had fun trying new techniques. As I said it was fun, but not a suitable substitute for my signature style of painting. Try it you may like it!!!

Thanks for writing Kathy! Let me know how you like these products if you try them!

Watercolor Brush Question

QUESTION: Brush Question I just purchased your waves video in addition to Painting Sentimental Roses. I want to know exactly what brand and type of Daniel Smith round brushes you used in the painting waves demonstration. Thank you so much!  KW

I use the Daniel Smith Platinum Series 23 Multi-Media Synthetic Round # 10 and #8. Here is a link to the DS site.
They are very reasonability priced so I recommend getting two of each size (#10 and #8) They will last twice as long if you alternate using them.

To some artists it looks like I abuse my brushes...I prefer to say I make them work for me. I scrub and lift and splay the bristles to create textures. If the tip loses its point, these are cheap enough to replace it with a new one and use the worn brush for those rougher techniques.

I do have a couple of sets of brushes on my site for convenience but my supply is very limited. I package my favorites for my students so they can order them when they order the DVDs.
I do mark them up slightly since I don't get much of a discount from DS. You probably get a better price per brush by ordering from DS directly.
Thanks for asking!
Happy Painting!