Watercolor and Absorbent Acrylic Products

I thought I’d create a quick painting to show the difference between Golden’s absorbent ground (left side) and Golden’s light molding paste (right side).


The absorbent ground is much thinner and soupier and, therefore, smoother. What I like is that these products not only work with watercolor, they are easy to correct. Watercolor lifts right back to the light molding paste or absorbent ground (in this case, applied to the white canvas panel) very easily. Once the paint has dried, it still lifts easily with a damp paper towel or rag.

Artist and teacher Chris Cozen asserts in her videos on Artist’s Network TV that Golden’s absorbent ground can be used to “correct” watercolor paintings by placing the ground over a section of watercolor paper and painting over it. Has anyone tried this? (I had to try painting on the absorbent ground once I heard this.) I find them very similar in terms of absorbency and ability to easily lift back to white. The difference I’m seeing is the much more substantial body and moldability of the light molding paste.   I just love love love the look of the underlying texture of both products once the paint is added.    It jazzes the heck outta me.   And this was really easy to do.   Only took a few minutes.    The products are quite absorbent, and I needed several layers of paint to get this depth of color, but not much more than I’d need on high-quality watercolor paper.   (Note: As a Blick affiliate, I may receive a portion of your purchases generated from these links.)

I hope we are all dancing through this lovely June week! Hoping for more LARGE (well, 8×10″ is still large to me) acrylic paintings soonish! Really enjoying them. And tomorrow will be the June installment of Draw A Bird Day, for anyone interested in participating by posting some bird artwork!    *peep peep*   Peace.

70 thoughts on “Watercolor and Absorbent Acrylic Products

  1. Well this looks like waves on the sand…
    I had to laugh at your ending, as my daughters have started going “cheep cheep” at me when they want to get my attention. There will be birds tomorrow! (K)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Your experiment looks lovely, just like ocean waves, the colors work so well with the texture and the changes of shading. Did a bit of ‘dabbing’ with the DS Ground, but will have to continue experimenting. Wanted to build small points of texture but not necessarily cover up areas…may have to order the transparent ground and see if that works with my crazy notions better. Oh the joy of playing with paint and other mediums.

    Liked by 1 person

              1. I’ll give it some thought. One of the main characters in my WIP isn’t fully fleshed out yet. She could very well be someone who dabbles in art. I think it would fit her personality. It might… I’ll definitely let you know. I’ve always been interested in the process and the creative personality of painters, so it might be a good fit for her.

                Liked by 1 person

  3. The coolest amusement park ever!! That is an awesome way of putting it Laura. I love the cool wavey action of this painting and your description of getting there. Keep on having fun at the amusement park!! LOL 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh your enthusiasm Loo! 🙂 So delightful how excited you get about these products! 🙂

    I got my “little box” of goodies yesterday, opened it to look, and am overwhelmed…. LOL – Don’t even know where to begin.

    What was the first thing you did or what would you recommend? You are right – there is so much more to acrylics than I knew…. All these texturing compounds, etc.

    I still feel like I’m learning watercolor – not sure what I was thinking when I bought – haha! Got caught up in your excitement I think. 🙂 Now you need to tell me what to do with it.

    Your painting is so beautiful – definitely the ocean and sand. So lovely. How large is it. Will this go in your gallery collection? Have you started selling any yet?

    Thanks for sharing your experience and learning process of the products!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Jodi! So glad you enjoyed this one. I was amazed at how easy this was to do. This is on a 5×7″ canvas panel, and I was amazed that watercolor actually worked on it, even though it was pre-primed with acrylic gesso. It would definitely have to be sealed though, as I could lift this whole painting up with a damp towel at this point. Yay for your box of goodies! Ok, here is what I suggest. Watch Chris Cozen’s videos on Artist’s Network TV. I got my box during busy season, and I literally had the ipad on my desk during work just playing in the background. Even when you can’t focus, the information is sinking in, lol. I think she has seven lessons on there, and they’re fairly long. There is a link to her videos in this post. I can also recommend her book, “Acrylic Solutions” and another book that I believe Jill told me about: “Acrylic Revolution” by Nancy Reyner. Let me know if you need anything else! You’re in for loads of fun, Jodi! and oooh, the joys of white paint and the power of covering up and trying again lol! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my gosh! It looks like the beach. So peaceful. Good thing I’m going in July! Thanks Laura! You meal me smile every time you post. Let me know when your shop is on line. I have money burning a hole in my pocket to support you. 😉

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  6. I also thought it looked like a beach. Have you tried yupo before? It’s synthetic paper that’s very smooth and watercolor does strange things on it because it sits on top without soaking in. It’s also extremely easy to lift watercolor from it, but that makes it challenging because it seems like very move results in accidentally lifting paint.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, Teresa! In terms of using it for correction, it’s thin maybe it’s so thin that it’s hard to notice on the watercolor paper? Chris Cozen is an acrylic artist so I’m not sure how many wc paintings she has corrected with this, or exactly how that would be done, but if she says it, I would at least try it. The last wc painting I did, I would want to correct the entire painting, lol, so I’ll wait until I just need a small area fixed and I’ll let you know how it works out. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Fun! Cool! Playful! I’m such a fan of molding paste for wc, and yours certainly showcases its assets beautifully!! lovely balance – in all areas Laura. its not too busy, just right.
    I’m so glad lots are reading this post and seeing what molding paste can do with wc! sheer fun.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. yes, I’ve tried it. and, for me personally…. I don’t find it suits Me. You may love it, and it may be the bee’s knees for you!
        I just so much more prefer molding paste. or gesso. or…… to work wc on impasto medium!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Very interesting! I keep reading about molding paste, so I guess I’ll have to put that on my ever-growing “want” list. 🙂 Texture is one thing I’ve always loved in art, so it would be good to learn how to create it! I love those “waves” you’ve painted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much, I really appreciate that! I was surprised and pleased at how easy this was and how well it turned out. I kind of thought mixing the two texture products on a little 5×7 panel would look choppy but they blended pretty seamlessly! Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

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