Acrylic over Watercolor on Watercolor Paper

It may be Monday, but the mad scientist lab is still open! Beakers are bubbling.   This is acrylic and watercolor on 5 x 7″ Arches 300 lb. cold press.

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I decided to begin with watered down Golden fluid acrylic paint (Manganese blue hue) on damp watercolor paper to make a wash. Sprayed it with water while it was wet to get some cool effects and let that layer dry. Then went in with Graham azo yellow and quin violet watercolor paint, again on damp paper. The watercolor went over the acrylic fine, and only resisted it a bit where I’d left a bit of an acrylic blob. I refined the painting with fluid acrylics straight from the bottle (hansa yellow light, bit of teal) and Graham heavy body viridian, turquoise, hooker’s green, anthraquinone blue, and Golden Open zinc white, a new fave, bit of Golden Open nickel azo yellow, and a few others, those are the main ones though.  (Note:  As a Blick affiliate, purchases from these links will help support my site.)

I enjoyed making this, and will be doing more of these, combining watercolor and acrylic on the same painting. I’m going to check with Golden today, but based on some information I found on their site, using watered-down acrylics as a wash on paper will work, as the substrate absorbs the wash.    I just love the vibrancy of acrylics, and want to continue to enjoy them by combining them with watercolor as we celebrate World Watercolor Month in July! Have a joyfully creative week. Peace.

87 thoughts on “Acrylic over Watercolor on Watercolor Paper

  1. I’ve never thought of combining acrylic and watercolor, but I’ll have to try it now! I love this. This is the sort of “abstract art” that I really enjoy…all soft and swirly and colorful. It’s got a really cheerful feeling to it. Very summery.

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    1. Thanks, Judith. It’s fun to experiment, and I like the bold vibrancy I can achieve with one layer of acrylic paint, but if you’re ever thinking about archival qualities and the viability of the film layer, etc., there are steps that should be followed. I just had a long talk with a technician at Golden, and it is do-able, but there are lots of factors (or potential factors) involved. For this one, if I was thinking about selling it or framing it, I would likely want to seal it first with a gloss or matte medium. I think it’s really fun to just play and see what happens when they get together though. Part of the fun of art!

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      1. Definitely fun, especially when the results turn out so wonderfully. 🙂 I wonder if sealing it would affect the colors. That happens with charcoal and pastel. I’ve stopped sealing anything unless I absolutely have to.

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          1. I’m thinking artist loft…but then I will be bugged it if comes out good. Maybe I better do my babyest Blick which is 11 X 14. That seems like a good size I think.

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    1. Woot! Me toooooo lol. I wanted to try the Q’or watercolors by Golden. They’re supposed to have a really strong pigment load. Have you ever tried them, Margaret? I am so hooked on acrylics now, but wanting to get the wc effects with the really strong colors (and I love their hues too)……I noticed the color names are the same, so may be worth trying my current fave to see how it compares to the Golden fluid acrylic. This was so much fun to paint, Margaret! I love the effect of the textured wc paper on the acrylic. I think I prefer working on wc paper to canvas! Which is great, because I have a ton of wc paper and don’t want it going to waste. ❤ Glad you liked this one. I really do feel like a mad scientist at times, my art ADD kicking up again lol.

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        1. Yeah, I’m going to do watercolor in July, but I may combine with acrylic. Otherwise, I may not want to do it, and certainly not for 31 days. Just too into acrylic right now. But loving the watercolor look I was able to get with them on this piece! Blick is sending me dot card samples of a bunch of Daniel Smith paints (I had no idea they make iridescent and interference colors – I thought that was only Golden acrylics!) and also some of the Qor colors. I thought I’d try some out and demonstrate them – even if they’re just paint swatches. Of course, you can always call Blick yourself and request the same samples. They don’t give preference to affiliates (as far as I know). I know you’re a big DS fan. Have you tried their metallic or interference colors?

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          1. I got some of the (DS) dots and yes, I totally love the metallic and interference colors. Good for you…..maybe doing a combo of acrylic with wc will be your segue to wc, but who knows you might always paint the two together…..this is your artist journey and no one else’s. As much as I get excited about the thought of you embracing wc, what benefit will be for you if you can’t jump on board. I might try the two together one of these days but first I would like to get some Golden acrylics.

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            1. Margaret, you won’t regret it. Not sure if you feel like sampling some texture products and all the different products in the Golden line (High flow, heavy body, fluid and Open), but if you think you might, I really recommend looking at one of the Golden A to Z sets. A little bit of everything at a (IMO) dynamite price. If I had your skill with paints of any medium, I might try and embrace wc whole hog, but I have not forgot last July, in which (coincidentally) I tried to paint in wc every day. Oh, I wanted to throw my brushes many times. (seriously) and not sure I wanna repeat.

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                1. haha, feel free to peek away, I posted all of my paintings, warts and all. Nothing like what you did in May, mind. Oh they were mostly pathetic, but a couple kind of ok ones came from it. I do love wc but I want that vibrancy. And I don’t want my toes permanently disfigured from the stomping lol!

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                    1. hmm….I think that once you get in and start doing it, it will become automatic. I have read and looked at a lot of books, I say experience and the doing is your best bet. Mixes right down to not just the colors but how much of each will get you different colors, it is a matter of experience if anything.

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  2. This looks like it is a made scientist at work – creating beauty!!! 🙂 And guess what!????! I did a combined watercolor and acrylic this weekend tooooooo. I started with watercolor base and jazzed up with acrylic. LOL! Not sure it is worth sharing – thinking about it….. LOL!

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    1. YAY! Oh, I’d love to see it! 😀 It is so easy to jazz up a watercolor painting this way. Acrylics are so much more vibrant. I think for abstracts (and probably for almost anything) – why not go whole hog and really dive into the most brilliant color you can?? And as long as you’re not watering them down (the fluid acrylics) more than half, you are all good. I hope you share, Jodi! I had so much fun painting with acrylic on this surface – it’s my favorite of all the surfaces I’ve tried with acrylic so far!

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  3. Hey Mad Scientist – you can do washes with watered down acrylic… Just another experiment… Imagine the chroma is more intense even when diluted… Have at it!

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