Acrylic on Damp Watercolor Paper

This is 5 x 7″ acrylic on damp 300 lb. Arches cold press watercolor paper.


I had some extra acrylic paint leftover from a recent painting session. I believe it was M. Graham heavy body acrylic in Turquoise and some Golden fluid paint in hansa yellow light. Unlike Golden Open acrylic paints, which can last up to a day or sometimes even longer on the palette without drying, those two were going to be dry in a few minutes if I didn’t use them. So I quickly sprayed a piece of watercolor paper with a misting bottle and swiped the paint on.  (Note:   As a Dick Blick affiliate, purchases from these links will help support my site.)

I thought it looked pretty cool, so I’ve left it alone so far. What do you all think? Should I add to it, or as The Beatles say, Let it Be?   I want to say that I am in LOVE with the vibrancy I get from acrylic paint on damp watercolor paper!   I had a long talk with a technician at Golden Artist Colors yesterday, and she advised that as long as the fluid paints are not diluted by more than half (so you’d want a 1:1 ratio of paint to water, and no less than that), the fibers of the watercolor paper should hold the acrylic paint without a problem.   However, if you’re concerned about the viability of the painting, you can always spray an acrylic fixative on top, or even coat the painting with a gloss or matte (depending on the look you’re going for) polymer medium.   News you can use for this Tuesday!   Peace and paint puddles to all.

71 thoughts on “Acrylic on Damp Watercolor Paper

  1. OOOO! I say Let it Be – Let it Be – Let it Be – Let it Be…. 🙂 It is so beautiful in its simplicity – love those colors together. Thanks for creating magic and sharing what you learn with us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jodi! Glad you like it. Isn’t it funny how something you made just to use the paint in a few seconds can sometimes be better at some level than something you put hours into (like the painting I posted yesterday)?? Lots of white space is good. I really need to learn that I don’t need to fill up the paper. Glad you enjoyed and thanks for the encouragement as always!

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    1. I was wondering what you and Debi would say to this! Thank you for your comment, Margaret. I am already tempted to add more. I will try to resist. I was just happy at what the acrylic gods left in my palette and also glad I had a small piece of WC paper near to hand to go and swipe it on. It wouldn’t have been nearly as cool on dry paper, I don’t think. I do love painting with acrylic on WC paper! Have you tried this?

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      1. Resist!!! White space is GOOD space. lol think Toko Shinoda !! and…. just, crop the image to suit. ie try a Square, an Oval, a Circle, a Panoramic long vertical matt – positioning in several, optional positions. See how That looks. Before you “slap on more paint” (just …a thought) 3d

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            1. Um no. lol. I just found art less than 2 yrs ago but I do think circle would be good for this! And maybe like Charlie said, I could do a series. Would be cool. All with circles! One of my clients/friends is a framer. I will check with them and see if they can do it. They will be able to help with the cropping too as they are art collectors. They run circles around me with their art knowledge. I will look into this! Bless you.

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  2. Yup even I would say Let it be! It’s looking gorgeous 😍
    Ohh My! Laura everyday you try something, you learn something and you share the same with us. Thank you so much for all your sharings 🙂 🙂

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  3. Love your color combo, Laura! Look forward to seeing what you decide to do with it! 😄 BTW, I purchased some of the UV archival fixative spray for the Aquabord to try. And I was reading that using the polymer in “matte” over the fixative could change the colors of your artwork. So I decided to try a satin finish in the Polymer. Have you tried fixing your Aquabord paintings yet? 🎨💕

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    1. Not yet, Jill, but the technician at Golden advised me yesterday that the matte will change the appearance of anything beneath it so I guess it makes sense what you read about the fixative too. I think gloss is probably your best bet to maintain the color. I think there is marble dust in the matte medium. Or something that makes it cloudy. I know they put marble dust in something but I may be getting the matte med mixed up with something else.

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          1. Well, I don’t really know how much it costs. You have to ask a fairy. I hear if you give them something they want like a seed pod or a snail, then they may give you some fairy dust for free! 🌈✨😉

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  4. Laura, I’m envious of your ability to try new things and create learning opportunities with different types of media, including “leftovers.” You’re a great inspiration to keep moving forward!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gee, Laura, this is a tough call. The “artist” in me just screams to fill that white yet the simplicity of what you portrayed is stunning. With my camera I always have in mind “fill the frame” but but but simplicity works best. I mostly delete patterns that are too complex. Hmmmmm ….. Sorry if I made you itch even more to fill that white. LOL ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Your are following your instinct and the results are standing on their own. I’m really enjoying your experimenting series with the acrylics. Thanks for all the information too – I’ve filed much away for later, mine have been put away for a while as I work on the oil pastels for the time being.

        Liked by 3 people

  6. love the simplicity, the summery light FEEL to this!
    I’d say, keep the Feeling. do nothing but start playing now with a variety of matts, to see How you would like it best cropped. small square? big square? an oval? panoramic vertical?…….. you get the idea. etc.. This is what I do. I love doing this. you can FIND the most Amazing creations this way, that are so surprising. and stunning. but DO, look for (Light tone, Mid tone, Dark tone) within the images. cheers, 3d

    Liked by 1 person

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