A few days ago, I started a review on Daniel Smith’s Watercolor Ground. I had to stop to allow the ground to thoroughly dry. Once the ground was dry, I wanted to put it through its paces.
First, using Daniel Smith watercolor sticks in yellow, red and blue, I painted a tag using the wet-on-dry method. Good color coverage and good color blending.
Next, I painted over the transparency. There was not any difference between the roughed-up section and the smooth section. Both of these were wet-in-wet techniques using Daniel Smith Prima-Tek colors–watercolors made from authentic mineral pigments. I loved the technique, and I loved the result.
Here is the watercolor ground on black paper. Again, I didn’t see much difference between the single coat and double coat of ground. I wanted a heavier saturation, even with wet-in-wet, so I loaded the brush with color. Again, good results, and the drydown still has enough contrast to make a good background.
Finally, you may remember the white fabric box I made last week. I painted the box with watercolor ground, waited until it was damp dry, sprayed it with distilled water and used the watercolor sticks and a brush to apply color. I wanted to see if I cold get a fresco effect–paint applied to wet plaster. I deliberately did not try blending, just applying color on wet ground. I like the clear colors and cloud effect, although I will continue to work on the box once it is dry.
I’m pleased with the results of watercolor ground on paper, fabric, and transparency. I like the feel, although I might sand some of the finish down if I wanted a smooth look. I think there is a lot of potential here, for mixed media artists and book artists alike.
FTC required disclosure: I purchased all materials from Daniel Smith or Arizona Art Supply. I was not compensated in any way for this review.
9 thoughts on “Product Review: Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground Part 2”
Thank you for this review! I have been wondering what this new product is capable of.
I think it would be really useful to ‘rescue’ a passage in a watercolour… I wonder, has anyone tried this?
Does the watercolour ground end up looking a bit chalky?
Yes, you can use this to cover up part of a watercolor and then re-do it. It has a definite “feel”–like cold-pressed watercolor paper. You can see a lot of use videos on danielsmith’s website.
Thank you so much!
Can we use a fixative on watercolor ground when done painting? How can one ensure that it becomes waterproof ?
The Daniel Smith website says: “The last step is to spray the project with an Archival Aerosol MSA Varnish with UVLS to protect it.”
So this is being used as you would use gesso, impasto or modelling paste mediums with acrylic paints? Interesting! I assume it is a fairly sturdy product if you intend using it on fabric; would it crack if the fabric was moved, crunched up or otherwise handled, as in a small quilt or piece of textile art that would require sewing? Look forward to hearing about your further experiments. In the meantime I shall try and hunt it up locally and have a play myself.
It is used exactly like gesso, but it is fiber-y and can bend. I did not try to crunch it up yet. The box is stable, and the other pieces I used it on were papers that can’t be used as watercolor substrates. because of color or absorbancy. So yes, I’ll be trying it on fabric that gets scrunched up, too!
I’m not sure what purpose a watercolor ground has? You can paint paper and fabric already, with watercolors, so why start with a ground?
The original use of the product is to give metal, plastic, glass and other non-watercolor friendly substrates a surface for watercolor. While you can paint paper with watercolors I’m painting black paper with watercolors, and that doesn’t work all that well. In the original post, I mentioned that I was interested in the texture the watercolor ground created on smooth book papers, or papers that really aren’t well suited for wet-in-wet watercolor on successfully. Like cloth. Like transparencies. Eventually, I want to use this for collage, as both a surface treatment, as as a watercolor substrate.