Product Review: Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground Part 2

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

  1. 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?
    Cheers all!

    • 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.

  2. 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!

    • 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.

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