I started painting with watercolor, I think the unpredictability of the medium and its refusal to do what I wanted it to do got me hooked right away. I still enjoy painting with watercolors but am also sometimes working with fluid acrylics to be able to work on bigger pieces.
The paper was mounted on board for this painting, it is 48 x 48 inches. The paper was purchased as a roll so it could be big enough to fit on the board, and this is about the maximum size you could go with a roll on one side at least.
What are the main differences in working with fluid acrylics or with watercolors?
With fluid acrylics, you can paint on paper or canvas but with watercolors, it is a bit tricky to paint on canvas. You can still do it but the colors will lift very easily making it almost impossible to layer any color. You can find ways around that, like mixing or fixing your watercolors with gel medium or using a workable fixative in between layers. Here is an example of a painting were I used watercolors on canvas.
In this painting, the background foliage has been painted with watercolors on canvas.
Then the watercolor has been fixed by painting a layer of fluid medium on top.
Painting wet on wet
Fluid acrylics and watercolor are very similar in many ways, and you can use both media to paint wet on wet. Wet on wet is a technique were you leave colors mixing on the canvas to get interesting variations of colors.
Painting wet into wet with watercolors on paper.
I am a Blick Art Materials affiliate and I receive a small compensation for sales. That does not effect in any way the cost of the purchaser’s order but it helps me keeping the content of this blog free.
Same palette of traditional colors the great masters used a century ago. Liquid-poured means semi-moist pans respond instantly to a wet brush. 24 pans in plastic case. Also individual pans. – Master Set
Painting wet on wet with fluid acrylics on canvas.
On this video you can see me painting a background wet in wet on a canvas laid flat on a table, and on the next video you can see me painting trees trunks wet in wet on a canvas set at an angle on an easel.
I like to use layering techniques for watercolor paintings, especially for portraits as it gives me more control on edges.
I like to use a layering technique to paint watercolor portraits
Layering works even better with acrylic as it has the advantage of not lifting very easily like watercolor, you can layer your colors with fluid acrylics as you would with watercolor.
Working with fluid acrylics even allows you to work with layers on yupo paper, which is a very tricky thing to do with watercolors.
You can layer colors on yupo paper with fluid acrylics, that would be very difficult to do with watercolors.
Here is a example of layering fluid acrylics to paint trees on canvas.
Lifting up colors works really well with watercolors and is something I do all the time to retrieve lighter colors. With watercolors, you can just use a stiff brush and a bit of water.
You can still lift up colors with acrylic but it takes a bit more effort, I like to do that with a Mr clean Magic eraser.
Masking fluid works equally well on paper and on canvas to preserve some white areas.
Masking fluid on watercolor paper.
Masking fluid on canvas with fluid acrylics.