How to paint with Watercolors on any kind of surface

I started painting some foggy forest scenes recently and received so many positive comments about them when I posted them on Instagram. That was a very pleasant surprise - thank you all! :)

Many of my followers were asking about more process videos and I promised to post more videos - not only on Instagram but perhaps on YouTube or vimeo. I have to decide which to choose. I will keep everyone posted about this. I'm thankful for opinions and/or recommendations.

Meanwhile I also started experimenting with a product I heard about a few months ago: It’s called Watercolor Ground and is supposed to provide a watercolor suitable surface on any kind of surface… which means I can paint with watercolors on rocks, wood, metal?!?!? Of course I had to try that :)

Here is my first result: I used it on a wooden disk (that I found in my craft stash) and I really like it so far.
The paint behaves a bit different - I found it spreads farther than it would on paper. But this is from just two trials. I will experiment further and let you know.

  1. I painted the disk(s) with white acrylic paint first (because I wanted a white background base, not the natural wooden tone) and let it dry thoroughly. 
  2. After the acrylic paint was dry, I applied the Watercolor Ground on top of the acrylic paint. I let it dry and applied a second coat of Watercolor Ground. It is suggested to let this medium cure for 24 to 48 hours. I did that and could hardly wait to add paint! 
  3. Time to use your watercolor paints! I decided to go for the little forest scene with a night sky and on the second disk I prepped a dark background for a ‘galaxy’. I’ll post the end result soon!

Well, here you go, that’s how it looks:

I really like it. What about you?! :)
I will add some stars to the sky, I think. I shall post the end result some times soon!

Materials used:

  • wooden disks (I had mine at hand, but you can find them at your local craft store, I’m sure. If not, you can buy them online - if you click the disk image below, it takes you to one of many offers on amazon.)
  • watercolor brush (I used a generic brand one from Germany for applying my watercolors) 
  • regular craft brush (for applying the acrylic paint and the Watercolor Ground)
  • acrylic paint (I’m sure you can use any acrylic paint - I used the one pictured below)
  • Watercolor Ground - transparent (I used the one pictured below from Daniel Smith; there are several other colors out there, but I thought I’d start with the transparent)
  • paynes gray watercolor (plus some blue tones) (my favorites are from Schmincke and Winsor & Newton, but if you're not ready to spend a lot of money on the professional grade watercolors, the Cotman student grade watercolors from Winsor & Newton are perfect to start with - pictures below - the pictures lead to amazon, where you can conveniently buy those materials, if you don't find them at you local craft store)
  • a jug or jar or cup for water to rinse your brushes

Let me know if you ever try this. I’m curious to learn how others use it and how they like it.

Thanks for visiting!

 

Have a pleasant week ahead,

Jana

PS.: The pictures below link to the corresponding supplies on amazon. If you happen to order via those links on amazon, I earn a small commission (so this way you support my small business :)) (Please also see the disclosure below.)
As mention above, amazon is my source for craft and paint supplies if I can not find specific supplies locally. I always try to shop local, so if you have a good sorted craft supply store in your town or city, shop local first! :)

Disclosure:

tangledpen (my artist name) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Blue watercolor cactus

...yes, why not?! I just love the color blue and every time I attempt to use a different color, the blue sneaks in anyway ;)
I might add more succulents to those I painted a few weeks back. They're quickly done and perfect for those days I don't have much time for painting. 
First I start with a base layer and basic shapes. After everything is dry, I add either some more layers of watercolor (for depth) or if I like the base layer as is, I simply start adding details, like the spines in the small cactus or the little white dots (stars?!) in the bigger cactus.
Let me know what you think! :)

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Don't forget to download the November calendar printable! It's free :) 

Thanks for visiting, Jana.

Hello Fall

 

Obviously it has been quite a while since my last blog post. But if you're following along on Instagram, you know that I did not vanish and that I'm still trying to fit time to paint in my busy schedule.

 

We have had a very travel extensive Summer. We traveled to Europe to visit family and friends in June. It was so great to see everyone again after a long time. Of course it was exhausting too, but our kids were more excited than exhausted, so everything worked out great. 

The 'Zwinger' in Dresden, Germany If you ever have a chance to be in Dresden, go visit, it's magnificent!

The 'Zwinger' in Dresden, Germany
If you ever have a chance to be in Dresden, go visit, it's magnificent!

After we came back from this round, we packed again to drive all the way to Washington (state). What a beautiful area! We loved it so much. Plenty of time and perfect weather to explore and swim in lakes and rivers.

One last short trip before school started again took us to Lake Michigan - we try to camp at least once a year in one of the many State Parks. It was very relaxing. 
 

Cornflowers are one of my favorites! 

Cornflowers are one of my favorites! 

Well, meanwhile it's Fall and our boys are almost done with the first quarter of this school year. I'm looking forward to Fall break. We plan to be outside a lot and hike the nearby areas and of course have a bonfire or two. 

Don't forget to check the 'printables' tab in the menu! I made an October calendar sheet with one of the Fall leave wreaths - it's free, just download and print :)

Happy Fall to everyone!
Thanks for sticking around, even though posts are rare around here ;)

Be well, Jana

 

Social Media:
Instagram (where you can catch the most pictures)
Facebook (I don't post here very often).

 


Disclosure:
tangledpen (my artist name) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

 

Back to write and paint

 

Time flies, and obviously I haven’t posted anything to my blog in quite a while. I’m thinking about it, but I can’t get to it it seems. I’m holding myself back, I admit. Of course family comes first, then come my jobs (two freelance), then my etsy business and after all that, my little blog awaits. Once I have a few minutes that I could use to tend to this little place, I feel it should be the perfect post, neat pictures, well written etc. So for that I tell myself I would need more time than just a few minutes… and there you have it, no post written at all. Today I thought: No excuses, just post!
So here you go, a short piece about my ponderings and a few pictures :) Let me know what you think! Here or on my other sites: on Facebook (also not fed very often) or on Instagram (where you can catch the most pictures).

 

I started painting botanical finds from our backyard in my new journal. 

I started painting botanical finds from our backyard in my new journal. 

Be well everyone,

Jana

 

PS.: For all of you who are interested to know which art supplies I use, I will try to include the materials used at the end of each blog post. I buy most of my supplies local, if possible. Though I end up ordering a lot from amazon because I can't find certain paints or brushes in our local store. So the supplies listed here will mostly be affiliated links. 

I received this little journal for Christmas and I really love it. The paper is perfect for light watercolor washes - it stays flat and won't buckle after applying the paint. It comes in different cover colors - mine is black. Once my current one is filled, I'll buy a blue one :)


Disclosure:
tangledpen (my artist name) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

 

December..

...came so quickly - that's how I felt. Just a week ago we were indulging our Thanksgiving break and suddenly it was the first of advent already! It took me  a few days to 'accept' that Christmas will be here soon. It helps to paint some seasonal icons, I guess ;)

 

I hope you all have a great Holiday Season! If I'm not too distracted by baking Christmas cookies and sending snail mail to friends and family, I may post one more time before this year comes to a close. Until then:

Be well!
 

November...

...is usually gray and rainy where I grew up. But Fall has been wonderful here in Indiana this year. It continues to be very pleasant during the day with meanwhile quite cool nights. Although many trees have dropped their leaves, there are still quite a few that present beautiful colors. I enjoy this season - so many nice evenings for a bonfire and some marshmallow roasting with our kids. 

I taught two more classes during October and November at a local craft supply store and it made me thinking that it would be nice to share something here on the blog as well. I’m not ready to put an online class together, but at least I can provide some printable illustrations for you. If you sign up for my newsletter, you will have access to a library, where I will add free printables for those who are interested. It's not all set up yet, so I include a link to the free pdf below. 


For now I'll start with some place cards, also great as gift tags. Thanksgiving is around the corner and perhaps you have time to add those little cards to your festive table. If you like them, please feel free to download the pdf here. Please remember, these are for personal use only. If you are interested in a design like this for commercial use, please contact me.

I hope it's not too early to say: Happy Thanksgiving!