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,


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! :)


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