Paper varies widely. Follow the recommendations for media by the manufacturer. Thicker ones are less prone to buckling with water media.
For best results, use the media as recommended by the paper manufacturer and test.
When working on these types of papers, acrylics, watercolors, and dry drawing media, a barrier is not required. However, when painting with oils on paper, an application of 3 or more coats of Acrylic Gesso is recommended to block oil absorption.
Grounds, gels, and pastes can be applied to alter the surface’s absorbency, durability, or texture.
Article: Paper Warping when Painting with Acrylics
Article: Painting with Oils on Paper
Article: Paint and Paper: Making a Watercolor
Subscribe to the newsletter today!
Share Your Thoughts
Click here to share your feedback about Just Paint.
2 thoughts on “Painting on Watercolor Paper”
I use Golden acrylics to paint on 300 lb. (640gsm) 30×22 inch watercolor paper — Fabriano and Kilimanjaro to name two. To avoid buckling, I gesso front and back. Then I tape the paper to a work surface board leaving a carefully measured one-inch border. I gesso the front one more time to seal the masking tape edge. Then I paint. Afterward, I remove the tape and spray varnish the front and back— further protection against fingerprints and dirt. Yes, sometimes removing the tape lifts a small, thin, irregular layer of paper, or there are small paint bleed spots. Both issues are easily remedied with gesso touch ups. I’ve found this process to be very reliable — the end painting on paper is heavy (not really rollable). Customers like the substantial weight this process brings to a work on paper. You can see them at https://www.cynthiacoldrenfineart.com/works-on-paper
Thank you for sharing your process!