Whether you want to take your studio outside the four walls and by paint explained plein air or simply wish to experiment with a new surface for acrylics, painting on paper can provide interesting effects and a different way of working. Watercolor paper is a popular choice for those who wish to try the technique because it’s readily available in a range of thicknesses and textures. In addition, it can be purchased in convenient, portable watercolor pads or sheets.
The key to using watercolor paper with acrylics is in choosing the right type of paint and paper for the job. The paper should be thicker than your run-of-the-mill printer or notebook paper and should have a rougher texture to help it hold the paint. You should also be sure to prep the paper for acrylics by using gesso or primer before starting. This will help protect the paper from deterioration and prevent colors from bleeding through.
The Perfect Pair: Exploring the Versatility of Acrylics on Watercolor Paper
Another important consideration is the paper’s lightfastness. Acrylics are not as lightfast as watercolors, so it’s important to choose a paper that can handle prolonged exposure to sunlight. If the paper starts to yellow, it can affect the overall look of your painting.
You should also look for a paper that’s acid-free. Acidic papers will discolor over time and can ruin the appearance of your art. Most good art shops will carry acid free paper. If you’re not able to find a paper that’s acid free, you can use an impasto gel or a binder medium to create a barrier layer between the paper and acrylic paints.