Can you use aquarelle on canvas?

Can you use aquarelle on canvas? aquarelle canvas

Aquarelle, also known as watercolor, is a popular artistic medium that is traditionally used on paper. However, many artists wonder if it is possible to use aquarelle on canvas as well. In this article, we will explore the possibilities and limitations of using watercolor on canvas.

Why use aquarelle on canvas?

Canvas provides a unique texture and durability that paper does not offer. It allows for greater flexibility in terms of size and can withstand various techniques and layers of paint. Using aquarelle on canvas also allows artists to create larger and more impactful artworks.

Considerations before using aquarelle on canvas

While using aquarelle on canvas can produce stunning results, there are several important considerations to keep in mind:


Canvas needs to be properly prepared before applying watercolor. It is recommended to apply a layer of gesso to prime the canvas and create a suitable surface for the watercolor to adhere to. Gesso helps prevent the color from sinking into the canvas fibers and allows for easier manipulation and corrections.

Water resistance:

Unlike paper, canvas is not naturally water-resistant. This means that watercolor applied directly onto untreated canvas may result in bleeding, spreading, or even soaking through the canvas. To overcome this issue, it is advisable to use a watercolor ground or apply a layer of watercolor fixative to seal the canvas before painting.


Aquarelle on canvas may require slightly different techniques compared to traditional watercolor on paper. The canvas surface can be more absorbent and may require adjusting the amount of water and pigments used. Artists will need to experiment and adapt their techniques to achieve desired effects.

Benefits of using aquarelle on canvas

Using aquarelle on canvas offers several benefits:


Canvas provides a unique texture that can enhance the overall appearance of the watercolor artwork. The canvas weave adds depth and complexity to the painting, creating a visually interesting effect.


Canvas is a more durable surface compared to paper, allowing for greater longevity of the artwork. Properly prepared canvas can withstand aging, humidity, and environmental factors better than paper, ensuring your watercolor painting remains in good condition for years to come.


Canvas allows artists to create larger artworks compared to traditional watercolor paper. This flexibility in size opens up new possibilities for expressing creativity and capturing intricate details on a grander scale.

While aquarelle is traditionally used on paper, it is possible to use it on canvas with the proper preparation and technique. Using aquarelle on canvas can result in unique and visually stunning artworks with added texture, durability, and flexibility in terms of size. Artists should experiment and adapt their techniques to achieve desired effects when working with aquarelle on canvas. So, if you are looking to explore new possibilities with watercolor, give aquarelle on canvas a try!

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