Watercolor Canvas vs. Watercolor Paper – What’s the Difference?

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Every artist knows that painting on watercolor canvas versus watercolor paper has its advantages and disadvantages. However, for many artists the positives far outweigh the negatives. For starters, watercolor canvas is much more resilient than watercolor paper, which makes it easier for the artist to work energetically without the threat of damage to the canvas from motions such as blotting, scraping, or scratching. Simply put, watercolor canvas can endure harsher treatment than watercolor paper.

In addition, because watercolor canvas is more durable than paper, it also has superior lifting ability. This means, it’s easy to “lift” the paint off the canvas or even wash it off and start over if you decide to take your creation in a different direction.

With any type of canvas, experienced artists understand that they still have to be careful. But the better you are at technique, the easier it will be to use watercolor canvas—despite disadvantages such as:

•Difficulty moving the paint around the canvas without lifting what was already on the canvas.
•Paint pools that may form on the canvas because the canvas doesn’t absorb it.
•Paint may not stick to the canvas, even after spraying an acrylic medium onto the canvas.

However, with high quality watercolor canvas and a little trial and error these issues can be eased and it will be well worth the effort. Besides allowing the freedom to work enthusiastically without the fear of damage to the canvas, artists appreciate that in the end their work won’t have to compete with a frame or reflective covering. You see, unlike watercolor paper which requires protection because it’s more delicate, watercolor canvas allows the artist to hang his painting frame-free or without having to mount it under glass.

Just knowing that your fans will experience the beauty, texture and brilliance of your artwork without barriers is priceless!

Before you go, let’s revisit the advantages of using watercolor canvas versus watercolor paper and we’ll tell you how Fredrix can help you with your next piece:

•Watercolor canvas can endure harsher treatment than watercolor paper.
•Watercolor canvas has superior lifting ability.
•Watercolor canvas allows the artist to go cover- or frame-free.
•Bonus: Watercolor canvas stays wetter longer and it won’t buckle or tear like paper.

If you’re ready to reap the benefits of using watercolor canvas, start by choosing high quality watercolor canvas from Fredrix.

Fredrix’s 100% cotton artist canvas combines the texture of a natural, woven fabric with a specially formulated gesso designed for all water-based paints. Fredrix watercolor canvas allows you to lightly lift out pigment or completely wash out your painting surface without damaging the canvas surface. Browse through our Artist Series for high quality watercolor canvas today!