many people wonder whether it is possible to use watercolors on normal paper. In this article, we will explore this question in depth, examining the pros and cons of using watercolors on regular paper and providing tips for achieving the best results.
Can you use watercolor on normal paper?
The short answer is yes, you can use watercolors on normal paper. However, the quality of the results will depend on the type of paper you use and the techniques you employ.
Regular paper, such as printer or notebook paper, is not designed for use with watercolors. It is generally thin, absorbent, and prone to buckling or warping when it comes into contact with water. This can make it difficult to achieve the vibrant colors and sharp lines that are characteristic of watercolor paintings.
That being said, if you are looking to experiment with watercolors or practice your techniques, using regular paper can be a good option. It is inexpensive and readily available, making it a low-risk way to explore the medium.
Tips for using watercolors on normal paper
If you decide to use watercolors on normal paper, there are several tips that can help you achieve better results:
- Use a heavyweight paper: While regular paper is generally thin and absorbent, heavyweight paper is thicker and more durable. Look for paper with a weight of at least 140 lbs, as this will be better able to handle the water and pigment of watercolors.
- Stretch your paper: Before you begin painting, consider stretching your paper to prevent buckling or warping. This involves soaking the paper in water and then taping it down to a flat surface while it dries. This will help ensure that your painting stays flat and doesn’t warp as you add water and pigment.
- Use less water: Because regular paper is not designed for use with watercolors, it is more likely to become saturated and buckle when you add water. To prevent this, use less water than you would on watercolor paper. This will help you achieve better control over the amount of water and pigment in your painting.
- Experiment with watercolor painting techniques: Watercolors are a versatile medium, and there are many techniques you can use to achieve different effects. Experiment with techniques such as wet-on-wet, dry-brushing, and lifting to see how they work on regular paper.
- Consider using a fixative: Regular paper is not designed to be archival, meaning it may yellow or degrade over time. If you want your painting to last, consider using a fixative to protect it from the elements.
In conclusion, while using watercolors on normal paper is not ideal, it is possible to achieve good results with the right techniques and materials. If you are just starting out with watercolors or want to experiment with new techniques, using regular paper can be a low-risk way to explore the medium.
However, if you are looking to create a more permanent or professional-quality painting, it is recommended that you invest in high-quality watercolor paper.
By following the tips outlined in this article, you can achieve beautiful watercolor paintings on both regular paper and watercolor paper.
- URL: https://www.art-is-fun.com/watercolor-paper-guide This guide from Art is Fun explains the differences between watercolor paper and regular paper, discussing why watercolor paper is typically preferred but noting that it’s possible to use regular paper.
- URL: https://www.strathmoreartist.com/blog-reader/what-is-watercolor-paper.html Strathmore’s guide to watercolor paper explains what makes this paper unique and why it is typically better suited for watercolor than regular paper.
- URL: https://www.watercoloraffair.com/best-paper-for-watercolor-painting Watercolor Affair provides an article discussing the best types of paper for watercolor painting, including the limitations of using regular paper.