Painting watercolours on canvas



Painting watercolours on canvas is an exciting process if you like to explore new techniques for this gorgeous medium. You are no longer restricted by size or the need to frame your work

This brand new on demand course takes you through preparation, painting techniques and finishing your work.

This is not a beginner's watercolour course, but is suitable for those who have at least a little to a lot of experience in painting watercolour on paper, who now want to try a new surface and break away from glass and framing.

What's included in the price?

Introduction - is this the right course for you? This course is intended to be as close as possible to sitting next to me in my studio learning. We will cover everything from the materials, to techniques, special challenges and finishing off.

1. Materials and preparation - we will cover the advantages of preparing your own watercolour canvases, what watercolour ground is, the process and how to make your own ground.
2. Warming up - just to make sure we are using the same terms and to start getting used to the watercolour ground, we will do a basics warm up. I also cover gridding up, if you are concerned about transferring your image to canvas or increasing the size.
3. Tone - layering on canvas is tricky, so getting the tone right first time is crucial. We will do a simple exercise to work on a tonal strip and then do a monochrome piece on canvas.
4. Creating the illusion of texture - there are lots of tricks which create beautiful effects on canvas, we go through some of them and then put them into practice in an abstracted painting of birch trees.
5. Putting it all into practice in a colourful painting of a cow. How do we paint directly to get tones right first time? How do we layer and add detail?
6. Layering is a challenge - by now you realise that watercolour lifts incredibly easily on canvas, which is both a strength and weakness. We use Aquafix to stabilise our paints, so that we can layer to our heart's content in lively painting of a nest with eggs. This also gives us the chance to use masking fluid on canvas.
7. Creating a textured canvas - how might you start to take your watercolours further? By working on a textured surface. I show you a few ways of achieving an interesting surface, though no doubt you will think of plenty more!
8. Ink and watercolour - another option for overcoming the lifting/layering challenge is to use waterproof Indian ink as an under painting. We explore how it behaves and then use the textured canvas from lesson 8 to create a beautiful study of two kingfishers.
9. Sealing and finishing - how can we protect, frame and hang our work to show it off?

What you will need

It is important you start to develop your own artistic voice, so if you do not like the colours, format or subject matter I use, please feel free to substitute what you have available or what you prefer. Just understand the point of the lesson and make sure you enjoy the same learning. A hairdryer may be useful. Please watch the section on materials before purchasing ground or canvas.
1. Warming up - off cut of mount board (often available free from framers) or other heavy weight card stock. You can use a canvas, but this is more expensive and harder to store. Watercolour ground of your choice, applicator. Watercolours (any colour,pans or tubes), water, spray bottle, paper towel, brushes (round size 16 and 8, rigger size 2 are used throughout).
2. Tone - for the tonal strip - off cut of prepared mount board. For the monochrome, small prepared canvas (20x30cm). Plus colour of your choice with a wide tonal range. Water, spray bottle, paper towel, brushes.
3. Creating the illusion of texture - off cut of prepared mount board. Water, spray bottle, paper towel, brushes, plus items such as salt, plastic wrap, bubble wrap etc. For the birch trees, small prepared canvas (20x30cm). Plus your choice of watercolours - see film for suggestions.
4. Putting it all into practice (cow). Prepared flat edge canvas (30x30cm). Your choice of watercolours - see film for suggestions. Water, spray bottle, paper towel, brushes.
5. Layering is a challenge - Prepared deep edge canvas (25x25cm). Schmincke Aquafix or Lukas Shellac Soap, masking fluid. Your choice of watercolours - see film for suggestions. Water, spray bottle, paper towel, brushes.
6. Creating a textured canvas - Canvas - 50x50cm narrow edge canvas, tissue paper - acid free, white, sufficient to cover the canvas, PVA glue - acid free, watercolour ground, applicator and container for glue
7. Ink and watercolour - prepared canvas (I use the one from 'Creating a textured canvas'), waterproof Indian ink, fineliner pigment ink pens (eg Microns) in a couple of sizes eg 0.7, 0.4mm. Your choice of watercolours - see film for suggestions. Water, spray bottle, paper towel, brushes.
8. Sealing and finishing - please watch the film to see different options for sealing before making any purchases.


Liz Chaderton at Liz Chaderton Artist

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This course is taught online

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Hearing impaired
  • Intermediate level
  • Limited mobility
  • Seniors
  • Teenagers
  • Wheelchair users


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