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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > January 19 > Dynamic surfaces for watercolour

Dynamic surfaces for watercolour

Jane Betteridge shows you how to make your watercolour paintings more vibrant and more dynamic by using watercolour grounds
Mackerel on a map Because this transparent watercolour ground is colourless, it is ideal for using on top of printed papers, allowing their pattern to show through when watercolours are painted over it, as shown strikingly here

Watercolour grounds have been quite a revelation for me, and have taken my work forward to another level. They are a manufactured primer medium that allows artists to use watercolours on otherwise unpaintable surfaces. Canvases and boards are normally meant for the use of oils or acrylics and are primed accordingly with gesso, but when re-primed with this medium, you can paint on them using watercolours. Other surfaces, including plastic, wood, metal, ceramics and even leather can be primed and painted on using watercolour with this primer. It really is so versatile.

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About The Artist

Welcome to the first issue of 2019 to inspire and inform your artistic development, including all the information you will need to plan your entries to the best open competitions throughout the year in our extensive 5-page guide. We also see the start of two new series, by Ruth Buchanan on how to draw and paint animals with confidence, and Mark David Hatwood on all aspects of marketing and how to make money from your artwork. There are practical articles and demonstrations showing you how to adapt your painting techniques for coloured pencil work, with amazing results, how to paint a self-portrait as well as a stunning faded rose, both in watercolour, and how to make your watercolours more dynamic by using watercolour grounds. Our top artist contributors also share their expertise on best practice for working on the spot, how to plan a complex composition, paint your first realist still life in acrylic, use your sketchbooks to work out your ideas, how to paint successfully from your photos and which colours to mix in oils to achieve a sense of space in your landscapes. With all this and much more, there's plenty to keep you drawing and painting over the festive period. Enjoy!