How Can I Paint on Watercolor Canvas With Acrylics?

You don’t need to use the gesso and primer first to paint the watercolor canvas with acrylics. It is straightforward to use the acrylic on the watercolor canvas. Moreover, you need to add the water in the acrylic, in a way that its consistency becomes like the watercolor. Make sure the transparency of the acrylic paint is like watercolor. Some people don’t add water and use acrylic as it comes from the tube. It actually depends upon your purpose and needs.


But the canvas quality and strength play an essential role in the paint holding feature of the watercolor canvas. Moreover, it also depends upon the quantity of the water in the application and the coverage area as well. You can frame the painting under glass for hanging purposes.

Factors which play a role in watercolor canvas uses

As we have discussed above as well, different factors play a role in the use of watercolor canvas for multiple purposes. These factors can include the canvas material, quality, strength, weight, and stretching, etc. But weight and quality are the two most important factors. Let’s see how these factors play a role in watercolor canvas uses.

Weight of watercolor canvas

Sometimes people prefer to work on a lightweight canvas paper. They think it’s easy to use and paint on a light canvas paper. But people need to make sure that a heavy-weight watercolor canvas has many benefits over the regular watercolor canvas. A heavy-weight watercolor canvas paper prevents you from any painting buckling as it gets dry. A heavy-weight canvas paper has a great chance of drying flat as compared to lightweight student grade canvas paper.

So many professional watercolor artists recommend buying a watercolor canvas of weight 246 to 300 grams. Many artists also use a paper mix of cotton and synthetic material to minimize the watercolor buckling as it also gets dry. If you are using a lightweight canvas paper, you can use a watercolor block to block the paper from buckling while painting. You don’t need to use the stretched paper as well by using a watercolor block. But make sure to not remove the watercolor block before the watercolor painting gets completely dry.


The quality of a watercolor canvas is another essential factor that plays a role in the uses of the watercolor canvas paper. A decent watercolor paper is actually more expensive as compared to the acrylic painting canvas. Moreover, medium-specific canvas papers also don’t need extra work to get perfect results. So, if you are looking for acrylic work, you can go for acrylic canvas paper, which is less expensive as compared to watercolor canvas.


Stretching of the watercolor canvas paper also plays a role in the different uses of the watercolor canvas. It is good to get the perfect results, but if you want to use undiluted acrylic paint, then it’s good to use the more substantial paper.

You can also paint a lightweight and less strong canvas paper with acrylic or gesso before the painting. This will help you to minimize buckling and curling.

Some other considerations

In case of any experiment, you should test your techniques on a separate paper before starting the actual work. You can then go with perfect concentration and proper method according to your canvas paper and work. It will give you an excellent idea about the buckling and drying of your canvas paper.

Some techniques to watercolor with acrylic

Difference between watercolor and acrylic

It’s essential to know the differences between watercolor and acrylic to know about the use of watercolor canvas for acrylic. When you learn the differences, you can easily know that how can you paint the watercolor canvas with acrylics. Let’s see some essential differences in watercolor and acrylic painting.

  • Watercolor paint usually consists of all the natural ingredients. Some watercolor paints contain synthetic binders. On the other hand, acrylic paint is humanmade. An acrylic paint contains the acrylic resin, binder, and pigment.
  • There is also a little difference in the packing of the watercolor and acrylic. Watercolor paint comes in the form of tubes, and pans, while the acrylic comes in the form of tubes, bottles, and jars.
  • In the past, watercolor painting was only done on specific watercolor papers, but today you can also use the canvas for this purpose. Moreover, the acrylic painting can be done quickly on paper, wood, and canvas, etc.
  • Both are soluble in the water. But watercolor paint usually uses more water as compared to acrylic paint.
  • You can use the acrylic in a thick form as well. But in the case of watercolor painting, you need to add the water to get the perfect results.
  • When we are painting with the acrylic, we usually start with the dark color and works to light one. But in the case of watercolor, we usually add more water to move towards a darker color, starting with the lighter colors.
  • Watercolors come in the range of transparent, semi-transparent, and opaque. Watercolors are more transparent as compared to acrylic paint.
  • In the case of acrylic paint, we usually add white paint to lighten up the acrylic paint, while in this case, the watercolor paper is itself white.


From all the above discussion, we can conclude that canvas is a versatile painting surface that can be used for multiple purposes depending upon some factors. These factors mainly include the canvas quality, strength, stretching, weight, and material of the canvas. Usually, a high-quality heavy-weight paper is perfect for different purposes. It is an excellent paper to minimize the scrapping and buckling for various applications. By following all these factors, you can easily paint on the watercolor canvas with acrylics. So, you can buy a high-quality canvas for multiple purposes.


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