View Full Version : Watercolor to Acrylic-transition?

10-15-2004, 10:25 AM
Experiment: Am planning on taking one of the paintings that I like a lot from my watercolor days and transforming it into an acrylic.
Has anyone done that before and been happy with the result?
I would think that a watercolor would be a good base for an acrylic painting instead of doing it over again in the acrylic medium!? I wouldn't do that with every acrylic. But it seems like it would make a good experiment? ;)

Lady Carol
10-15-2004, 11:13 AM
I haven't done it where I have painted over the watercolour. But I would think some of the colours would lift muddying the acrylic colour......?

10-15-2004, 12:14 PM
Carol: I guess the experiment will tell the tale!!
BUT, what I forgot to say is that I intend to put a coat of acrylic matte gel over the watercolor painting before I start with the acrylics!!! I would think that would take care of the mud possibility? At least I hope so!!! :)

10-15-2004, 02:02 PM
Yes it will seal the watercolours but you'll have to apply it carefully to prevent it lifting them as you brush it on. I've done something like this myself but I airbrushed the acrylic medium over the water-soluble paint... 'cause I was chicken :)

I was going to say, if you like the watercolour wouldn't it be nice to keep it? Make a new painting based on it instead of working over? Just a thought.


10-15-2004, 02:46 PM
got to agree with Einion..have a look in the on your easel 13th Oct thread, I am trying an acrylic based on some watercolour techniques..you'll have lots of fun trying an acrylic like this from the start, based on your WC painting..
the difference in appearence of the layers in the one I'm doing are all due to how thick the paint is..much more of a difference than with wc.
we'd love to see your experiment..

10-15-2004, 02:52 PM
Einion & Gnu:
You know Einion - you helped change my mind!!! I brushed on the acrylic gel medium and am stopping there! I'll create a completely new painting based on the watercolor. I'll think of the watercolor as a sketch created for the new acrylic version!!! It's a portrait rather than my usual landscape subjects!
Thank you folks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ps: I'll experiment with a watercolor of no importance to me!!

10-17-2004, 07:30 PM
Bertoni, did you have a chance to try out the watercolor to an acrylic? I'd like to see the before & after if you have finished & you care to post. Anyone else have any to show?

I've also been taking my old watercolors & either salvaging the backs by gessoing them over, or taking acrylic matte medium & applying this to the painting for acrylic. I love the matte medium! It's opened up some possibilities.

The paintings I've included have a history, been hanging around - bear with me! They started for me from a plein air day up in the foothills at a historic home. Did some watercolor painting on site, made sketches, took photos. Here are the ref. pics from that day:



I did a 22" x 15" watercolor painting of the alley that you see, plus the entire rest of the house along with the w/ great shadows . . . in other words, too much going on. I was so dissatisfied w/ the painting I never took a photo of it. It became one of those UFO's . . .unfinished objects that hang around.

Then I took a good look at it, ripped the painting in half, added some gouache hi-lights to the WC painting you see below (on right) and thought that was OK looking, it captured the shadows & feeling I was after. Much later, at the end of another painting day I had some quin. red still on the palette, so added some acrylic matte medium half & half, & slathered all over the painting you see on left - thought I could turn it into an abstract or something. But the best possibility, it seemed was to go back to the orig. concept of the architect. study with shadows, in acrylic. The red glaze w/ the WC underpainting was great.


I had fun resurrecting what I felt was a failed painting.

10-17-2004, 08:12 PM
Lynne: I had to put the experiment aside to work on another painting, BUT haven't give up the idea. When I can get to working on it again, will post the before and after!! ps: I'm liking the one on the left a lot!! :)

10-17-2004, 08:24 PM
Bertoni, thanks! I know --too many ongoing projects, can't get to all. Whenever you get to the portrait . . I was just excited about the same idea / same process.

p.s. it did lift some of the pigment slightly, using the matte medium. For example I used a lot of violet in a WC painting & the acrylic medium became slightly tinged w/ violet, but it was no big deal. If you're VERY careful it won't be a problem.

10-18-2004, 09:37 AM
I will try the experiment, but it will be on one of my earlier watercolors that isn't important to me just to see how it works before trying it on something that's a keeper!!! Interesting about the violet color and the acrylic medium!