DANIEL SMITH Watercolor Ground Comparison

DANIEL SMITH Watercolor Ground was developed to simulate, as closely as possible, a cold press watercolor paper surface. Watercolor paper is sized, allowing pigment to remain on top of the surface rather than soaking in – and this is where you’ll notice a big difference when you compare DANIEL SMITH Watercolor Ground with other Absorbent Ground you may have tried.
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We prepared two surfaces to illustrate this difference. On one hardbord surface, we applied two coats of standard absorbent ground and allowed it to cure for 24 hours. We then applied a masstone wash of one our very beautiful multi-pigment watercolors Moonglow. We also diluted our pigment 50% and painted out another line of color.

As you can see, our lovely Moonglow has lost some of its ‘pop’ in both washes. Regular absorbent ground handles water very differently than our Watercolor Ground. It is very difficult to pre-wet the surface, which restricts watercolor wet-on-wet techniques. It is also tricky to lift or thin color without completely removing your pigment.

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In comparison, our second hardbord surface was prepared with two coats of DANIEL SMITH Watercolor Ground. This prepared surface behaved much more like paper. Our masstone wash appears richer and retained the clarity of the Moonglow. Observe how much brighter the 50% wash is compared to the color on regular absorbent ground. DANIEL SMITH Watercolor Ground allowed natural granulation to occur.

It is possible to pre-wet DANIEL SMITH Watercolor Ground and you’ll notice that it feels and behaves like paper!