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Here at ARTdiscount we are really excited to showcase our new Watercolour panels. We have tested multiple water based and water-soluble products with excellent results. Below you will find some useful information on how to use them with a variety of products.

What are they?

ARTdiscount Watercolour panels are meticulously crafted for water-based paints. Made from durable MDF board with a stretched 250gsm, 100% cotton, fine-grain surface. They are triple-primed for optimal adhesion and longevity.

Specially formulated gesso is perfect for watercolours but also versatile for acrylics, tempera, gouache, inks and water-soluble pencils and water-soluble pastels. These panels offer superb pigment lifting for easy washes and corrections, making them a versatile choice for artists exploring various wet and dry media.

Because of their rigidity these Watercolour panels do not need stretching unlike some watercolour papers and they would also make an ideal choice for mixed media art work, providing a solid surface for collage and wet and dry media.

Elevate your art with our canvas panels, designed to bring your creative vision to life effortlessly.

How to get the most out of Watercolour panels.

Before you start;

Prepare your workspace: Ensure you have a clean, flat surface to work on. It's a good idea to cover your workspace with a protective material like a plastic sheet or old newspapers to prevent any spills or stains. However because the panels are rigid it is much easier to use a table easel with these panels if you wish to work on a vertical substrate.

Gather your materials: Gather your watercolour paints, brushes, two clean water jars, watercolour pencils or waters-soluble pastels, palette, sponges, kitchen towel, and any other tools you may need.

Tips and Techniques For using watercolour paints on Watercolour panels;

  • For wet on wet techniques it is necessary to moisten the fabric with a brush 24 hours before the first use. Following this indication, the results obtained are excellent.
  • Plan your artwork: If you plan to create a figurative piece of artwork you can sketch out your design lightly using either watercolour pencils such as Derwent Watercolour Pencils or a HB grade pencil using very light pressure. This will give you a guideline to follow while painting.
  • As these watercolour panels are very absorbent, to control the brush strokes, do not dilute your pigment too much. If you want two or more colours to blend on the panel together, then apply a little bit more water. Aim to clean your brush often between colours to avoid muddy paint.
  • All the traditional watercolour techniques can be used on these Watercolour panels, for example using rock salt on wet paint to create blooms and textures. (Wait for the paint to dry before brushing off the Rock salt) Experiment with different brush techniques such as washes, wet-on-wet, and dry brushing to achieve various textural effects.
  • Layering: Allow each layer of paint to dry completely before adding another layer on top. This will prevent the colours from bleeding into each other and help you achieve more depth and vibrancy in your artwork. Drying may take a little longer on the watercolour panels, but the paint still looks vibrant and crisp. The white of the canvas illuminates through the watercolour pigments beautifully.
  • Fine-tuning: Use a smaller brush for adding details or making corrections to your painting. You can also lift off excess paint or make highlights by gently dabbing a clean, damp, paint brush onto the painted surface, or you can lift off paint with a clean kitchen towel.
  • Finish and protect your artwork: Once your painting is complete and fully dry, you can apply a fixative or sealant to protect it from moisture and UV damage. You can also frame your artwork under glass to further protect it and enhance its presentation.

ARTdiscount Watercolour panels offer a durable and high-quality surface that can handle various watercolour techniques, and a variety of mixed media, so let your creativity flow! We have tested a few of our favourite products and shared the outcome with you below.

Watercolour paints, Watercolour Inks, Inktense Watercolour paints, Inktense XL BLocks and Water-soluble pastels on ARTdiscount Watercolour panels

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Watercolour paints and special effect metallic watercolour paints

This small Poppy panel measuring 7 x 5 inches was painted using our Phoenix Artists Fine Watercolour Half Pans Sets and our ARTessentials Ultra Fine Tip Artists Brushes - Set of 10. For this small poppy study the first layer of watercolour was used wet on wet technique then once this first layer had dried, watercolour paint was used mostly on a dry dry canvas with no pre underdrawing.

Each layer was allowed to dry before applying the next. Allowing the layers to dry between applications will allow you to add small detailing.

The final stage when the poppies had dried completely was to add some gold watercolour paint from the FINETEC Special Effects Watercolour Sets classic-pearlescent collection.

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Watercolour paints and special effect metallic watercolour paints.

For this larger panel, 10x12 inches, a very light drawing was applied first using a HB pencil. If you end up putting too much graphite pencil on the panel before painting, you can use an eraser to lift some of it off without damaging the surface of the panel.

For the large poppy in the centre of the composition, the lighter yellow colours were applied first then lots of darker tones of reds were built up in layers to create a 3 dimensional effect.

Working from light tones to dark tones in watercolours is the safest way to work if you wish to retain the light colours and control the subtle tones of your palette. The background poppies were created in a very loose style with heavily diluted watercolour pigments.

The background was painted with diluted FINETEC Special Effects Watercolour metallic gold paint, this was applied when all the previous layers of watercolour paint had dried. This poppy hasn’t been varnished yet, but to extend the longevity of your watercolour artwork you can use either Sennelier Watercolour Varnish - 75ml or Pebeo Gouache Varnish - 400ml Spray.

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Caran D'Ache Neocolour - Water Soluble Wax Pastels and Derwent Inktense 24 Pencils Tin

For this 8”x 8” Watercolour panel study, we used Derwent Inktense watercolour pencils and Caran D’Ache Neocolour pastels. The butterfly images were drafted out using the inktense pencils on the dry panel. Then the Caran D’Ache pastels were used to create areas of detail and colour. The Caran D’Ache pastels were also used to colour the background areas between the butterflies, dry pastel on dry panel. When applying the Caran D’Ache pastels, layers of colour can be applied before diluting with water. The beauty of using these water-soluble pastels are their versatility when creating transitions of colour. Caran D’Ache water-soluble pastels are highly pigmented so it is not necessary to apply too much pressure, this means you can layer several colours to create subtle changes or create new tones. The more water you add the more the colours will blend together and become translucent. 

The tooth of the panel allows just the right amount of pigment to adhere, whilst still providing a base for fine detailing.

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Pebeo Studio XL Gouache Set - 24 x 20ml on ARTdiscount watercolour panel 12”x16”

We used a 12” x 16” watercolour panel for this still life study. The foundation of the study was drafted out in Pebeo Studio Gouache. The gouache paint was diluted to a creamy consistency and worked smoothly over the fine grain watercolour panel. The gouache was used in a more diluted consistency to block out the shapes for the leaves and petals. Subsequent layers of paint were applied over the jug to create a 3 dimensional form. As this is a work in progress we will continue to test out the gouache on the watercolour panel, but so far the colours retain their vibrancy, adhere well to the canvas.

We tested Derwent Inktense 12 Paint Pan Travel Set #2 watercolour on the ARTdiscount watercolour panels and again the watercolours dried to an excellent finish, no shift in colour or brightness. Inktense watercolours can be diluted to create pastel shades or a more translucent finish.

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Derwent Inktense XL Blocks Tin of 6

The Inktense XL blocks were applied dry onto the Watercolour panels. The fine grain of the panel provides the perfect substrate to create a textured effect. However for the watercolour lovers once water has been applied, the pigments turn into an intensely bright and vivid watercolour paint. Once the pigment has been activated completely and let to dry, it becomes lightfast and permanent.

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Pebeo Colorex Watercolour Ink Equipment Kit on ARTdiscount watercolour panel.

We used the ink directly out of the bottle undiluted straight onto the watercolour panel. They retained their vibrancy but can also be used in a diluted form. The fine grain of the watercolour panel takes the ink exceptionally well. The inks can be applied to either a dry or wet watercolour panel.

Water based and water-soluble products compatible with ARTdiscount Watercolour panels;

Derwent Inktense Watercolour Ink Pencils - Tin of 36 Assorted Pencils
Derwent Inktense Pencils - Set of 36
Colour Swatches
Derwent Inktense Pencils - Assorted Metal Tins - Sample Image
Derwent Inktense Watercolour Ink Pencils - Tin of 36 Assorted Pencils
Derwent Inktense Pencils - Set of 36
Colour Swatches
Derwent Inktense Pencils - Assorted Metal Tins - Sample Image
Derwent Inktense Watercolour Ink Pencils - Tin of 36 Assorted Pencils

Derwent Inktense Watercolour Ink Pencils - Tin of 36 Assorted Pencils

£56.00
Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolour Pencil Sets - Set of 12
Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolour Pencil Sets - Mood Photo
Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolour Pencil Sets - Mood Photo
Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolour Pencil Sets - Set of 12
Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolour Pencil Sets - Mood Photo
Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolour Pencil Sets - Mood Photo
Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolour Pencils - Set of 12

Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolour Pencils - Set of 12

£24.75
Derwent Inktense Blocks - Metal Tin Set of 12
Derwent Inktense Blocks - Metal Tin Set of 12
Derwent Inktense Watercolour Ink Blocks - Tin of 12
Derwent Inktense Watercolour Ink Blocks - Tin of 12
Derwent Inktense Watercolour Ink Blocks - Tin of 12
Derwent Inktense Blocks - Metal Tin Set of 12
Derwent Inktense Blocks - Metal Tin Set of 12
Derwent Inktense Watercolour Ink Blocks - Tin of 12
Derwent Inktense Watercolour Ink Blocks - Tin of 12
Derwent Inktense Watercolour Ink Blocks - Tin of 12
Derwent Inktense Watercolour Ink Blocks - Tin of 12
Derwent Inktense Watercolour Ink Blocks - Tin of 12
Derwent Inktense Watercolour Ink Blocks - Tin of 12

Derwent Inktense Watercolour Ink Blocks - Tin of 12

£22.59
Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolour Field Travel Set
Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolour Field Travel Set
Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolour Field Travel Set
Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolour Field Travel Set
Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolour Field Travel Set
Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolour Field Travel Set
Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolour Field Travel Set
Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolour Field Travel Set
Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolour Field Travel Set
Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolour Field Travel Set
Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolour Field Travel Set
Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolour Field Travel Set
Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolour Field Travel Set
Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolour Field Travel Set

Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolour Field Travel Set

£29.45
Derwent Inktense 24 Paint Pan Studio Set Box
Derwent Inktense 24 Paint Pan Studio Set
Derwent Inktense 24 Paint Pan Studio Set
Derwent Inktense 24 Paint Pan Studio Set
Derwent Inktense Swatches
Derwent Inktense 24 Paint Pan Studio Set Mood Image
Derwent Inktense 24 Paint Pan Studio Set Box
Derwent Inktense 24 Paint Pan Studio Set
Derwent Inktense 24 Paint Pan Studio Set
Derwent Inktense 24 Paint Pan Studio Set
Derwent Inktense Swatches
Derwent Inktense 24 Paint Pan Studio Set Mood Image

Derwent Inktense 24 Paint Pan Studio Set

£38.95
Winsor & Newton Promarker Watercolour Marker - Basic Tones - Set of 12
Winsor & Newton Promarker Watercolour Marker - Basic Tones - Set of 12
Winsor & Newton Promarker Watercolour Marker - Basic Tones - Set of 12
Winsor & Newton Promarker Watercolour Marker - Basic Tones - Set of 12
Winsor & Newton Promarker Watercolour Marker - Basic Tones - Set of 12
Winsor & Newton Promarker Watercolour Marker - Basic Tones - Set of 12
Winsor & Newton Promarker Watercolour Marker - Basic Tones - Set of 12

Winsor & Newton Promarker Watercolour Marker - Basic Tones - Set of 12

£30.55
Derwent Watercolour Pencils - Set of 12
Derwent Watercolour Pencils - Set of 12 - Tin Open
Derwent Watercolour Pencils - Set of 36 - Mood Image
Derwent Watercolour Pencils - Set of 12
Derwent Watercolour Pencils - Set of 12 - Tin Open
Derwent Watercolour Pencils - Set of 36 - Mood Image

Derwent Watercolour Pencils - Set of 12

£18.95
Derwent Inktense XL Blocks Individual
Derwent Inktense XL Blocks Individual - Sun Yellow
Derwent Inktense XL Blocks Individual - Sun Yellow In Box
Derwent Inktense XL Blocks Individual
Derwent Inktense XL Blocks Individual
Derwent Inktense XL Blocks Individual
Derwent Inktense XL Blocks Individual
Derwent Inktense XL Blocks Individual - Sun Yellow
Derwent Inktense XL Blocks Individual - Sun Yellow In Box
Derwent Inktense XL Blocks Individual
Derwent Inktense XL Blocks Individual
Derwent Inktense XL Blocks Individual
Derwent Inktense XL Blocks Individual

Derwent Inktense XL Blocks Individual

£6.49