ZenART's Membership Plans Terms & Conditions

(Updates effective 17/08/2020)

These terms and conditions (“Terms and Conditions”) govern the ZenART Supplies Rewards & Referral Plan as well as Subscribe & Save Plan (“Membership Plans”), and members of the programs will earn zen coins in connection with the purchase of qualifying online products and online activities that are redeemable towards the purchase of certain products online. For the re-occurring members (Subscribe & Save Plan) this includes exclusive gifts & content.


  • Free. No purchase is necessary to obtain membership in the Rewards & Referral Program, but you must establish an account at https://shop.zenartsupplies.co/account/register . Please see our privacy policy, located here, to understand how information you provide us will be used. This program is void where prohibited.
  • Eligibility. In order to be eligible for the Rewards & Referral Program, you must create an account as outlined in these Terms and Conditions. You may create an account if you are at least seventeen (17) years of age, have Internet access, and have a valid mailing address. If you are between the ages of 17 and 18, you must have your parent’s permission to register for an account. If you choose to create an account, you are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your account, username and password and for restricting access to your account. You are responsible for keeping such information current, complete, accurate and truthful. You agree to accept responsibility for all activities that occur under your account, username and/or password. You agree to provide only current, complete, accurate and truthful information. If you are accessing and using the Site on someone else’s behalf, you represent that you have the authority to bind that person as the principal to all Terms and Conditions provided herein, and to the extent you do not have such authority you agree to be bound to these Terms and Conditions and to accept liability for harm caused by any wrongful use of the Site or Content resulting from such access or use. You may only have one member account per natural person. Persons who are discovered to have more than one account forfeit their zen coins and will be unsubscribed from the Loyalty Program.
  • How To Enroll in the Rewards & Referral Program. (a) Create an account: Visit www.zenartsupplies.com (the "Site" or "Online") and become a registered user of the Site. Click here to be taken directly to the registration page. You will be asked for your first and last name, your email address, and a password. You will also be given the option to sign up for our newsletter. Once you have submitted the requisite information, you will be sent an email to the address you listed confirming your membership. Once you have confirmed your email address, you are automatically enrolled in the Reward & Referral Program and are a member (“Member”).
  • How to Access/Change Your Member Information. You must keep your personal information on your Account up-to-date. To do so, click on the "My Account" section and access your account by entering your registered email address and current password. From your dashboard you can access your account information; review your current and past orders; change your profile; manage your subscriptions and applications, and access your previous purchases.
  • How to Cancel Your Membership. You may cancel an account at any time. To cancel your account, please send an email to support@zenartsupplies.co and write “cancel membership” in the subject line. The email must come from the account currently listed on our servers as being associated with your Rewards & Referral Program. If you no longer have access to that email address, please email our customer service department and we will verify your status and cancel your account. Upon cancellation, you are no longer a member, and any unused zen coins accrued in your account will be forfeited and cannot be redeemed. Zen coins maintain their value only on valid accounts in good standing, and except as otherwise provided here for redemption, have no cash value outside of their redemption value on the Site.


  • General Members can earn zen coins on the purchase of qualifying online products at zenartsupplies.co. To receive zen coins for your Online purchases, you must be signed into your account. You may check at any time to see if you are signed in to the Site by looking in the upper right-hand corner of the site. Gift cards do not qualify for zen coins. Other products that do not qualify for zen coins are noted on the Site.
  • Earning Rate. Members earn 5 sen coins for every $1.00 spent on qualifying purchases (in other words, one (5) zen coins for every one dollar ($1) spent). Zen coins are based on your order subtotal, after any discounts, only. Zen coins are rounded down to the nearest whole number. For example, if you spend $9.99, you will receive 9 zen coins. The calculation is as follows: $9.99 x 1 zen coins per dollar = 9.99 zen coins, which is rounded down to 9 zen coins. This program started on August 17, 2020, and initial levels were set on the 2020 amount spent on ordering products. Note: Shipping and Taxes are not taken into consideration. If an item is return and/or price adjusted that will also be removed from your rewards calculations.
  • Gift Cards. Gift card purchases are not eligible to receive zen coins. However, once a gift card is redeemed, zen coins will be awarded to the recipient for the subtotal after any gift card values, provided s/he is logged into the account, as outlined in these Terms and Conditions.
  • Addition of Zen Coins to Accounts. Zen Coins will be added to your Account under the following conditions, and will generally show up immediately. You will receive zen coins:
    • At the time of account registration
    • During the purchase of qualifying products
    • For other activities outlined on the Site that may show up from time to time. Note that for these other activities, including “bonus zen coins” accumulations and other zen coin promotions, zen coins may show as “pending,” depending upon the activity.
    • Joining the Birthday Club. Birthdate must be entered 30 days before your Birthday to qualify.
    • For Liking the ZenART Supplies Facebook page and sharing the ZenART Supplies Facebook page with your following. This is good one time only.
    • Following ZenART Supplies on Instagram. This is good one time only.
    • Referring a friend to ZenART Supplies. Your account will be automatically awarded the discount only if the referral friend used the link sent to them from your referral account and makes a qualifying purchase. Discount will automatically be applied to account if stipulations are met.
  • Exclusions. Members earn zen coins only on the purchase price of: (i) qualifying online products. Calculation of zen coins excludes payment by the Member for shipping charges and all taxes, including without limitation, federal, state, and local taxes or use taxes. Zen Coins will not be earned on any discounts or other credits offered in connection with a product or service. For example, if a product that is normally $50 is on sale for $25, a Member will only earn zen coins on the purchase price of $25. Purchases of gift cards, redemption of vouchers, and any type of price adjustments, including merchandise returns, are not eligible for zen coins. All purchases made: (i) by a Member prior to such member joining the Program, (ii) Online without a Member being logged onto the Website with the Member's Account number linked to the Member's Online account, are not eligible for Reward & Referral Program credit. The purchase of ZenART Supplies products outside the Zenartsupplies.co website are not eligible for the Reward & Referral Program.
  • Returns/Order Cancellations. Zen Coins earned for a purchase that is then the subject of a return, cancellation, refund, declined credit card or gift card, or other credit will be deducted from your account in an amount equal to the zen coins earned for the original transaction, including any bonus zen coins that may be applicable. Any rewards discounts that are applied to the order, will be distributed equally to the applicable items in the order when completing a return. Zen Coins redeemed on an order will not be reapplied back to your rewards account for any reason on a returned order. If a return/cancellation will cause your account to have a negative zen coin balance, you will not begin earning zen coins again until your zen coins balance is returned to zero (0), by making purchases, or engaging in other promotional activities offered from time to time. If an item is exchanged (different product) any redeemed rewards on the initial purchase may be transferred to the exchange one (1) time only. Rewards used on an order that is canceled cannot be reapplied as they are good for just one use.
  • Bonus Zen Coins Promotions. From time to time, ZenART Supplies may run certain bonus zen coin promotions. Under bonus zen coin promotions, Members can earn additional or "bonus zen coins" in connection with the purchase of certain online products. When you purchase these specially marked products or make the purchase during a bonus zen coins time period, you will earn bonus zen coins on each product, as specified in the offer. Bonus zen coin promotions are subject to the terms and conditions of the offer and may be offered at any time in ZenART Supplies sole discretion. Bonus zen coin offers cannot be combined with any other offer.
  • Limitations on Bonus Zen Coins and Zen Coins, Generally. These terms apply to zen coins and bonus zen coins accruals. If you purchase a product during a promotion and the product comes with an additional, free product, zen coins will not be issued on the retail value of the free product. If you redeem zen coins towards the purchase of a product and pay a portion of the retail price after the zen coin's redemption, you will receive zen coins only on the leftover retail amount you pay, and not on any value attributed to the zen coin you used. If you redeem zen coins towards the purchase of a product in an amount equal to the full price of the product, you will not earn any zen coins.
  • Non-purchase Options for Earning Zen Coins. You may also earn additional zen coins on non-purchase activities. From time to time, ZenART Supplies may offer you the chance to win various prizes, and earn zen coins, for entering into promotions. For sweepstakes promotions, there is NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO PLAY OR TO WIN. Rules and restrictions will apply to such promotions and may be found on the entry page of any promotion.
  • Referring a friend to ZenART Supplies. Email a friend an $8 off coupon on $50 order by clicking “ Earn Zen Coins” then “ Refer a Friend”. Enter the email address of a friend who has not purchased with ZenART Supplies before (if your referral has shopped with us before the referral link will be automatically voided by the system). A referral link will be sent to your friend with an $8 off coupon on a $50 order. $8 off coupon on $50 order will automatically be rewarded to your account only if the referral friend used the link sent to them from your referral account and makes a qualifying first-time purchase with ZenART Supplies. Your Referral friend will receive an $8 off coupon on $50 order, 200 zen coins for signing up, and zen coins from their first purchase made while signed into their new ZenART Supplies account.


  • How To Use Your Zen Coins. Zen Coins must be used in increments outlined in these Terms and Conditions. The maximum number of zen coins that may be used in a single transaction is 10,000 zen coins. Zen Coins may only be used Online at the ZenART Supplies website. Zen Coins towards Products: Members can use their zen coins to reduce the purchase price of a product or to receive a product for free based on the following scale:
    • 500 zen coins = $5.00 off
    • 1,000 zen coins = $10.00 off your at least $50 order
    • 1,500 zen coins = $15.00 off your at least $50 order
    • 2,500 zen coins = $25.00 off your at least $50 order

    Zen Coins can only be redeemed in any combination of the zen coin and increment amounts set forth above. Redemption of zen coins towards purchases of products is subject to product availability. Any rewards discounts that are applied to the order, will be distributed equally to the applicable items in the order when completing a return.

  • Gift cards. Once available, zen coins cannot be used towards the purchase of gift cards. Gift card redemption, however, is eligible for zen coins. Zen Coins accrued pursuant to the use of a gift card will benefit the gift card user, provided the user has an account in accordance with these Terms and Conditions.
  • To Redeem your Zen Coins. Before you begin shopping with us, sign in to your Shop account on our site. Select “Redeem Zen Coins” from the red tab housed in the lower left-hand corner of the screen and select the amount of zen coins you would like to redeem. You will be issued a custom code that you can copy and paste into the discount bar during check out (Please note - only one code can be used). Your total payment amount will be discounted by the amount of zen coins you allocate to the purchase. Note that zen coins may only be redeemed for the purchase price of the product. Sales tax, shipping, and other handling charges assessed in addition to the price of the product are your responsibility and zen coins may not be used to discount these additional charges.
  • Exclusions. Only one account per natural person. Only one discount code can be redeemed per transaction. Rewards redemption codes may not be combined with any other discount codes. Zen Coins may not be transferred or gifted at this time. Zen Coins cannot be used on past purchases. Zen Coins accumulated on different accounts by different members may not be combined or aggregated to make purchases of products or for any other reason. Zen Coins earned in a transaction cannot be redeemed in the same transaction. Redeemed zen coins cannot be retroactively applied to any past order or receive a price adjustment on any order where redeemed zen coins were not applied. Zen Coins have no cash value outside of the ZenART Supplies website and are available only to members in good standing.
  • Zen Coins Expiration and Time Lapses. All zen coins acquired, whether standard zen coins or bonus zen coins, shall expire 180 days from the date the zen coins are added to your account. Zen Coins expire 180 days from the date in which they were assigned to your account. Specific onsite activities in which zen coins will be awarded are set to accrue zen coins based on a time-lapse at the discretion of ZenART Supplies.
    • Sign up: zen coins are added to your account instantly
    • Order: zen coins are added to your account when your order is placed.
  • Once zen coins are redeemed, a discount code will be assigned and we are unable to cancel the discount code and reapply the zen coins to your Reward & Referral account. Discount codes generated by redeeming zen coins do not expire until used. They are a one-time use code, so once it is used it is gone. If an order is returned zen coins will not be reinstated.

4. Subscribe & Save Plan

  • Re-occurring purchase. Purchase is necessary in order to participate in this plan. The plan is worth $6.95 and will be charged to your account on the same date of the month that you purchased the plan, i.e. if you purchased the plan on 19th of January, you will be charged for the plan on the 19th of each month you are a Subscribe & Save Plan member.
  • 15% re-occurring discount. As a member of the subscribe & Save Plan, you are eligible for a 15% discount every time you put an order in place. You are qualified for the discount as soon as you purchase the plan.
  • Cancellation. After a purchase made with a Subscribe & Save Plan, you are not able to get a refund for the plan for the month the purchase was valid for but you can cancel for the following months.
  • Free samples & accessories. These are included for members of Subscribe & Save Plan only. These are not included in each order but the member will be informed when they will receive "extras" in their order.
  • Access to exclusive content. Exclusive access to tutorials, guides, tips & tricks in video, pdf, or audio format will be part of the membership program. Not all exclusive content is available but what is and will be available is up to ZenART Supplies sole discretion.


  • By registering with Zenartsupplies.co and joining the Reward & Referral Program, you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions set forth in these Terms and Conditions, as well as any other terms that may be associated with the Reward & Referral Program. ZenART Supplies reserves the right to cancel, modify, suspend or restrict the Reward & Referral Program, your account, the redemption of zen coins, or any aspect of the Program, including, without limitation, the zen coin conversion ratio and the zen coin expiration policy at any time. Any changes can be made without advance notice. ZenART Supplies may make these changes even though such changes may affect your ability to use zen coins already accumulated. You are responsible for remaining knowledgeable about the Program Terms and Conditions. A Member's zen coins balance, as reflected in ZenART Supplies records, shall be deemed correct. ZenART Supplies reserves the right to determine the amount of zen coins in any Member's account based on ZenART Supplies' internal records related to such Member's account. In the event of an inconsistency between the amount accrued in a Member's account as stated on any Member's receipt and ZenART Supplies internal records, ZenART Supplies internal records will control. ZenART Supplies assumes no responsibility for errors caused by incorrect Member information. Your right to transfer zen coins earned or granted under the Program is strictly limited. The sale of zen coins is prohibited and may result in the confiscation or cancellation of your zen coins as well as suspension or termination of your membership, which in each case shall be final and conclusive. All transactions involving zen coins and all Member accounts are subject to review and verification by ZenART Supplies. The zen coins balance in a Member's account may be unavailable for use when an account or transaction is under review. ZenART Supplies may revoke any Member's membership in the Reward & Referral Program at any time if such Member engages in abuse of the Reward & Referral Program or fails to follow the terms and conditions of the Program. Fraud or abuse relating to the accrual of zen coins or redemption of rewards may result in revocation of membership in the Program and may affect a Member's eligibility for participation in any other ZenART Supplies program, present or future. Zen Coins are non-transferable and cannot be redeemed for cash. The interpretation and application of the Program's Terms and Conditions are at the sole discretion and determination of ZenART Supplies. For more information or other questions, click on Contact Us.
  • The Terms and Conditions of the loyalty program are subject to change at ZenART Supplies’ sole discretion at any time and without notice to customers. Upon customer’s at-will termination of their Zenartsupplies.com registered account, or if a customer is termination for violation of these Terms and Conditions or other activities in violation of the intent and good faith intended use of this Site, all zen coins will immediately be forfeited and will no longer be redeemable. ZenART Supplies will make reasonable efforts to award zen coins as outlined above to all 1. registered and 2. qualifying Zenartsupplies.co customers but is not responsible for any technical or unforeseen errors that may occur.
  • Zen Coins are nontransferable, nonredeemable for cash, are nonrefundable and are not valid outside of Zenartsupplies.co. Purchases made outside Zenartsupplies.co are not valid for zen coin accrual (this includes, but is not limited to Facebook resell groups, Ebay, and Amazon).
  • Employees of ZenART Supplies are not eligible to participate in the Reward & Referral Program.

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How To Paint Watercolor On Canvas

How To Paint Watercolor On Canvas

Watercolor Ground & Gesso | Watercolor Painting On Canvas | How To Watercolor On Canvas | Simple Floral Watercolor Exercise

Before heading into the world of painting watercolor on canvas, why not have a look at the different Watercolor Brush Sizes. Find out which ones you really need for your watercolor painting adventures.

Artists by nature are curious and explorative creatures. After getting well-acquainted with the basics of watercolor painting, our minds just start to wander and then wonder... What else can be done with watercolors? Can you use watercolor on canvas? On wood panels perhaps? And the answer to that question is yes, BUT with some extra prep work. 

TABLE OF CONTENTS: Looking for something in particular? Jump ahead using the links below:

Watercolor Ground & Gesso
Watercolor Painting On Canvas
Preparing For Painting Watercolor On Canvas
How To Watercolor On Canvas

Simple Floral Watercolor Exercise

Watercolor palette shown above is the Allegro Palette from ZenART Supplies.

Canvases are generally used for oil and acrylic painting, you can stretch one yourself and do all the priming with gesso that it needs before painting on it. Or you can buy already stretched and primed ones that are readily available nowadays in most art shops or arts and crafts stores. If it's already primed with gesso, can I paint on it with watercolor, you ask? Yes, but it won't be the same experience as when painting on paper. If you want to be able to paint on canvas and keep the characteristics that are the hallmark of watercolors, then you have to add an additional "primer" that is the watercolor ground. To understand it better let's first briefly talk about the difference between gesso and watercolor ground.

Top: Stretched canvas mounted on an easel. Bottom: Impasto acrylic application on canvas pad. Canvases are generally most often used for oil and acrylic paints.

Watercolor Ground and Gesso

Watercolor Ground

This is a kind of primer that you can apply on surfaces to make them absorbent and more receptive to your watercolor applications - as well as other water media. It can be applied to canvas, paper, hardboard, plaster, wood panels, and non-absorbent surfaces like glass, metal, and plastic. Though it's best to sand or abrade these smooth/shiny surfaces to give them tooth so the watercolor ground will adhere to them better.

Watercolor grounds are acrylic based primers just like the regular acrylic based gesso you get from stores. But they have been formulated to be much more absorbent than gesso. After all, watercolors need a porous enough surface to be absorbed, but not too porous that the pigments sink in too deep. There are many kinds of watercolor grounds available nowadays, from thinner formulations to much thicker ones that you can apply with highly textured finishes. It will all depend on your preference or the style you want to achieve when painting watercolor on canvas.


Gesso is a primer that is applied to surfaces like canvases and wood panels to prepare them for painting. There is the traditional gesso that's more absorbent than the acrylic gesso and the most suitable for oil paints, but is quite challenging to mix and apply. So nowadays, most people generally opt for pre-primed canvases (oil primed and otherwise) or the store-bought acrylic gesso that's much friendlier to use. 

Canvases primed with acrylic gesso have the tiniest bit of absorbency. Nowhere near a paper's level of absorbency, that's for sure. After all it's meant for acrylic and oil paint that you actually want to stay on the surface. Watercolor applied on acrylic gesso primed canvas or other substrate tends to mostly stay on the surface, so it will be difficult if you plan to do a lot of glazing and layering. The color below can easily lift off and mix with your succeeding layers if you're not careful. So it's best to work quickly on any additional layer, and not repeatedly go over or rub too much on re-wetted areas. Though this also means it will do well on the color lifting side of things if you're looking to do that. 

Gesso is usually white, but there are also colored ones (clear, black, other colors) available. Or you can always stain your white gesso a different color by adding your chosen acrylic color to the mix. Mixed media artists have painted watercolor over gesso, so you can try it out for yourself and see how it works. And what sort of applications and techniques you can use.

Watercolor Painting On Canvas

Lately I've found some watercolor canvas pads and watercolor canvas panels/boards for sale that have already been primed and ready for use. You can try those out or you can buy watercolor ground and prime your chosen substrate yourself. There are also different kinds of watercolor ground that you can choose from.  Transparent ground, light ground, watercolor ground, and cold-press watercolor ground are just some of those available across various brands. So depending on the effect and texture you want, it's best if you read up on each one before deciding which to get. 

The pros of watercolor painting on canvas:

  • Durability - since canvas is sturdier than paper, it can handle rougher applications. You won't fear so much tearing your surface when you do your blotting, scratching, or scraping. 
  • No more buckling - when using a pre-stretched canvas or panel, you can just paint right away after you've applied the watercolor ground. No need to do any extra stretching that you need to do with watercolor paper to avoid it from buckling especially when painting a lot of very wet washes.
  • Color-lifting - easy color lifting for corrections, or for those special color-lifting effects like highlights. No need to use masking fluid or work around the whites of your surface to preserve the whiteness. This also means you'll have more time to work on your details since the absorption time is quite slow.
  • Framing options - with watercolor on paper, you usually need to have it framed behind glass and with a rigid backing for support as paper can be easily damaged. But with stretched canvases, boards or panels, there's no need for placing behind glass. As long as you've fixed and varnished your work, you can hang it framed/unframed. You can also easily hang it on the wall by just attaching hanging hardware to the stretcher at the back. 

Preparing For Painting Watercolor On Canvas

You start by choosing your canvas - pre stretched or not, pre-primed or not, canvas panel/board, canvas pad, you can try it out on each of those one at a time. I used a sheet of canvas pad as my trying out choice. I'll paint on the gesso primed canvas, the watercolor ground primed canvas, and watercolor paper for comparison. 

Once you've chosen your preferred canvas, start by reading up on the instructions of the watercolor ground you have on hand. Different grounds across varying brands have different application instructions. Try to follow them as best as you can to start with. You can always fiddle around with the mixtures/application later on once you've already tested them out.

The watercolor ground that I have (Titanium White) has the following instruction for example: 

"Directions: An excellent ground for watercolor on all surfaces. Absorbent surfaces: Canvas, Paper, Plaster, Hardboard. Non-absorbent surfaces: Glass, Plastic, Metal - for best results these will need to be abraded before application of the ground. Thick. Brushable and heavily pigmented. Allow 24-72 hours to cure before applying Watercolor or Acrylics. Can be thinned up to 10% with water. Wash brushes immediately after use. "

Don't use your good brushes for this, I have regular cheap brushes that are just for gesso application that I also used for the ground. I also just applied one even layer across the canvas pad. I wasn't looking to cover the texture of the canvas, I actually wanted it to show through for this trial. The canvas' texture has its own charms that I wanted to explore. When I get my hands on some cold-pressed watercolor ground, I'll try a more heavily textured application to mimic the rough watercolor paper's surface. 

Then I allowed the applied ground to cure for 72 hours. It was dry to the touch after 12 hours but I left it alone just to be on the safe side. It dried with a fine rough texture with a chalky finish. 

How To Watercolor On Canvas

Once it's fully dry, you can now start exploring and watercolor painting on canvas! I set up a comparison exercise of using watercolor on hot press watercolor paper, cold-press watercolor paper, and watercolor ground on canvas pad. 

I prepared 3 strips, one for each substrate to test my watercolors on. To test them out, I decided to do a graded wet-on-wet wash, a flat wash which I then color-lifted a section of when it dried, and a basic glazing/layering. Using Prussian Blue, Crimson, and layering of Prussian Blue and Viridian from the Espresso Palette of ZenART Supplies.

Watercolor used is the Espresso Palette from the Aspiring Artist Series, and the brushes are from the Turner Collection, both from ZenART Supplies.

Watercolor On Hot-Pressed and Cold-Pressed Watercolor Paper

This is a good starting point if you're interested in exploring watercolor painting on canvas. Doing a side-by-side comparison with two kinds of watercolor paper will show you what the similarities and differences are between painting on paper and on watercolor ground. Start out by doing the basic exercises for the different watercolor techniques. Here I tried out 4 different techniques, you can certainly do more for a full exploration.

Hot-Press Watercolor Paper

Hot-press watercolor paper has a fine and smooth surface due to the way it's manufactured - hot pressed between heated rollers. It doesn't absorb water and pigment quickly, so this gives you more time to work with and play around with. It's great for precise and fine detailing making it a popular choice for illustrators.

Layering and glazing on this paper is exciting as it vividly shows the watery marks and blooms. But because of its smooth surface, it doesn't hold on to the pigment as well as cold-press. So be careful not to overdo your layering as the more you layer on, the latter layers will tend to just stick on top instead of fully adhering to the paper. This characteristic makes it easier to color-lift from hot-press paper as well.

Cold-press Watercolor Paper

Cold-press watercolor paper is pressed between rollers that are NOT hot, giving it its unique textured surface. This paper is more absorbent than hot-press, so you have to work on your details faster. It also makes it harder to color-lift, you can still lift some but expect more staining on the paper. It's quite durable to heavy washes, it can definitely take more than hot-press paper, making it the more popular choice overall. Because of its heavily textured surface, water and pigment tend to pool around the bumps and grooves. This is a trait that artists actually like and take advantage of as it adds to the overall look and finish of the work. 

Watercolor Ground On Canvas Pad

I find that painting watercolor on canvas (primed with watercolor ground) has more similarities to painting on hot-press paper. The water and pigment are not easily absorbed by canvas, and tend to stay on top for quite some time. Again this gives you more time to work with. How the washes bloom and spread is quite similar to hot-press paper. The edges are not as crisp, but good enough for some detail work. Color-lifting is also easier because I don't need to worry about the dangers of rubbing too much as I would with paper, the canvas can take rougher handling. Though this means that I have to be extra careful when doing some glazing or layering as the paint below can easily be lifted when re-wetted.

The main difference I noticed is that there's more tooth on the canvas despite its relatively smooth surface. So expect some pull on your brushes that's a bit similar to cold-press paper. This is nothing new if you've gone through the testing of various watercolor papers. You just need to get acquainted with the quirks of each new one and adjust your technique accordingly. So whichever watercolor ground you end up getting, just test it out and explore what you can do with it.

From top to bottom: Graded wash in Prussian Blue, flat wash with color-lifting in Crimson, and glazing/layering with Viridian and Prussian Blue. All from the Espresso Palette of ZenART Supplies.
Here's a close up of each one for a closer look at the granulation and the effect of the canvas' texture. 

Simple Floral Watercolor Exercise

I tried a really quick floral painting exercise to try it out, and I didn't find it difficult to use. The edges of the lines came out clean and I mostly did basic layering. I found that as soon as it was fully absorbed into the ground, the pigment sunk in a bit. So just find out how your watercolor ground behaves and adjust the intensity of your mixes if needed. 

Using colors from the Espresso Palette and brushes from the Turner Collection, both from ZenART Supplies.
Simple floral watercolor painting on canvas that's been primed with watercolor ground. The texture of the canvas is still visible and makes for a new and interesting surface.

Painting watercolor on canvas has its own challenges, but what new medium or substrate isn't at the start of things? It was certainly very interesting for me as I haven't really thought to explore it so much before. Canvas certainly has the great benefit of being hardier than paper, this makes me want to further explore that characteristic. I suggest you try it out first by testing all the various watercolor techniques and brush strokes. Once you've learned more about how watercolor behaves on this new surface, then you'll have more confidence in creating a painting next. Don't stress too much about it, just enjoy the exploration and experimentation. This stage is all about learning and getting to know this new surface. 

We'd love to hear back from you!

Are you considering watercolor painting on canvas? What do you find most appealing about painting watercolor on canvas? Which kind of surface do you usually prefer, a smoother one or a more textured one? What future content would you like to see from us? Let me know in the comments below, and I'll happily get back to you. Join our friendly art community Painting Inspiration Daily on Facebook. You can share your art and ideas, watch LIVE tutorials, and be inspired to paint! 

Looking for some inspiration and guidance into painting some Watercolor Still Life For Beginners? That's next on our Toolkits, until then have a wonderful time exploring watercolor painting on canvas!


Kathleen is the Wordsmith at ZenART, resident artist and art editor. When God sent a shower of talents, Kathleen made sure she got a basketful of them! She's a visual artist with practical knowledge on various fields from painting and sculpture, to costume and set design which comes in very handy when writing about various art techniques and theories. She also shares her passion for the arts through teaching. She runs her own brand of handmade wirework jewelry designs.

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