Granulating Watercolors and Aquabord Sample Art

abstract watercolor granulations by

For a long time I’ve been enamored by Geology and Art.  Combining the two interests in watercolor is now an easy possibility thanks to the great watercolor paints by the Daniel Smith Paint Company in Seattle Washington.

All paints use pigments to give the paint its own color.  A lot of that comes from nature. In Daniel Smith granulating colors the pigments come from minerals and rocks from all over the world. You can look up individual paints on their website and read about what part of the world the rocks and minerals originated from.  I geek out on their website by the hours!

The upside is that as the watercolor paint dries, the grains of minerals don’t dissolve and the result is a very granulated grainy finish that is just so visually exciting to see.  I am beyond happy that the art is directly connected to the minerals of the earth. It brings me back to many happy hours of examining rocks with my rockhound father and the years of studying geology from my college days.

Here is a sample of a recent painting I did on Ampersand Aquabord:

abstract watercolor granulations by

The great thing about the Aquabord is that it is cradled on wood, which means that you can create a watercolor, varnish it if you wish, and hang the artwork right on the wall as it is three dimensional self-framed. The result is a very modern look!  It is rigid, so no need to worry about paper warping or bubbling.

The surface is fairly porous, which means the watercolor paints don’t sit on the surface like they would on a water-charged paper like Arches. It takes a bit of experimenting to adjust to it, but I’m excited to explore the possibilities. Just to be able to hang a watercolor painting without matting or framing and have it be archival is quite the innovation!

I plan on varnishing the finished piece with high gloss varnish to really make the colors pop and give it a resin-like finish without the toxic chemicals.  

I love how this work feels icy and  like a glacier. The Aquabord reacts very differently from water color paper. It opens up so many, many possibilities.  And, the price point below is much lower than what I paid for one single board from an art supply store. Bulk packaging for the win, win!

Here are the materials I used to create this.

DANIEL SMITH Primatek & Essential Combo Set


Ampersand Aquabord 6 in. x 6 in. pack of 4

Let us know if you would like a step by step tutorial!

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I hope you are enjoying this article! I really care a lot that you find what you are looking for. There are so many ways to go about creating and my goal is to help you. Thank you again for reading!

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