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Questions about AQUA Canvas and Watercolor Tutorials

Basics about Aqua Canvas - the first canvas for watercolours

What is an AQUA canvas? And why should you paint on a canvas with watercolour? Here we show you which material can be used to work on AQUA, how your art will last and why AQUA Canvas is convincing.

„I use the Water-Brush with the inferior plastic hairs because the system has water with it. It's similar with AQUA canvas: there's paper you can watercolour on better, but you can't stretch it on a frame.“

- Gris -

Why paint with watercolour on canvas?

Finish the watercolour and paint it on the wall. It has never been so easy!

The AQUA canvas can be hung without framing or passe-partout. But it offers even more advantages:

  • The canvas can be re-stretched if necessary. Thus, after wedging, the canvas is smooth again.
  • Even unusually large formats are possible with this special medium. An AQUA stretcher frame can be up to 200 cm long.
  • The painting surface has a high light resistance. Unlike some watercolour papers, this canvas does not yellow. With the appropriate presentation, the works retain their colour intensity for many years.

Or to put it in the words of jolimaoli:

"The Canvas "AQUA"...

  • firmly covered and dries without wrinkles even with a very "wet" technique
  • ...can be worked on with pencil and eraser without fraying
  • ...has a very soft surface so that brush pens or brushes do not fray
  • ideally suited for a combination of different painting techniques. Of course, you can not only brush it with watercolour paint. ;)
  • produced from sustainable forestry in Germany"

What is the difference between the AQUA canvas and watercolour paper?

There are many differences between conventional watercolour paper and the new AQUA canvas. Here we have listed a few.

  1. While watercolour paper is mainly used lying on the table, the AQUA canvas can also be set up due to its stability. In this case, the flowing of the colours can be used consciously. Or you may want to prevent this flowing behaviour. In this case, it is best to use watercolours with a high pigment content and less water.
  2. Watercolour paper can become wavy as it dries. The AQUA surface, on the other hand, smoothes out again due to the tension of the stretcher frame during drying. In addition, if necessary, more tension can be added to the canvas by wedging it out. In any case, the surface of the canvas becomes beautifully smooth again.
  3. Some watercolour paper tends to yellow over time. This does not happen with AQUA because it is a special material.
  4. AQUA is not paper. It is a special material that has been newly developed by MH&P Das Keilrahmen Werk. The colour is thus also absorbed differently. Our recommendation for brilliant results: Pigment the colours more, use less water and apply the colours more opaque.

What is the AQUA screen made of?

The AQUA canvas is not paper. 

It is a mixed medium specially developed by MH&P Das Keilrahmen Werk. This material is tear-resistant, similar to conventional painting cloths, and can therefore be stretched. AQUA has a robust and lint-free surface finish, convinces with excellent flow behaviour and high colour brilliance. It can be erased, rubbed or scratched without any problems. At the same time, the structure appears soft like watercolour paper.

Do I need to prime the AQUA canvas?

The AQUA canvas is delivered ready to paint. No primer of any kind is required.

So unpack the AQUA canvas and get started!

Which colours do you use to paint on AQUA?

With its soft, harmonious surface structure, the AQUA canvas is excellently suited for all watercolour techniques. The AQUA surface can be combined very well with other colours and techniques:

  • Acrylic
  • Gouache
  • Tempera techniques
  • India ink
  • Oil paints
  • Pencils
  • Felt-tip pens
  • Wax Oil Crayons
  • Pastel
  • Collage

How to paint on AQUA canvas?

Similar to classical watercolour painting, there are many different techniques and preferences: Watercolour brushes, pens, brush pens, airbrush. In any case, we recommend using water-soluble colours with a higher pigmentation, using less water and applying more opaque colours. 

We have collected a few tips from watercolour artists here:

Dissolving the colours: 

"In contrast to dissolving paint on watercolour paper, this is only possible to a limited extent on AQUA. Once the paint is too dry, it is difficult to dissolve it to such an extent that an edge disappears completely. Then only another layer of paint can help or you can use the edge that has been created."
- Leoni Pfeiffer

Using brush pens on AQUA: 

"The often very rough surface of normal canvases causes the expensive brush pens to fray. Annoying! With AQUA, however, this was no problem at all. It absorbs the paint well, dries 'tight' and is just super pleasant to work with."
- jolimanoli

Can I erase preliminary drawings?

The AQUA canvas is eraser-proof. Under the following conditions, you can remove pencil sketches from AQUA without leaving any residue:

  • The surface must be dry. If the material is damp, the eraser cannot grip. It is best to wait until the canvas is completely dry before erasing.
  • The choice of eraser is crucial. When buying your eraser, make sure it is as soft as possible. A lead ink eraser, for example, is too hard. It is better to buy an eraser from an art supply store that leaves no marks and has a high absorption capacity. Then a preliminary drawing can be erased without leaving any residue. 
Video: Erasing on AQUA Canvas

How long must The AQUA Canvas dry?

The drying times of watercolour on AQUA depend on the painting techniques used as well as the frame size. Canvas sizes: Small up to 40 x 60cm, Medium up to 80 x 120cm, Large from 80 x 120cm, Panorama from 40 x 120 cm.

Drying times (hours)smallmediumlarge, panorama
Wet on wet2–63–123–12
Dry on wet1–42–63–6
Wet on dry1–42–62–6
Dry on dry0–10–20–2
Dabbing technique1–62–62–6

How do I re-stretch a stretcher frame?

AQUA canvas is mounted on a sturdy wooden stretcher frame from sustainable forestry. Each stretcher frame comes with a bag of 8 wedges. Two for each corner of the frame.

If you notice that the AQUA canvas is no longer so tight, for example after a longer period of time or due to a large amount of paint, you can re-stretch the stretcher. To do this, place the wooden wedges in the corner slots of the frame and drive them in with a hammer until the material is taut again.

Be careful!
To ensure that the canvas remains evenly stretched, you should gently tap the wedges into all four corners, piece by piece. 

How do I keep the finished work?

Once the watercolour painting is completely dry, the canvas can be protected with a fixative. In the case of gouache painting, fixative can even be dispensed with.

A dry room is best suited for presentation. Bathrooms and kitchens are not ideal. Ideally, you should choose a location with little direct sunlight to protect the paint. Then you will enjoy your AQUA artwork for a long time.

Further Tutorials and Testimonials on Aqua Canvas

Aqua canvas example with watercolor by Leonie Pfeiffer

Watercolour on stretcher frame

Field report from Goldener Strich

Leoni Pfeiffer has written an article about our AQUA stretcher frame. In her detailed report, she gives tips on which colours are ideal for working on AQUA stretcher frames and which techniques she personally favours.

Aqua canvas lettering "Think Positive"

Lettering on AQUA Canvas

Report form Amylee Paris

The French blogger Amylee Paris tested our AQUA canvas and wrote about it.

Quote: "I like to play with my watercolour on the AQUA canvas. The feeling with the brush is like painting on drum skin. The material is incredible." Amylee Paris

Handlettering by Joli Manoli on Aqua Canvas

Lettering on Canvas

Tutorial by Joli Manoli

Step-by-step handlettering and watercoloring by Jolimanoli 

Joli Manoli shows here how to create a beautiful saying on AQUA Canvas using water-based paint and brush pens.

Using Watercolour Masking Fluid in the Test

Masking fluid on AQUA canvas

Apply masking fluid, test and procedure.

Instructions: Pre-draw. Apply masking fluid. Paint over it with watercolour. Allow to dry. Rub off the masking fluid.
The masking fluid can be removed from the AQUA canvas without leaving any traces.

Video: Maskierflüssigkeit auf AQUA Leinwand im Test
Watercolor text on AQUA canvas by Mädchenkunst

Tried out watercolour on canvas 

Watercolour painting video by Mädchenkunst

The illustrator, author and designer Christin tried out watercolour on AQUA Canvas for us and made a video about it. But see for yourself.

Aquarell Leinwand ausprobiert Video Vorschau
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