Depending on the paper you use, can you use acrylic paint on watercolor paper can range from “no” to “yes.” Papers come in all kinds of weights, measured either in grams per square meter (gsm) or in pounds per square inch (lb). The heavier the paper, the more able it is to withstand repeated applications of acrylic painting without buckling, tearing, warping or bleeding.
Using acrylic paint on paper, especially heavy paper, can provide you with a unique effect that blends the advantages of both media. Colors retain their vibrancy and the texture of the paper provides a variety of different effects that may not be seen on canvas. If you are concerned about the surface bleeding through the acrylic paint, a quick application of gesso to the paper can help prevent this from happening.
Acrylics and Watercolor Paper: A Surprising Pair for Expressive Art
If you are a new painter, it is best to start with a piece of heavy watercolor paper that lays flat when stretched. This can be bought from your local art supply store or online. You should also be sure to choose a paper that has been prepared for painting, which means that it is sizing and acid-free. Lastly, you should make sure to soak the paper and mist it on the back with water to loosen the fibers and avoid overwetting. This will prevent cockling, which is the wavy peaks and troughs that occur when the paper absorbs too much water. This can ruin the effect of your paintings, as well as damage the paper.