Tips and Tricks: Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground & Duochromes

I am excited to share a few fun Daniel Smith watercolor products that I really enjoy. Most of the time watercolor painting is done on paper specifically made for this type of paint. Daniel Smith offers a watercolor ground product that allows you to paint on other surfaces that wouldn't normally accept watercolor paint.

The grounds come in three different colors: Titanium White, Buff Titanium, and Mars Black. For this demonstration I decided to use the Mars Black so I could pair it with Daniel Smith's Duochrome watercolor paints. The ground is thick with a bit of grit to it, but easily spread with a brush. I chose to use one of my cheaper synthetic brushes to do this.  Below I am applying the ground to a piece of cardboard and leaving it until it is dry to the touch.

Most watercolors will not show up well on a black background, but Daniel Smith Duochromes are luminescent. They create a fabulous sheen over the Mars Black ground. In the example below I am using Duochromes Emerald, Blue Pearl, Oceanic and Hibiscus to create a few jellyfish and some seaweed. I do not need to use as much water with the paints as I normally would, because the ground is not as absorbent as regular watercolor paper. 

After the paint has dried, I add details with the best white pen I've found so far - a Uni-ball Signo in white. I love the effect of the light catching the shimmer of the paints.

Here is a photo of the finished demo, but I don't think a photo can really capture the shine of the piece. I hope you'll give it a try for yourself and let me know what you think!