Five Water Colour Mediums that Will Transform Your Art in 2015

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Whether you are blending, adding texture or layering and juxtaposing washes within your water colour practice, our phenomenal range of mediums will add new dimensions to your artwork, potentially reinventing your paintings altogether. Read on to learn about five key mediums which can transform the way you work with water colour, allowing you to explore a range of fresh creative possibilities.




1. Granulation Medium

How is it used?

Granulation Medium is applicable when you want to add interesting dimensions to otherwise flat areas, as it gives a mottled appearance to colours which normally have a smooth wash, or enhances the effect of granulating colours. This medium is useful for all water colour techniques, including landscape painting, seascape painting and figurative work. 

For maxiumum effect, dilute water colours with the medium alone. By diluting the colour further with water, a variety of results can be achieved. Granulation Medium is resoluble simply by re-wetting.

Granulation is also greatly affected by different water colour papers. For maximum granulations use Rough paper and for less granulation use a medium texture surface.



2. Gum Arabic

Adding Gum Arabic to a water colour wash slows the drying time of your paint, giving you slightly longer to work on creating your image or working wet into wet, it increases transparency and gloss to give greater brilliance of colour and luminosity. Gum Arabic also reduces the staining of pigments, making washes easier to lift.

Mix Gum Arabic into the water colour wash or it to the jar of water if you prefer to use it throughout a painting. Avoid using Gum Arabic directly from the bottle as thick films will be brittle.


3. Lifting Preparation Medium

How is it used?

Lifting Preparation allows dry colour washes, including staining colours, to easily lift from paper with a wet brush or rag. It must be applied to paper first and allowed to dry. To use, apply to the whole surface and allow to fully dry. Once dry, continue painting washes as normal over the Lifting Preparation and allow these to dry.

Areas or details can then be removed by taking a soft brush dipped in tap water, gently moistening the area to be removed and blotting off the dissolved colour.     For larger areas a sponge can be used in place of the brush.

This process can be repeated until the required degree of removal is achieved. The removed areas can then be left white or painted over with further washes.   

Washes will be most successfully lifted within five or six hours after the initial application, but will remain more removable than if paper alone had been used. Lifting Preparation does not make the water colour more soluble, so there is no worry about multiple washes becoming muddy. 


4. Permanent Masking Medium

How is it used?

Permanent Masking Medium was designed to, as its name suggests, mask areas of paper and make them water resistant. It can be applied directly to white paper, to dried washes on the paper or mixed with water colours first. 

All water colour washes mixed with Permanent Masking Medium remain open and workable whilst the wash is still wet. Once dry, the area becomes isolated and cannot be fully penetrated by further washes. A hair dryer can be used to speed the drying. Brushes should be washed in warm water and soap before using other colours.

The example above shows areas of paper treated with Permanent Masking Medium and allowed to dry. When the water colour wash is then painted over, these areas they remain isolated.

How does Permanent Masking Medium differ from Art Masking Fluid?

  • Permanent Masking Medium is not removable
  • Permanent Masking Medium can be added to colour
  • Brushes are easier to clean
  • Art Masking Fluid is recommended for crisp whites, larger areas of masking and is faster drying, whilst Permanent Masking Medium is recommended for fine detail and expressive effects within the painting.


5. Texture Medium

How is it used?

Texture Medium is used to add fine texture to paintings, creating the impression of depth and structure. It can be applied directly onto the paper or mixed with water colours first. More layers of colour can be applied over the top. Texture Medium is re-soluble but like all water colour washes, some colour will remain on the paper.


Usage Chart


  Masks or isolates areas 
Designed to be removed Improves





Slows drying

Pearlescent or glitter effect

Mottled or granulated effect

Structure or texture

Art Masking Fluid                    
Colourless Art Masking Fluid                     
Gum Arabic    
Ox Gall 
Granulation Medium

Lifting Preparation                      
Permanent Masking Medium                      
Blending Medium              
Texture Medium




Explore our full range of Mediums here.


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