Introduction to Encore WaterMedia

Hi! My name is Irv Engel. I’m an amateur watercolor artist who became frustrated with the problems that all of us suffer from: bulging paper when it's wet, having to tape or pin the paper flat to a board before you can paint, and most of all… the inability to alter anything once you've painted.

Watercolor paper is basically a porous, fibrous surface that absorbs pigments into the body of the paper. There is little that can be done to correct mistakes without leaving stains or causing actual damage to the surface. The result is often a ruined painting at the point of erasure which cannot be corrected without a noticeable difference.

As we've all experienced, wetting watercolor paper causes it to bulge, warp or bubble. Unlike oil and acrylic painting, which is done on pre-stretched and frame-mounted canvas, watercolor paper needs to be “mounted” (taped, or pinned and stretched) on a rigid backing, most commonly on a sheet of plywood. This adds to the weight of the materials the artist carries, especially when painting plein aire. 

I started this blog because I want you to know that I have solved all three of these problems in a single product that I'm calling "Encore WaterMedia". I use the term "Watermedia" to indicate that this is a whole new way of using water-based paints that  is completely different from the way watercolor paintings have been done in the past.

Encore is a white, rigid, textured surface that can be placed directly on an easel. Encore’s surface does not need to be wetted or stretched. Just wipe off the board with a damp microfiber cloth to remove any fingerprints and it is ready to paint.

All errors or changes of any kind are easily whisked away with a swipe of this damp microfiber cloth. Painted images can be erased, moved or even changed in size and color with no hint that anything has been changed. For the first time, you can fine-tune your painting until it looks exactly the way you want it to. The best part is that erasing and replacing is possible even after the painting is completely dry.

Another big plus is Encore’s unique ability to allow you to paint freely, without prior planning. You can complete an entire painting without once worrying about "saving the whites". This means that all white features such as snow on a mountain top or the froth of ocean waves no longer need to be planned in advance. All your whites can be added easily using a damp brush to lift the paint away where you want the white to be. 

The unique new product is currently available for purchase on our Etsy website: 

In future blogs, I’ll go into detail about how erasability with Encore’s textured surface can produce results and effects that have never before been possible. I'll also provide hints that will make everything easier. As Encore is a new product, following the instructions is a must. Remember, this is not watercolor as you know it, and your regular painting techniques will not respond the way you might expect. But mastering the new painting techniques required will enable many new effects that have never before been possible.

1 comment

  • Hi Irv — I like reading your ‘story’ more than running through your website bullet points and suggest that your opening website page reference TIPS on how to paint with your new watercolor board. If readers get the idea how easy and fun this can be, they will surely give it a try. B.J.


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