Can you use watercolor as underglaze?

Watercolor and underglaze are two different types of colorants, and while watercolor can be used on certain clay surfaces, it is not recommended as a substitute for underglaze.

Differences Between Watercolor and Underglaze

Watercolor and underglaze have different properties:

  • Composition: Watercolor is a pigment suspended in a water-soluble binder, while underglaze contains ceramic colorants and binders formulated specifically for use on clay.
  • Firing: Underglaze is designed to withstand the high temperatures of ceramic firing, whereas watercolor would not survive the firing process.
  • Adhesion: Underglaze adheres to clay surfaces and interacts with glazes, while watercolor may not bond properly to the clay.

Using Watercolor on Clay

Watercolor can be applied to certain clay surfaces as an experimental technique, but the results may not be as predictable or durable as using traditional underglazes.


While watercolor can be used for certain clay experiments, it is not a direct replacement for underglaze due to differences in composition, firing, and adhesion.

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