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Watercolor-Just-Got-Easier
September 30, 2008
Hi

WATERCOLOR PAINTING JUST GOT EASIER FOR YOU

NO MORE TIME WASTING WITH TRIAL AND ERROR

SUPRISE YOUR CLOSE ONE'S WHEN THEY SEE YOUR PAINTINGS

IF YOU THINK YOU CAN PAINT OR IF YOU THINK YOU CANNOT PAINT YOU ARE RIGHT.

YOU CAN LEARN TO PAINT BEAUTIFUL WATERCOLORS.

REPORT - EIGHT

Questions you have asked from time to time.

Q   -   What is sizing for on a watercolor paper and can I remove it?

A   -   A gelatin substance used to fill the holes (pores) in watercolor paper surfaces.  It controls the degree of absorbency that the paper has.

Some papers are more heavily sized than others.  There is internal animal gelatin sizing added to the pulp mix before a sheet is formed.

External - a common food thickener sizing applied to the surface of the finished sheet after it has dried.

Sizing is slightly soluble in water, gives a hard surface that can be scraped or sponged away without damaging the paper itself.

Never-the-less some of the sizing can be removed by constant re-wetting, producing a very absorbent sheet.  Try a small sheet that you tried to remove size and paint on it.

Q  -  What is transparency.

A  -   Watercolors through which you can see the white of the paper or an under laying color.

Aureolin                Perm. Rose                    Rose Madder

Cobalt Blue           Viridian                           Hookers Green

Prussian Blue        Antwerp Blue                 Sap Green

New Gamboge      Raw Sienna                    Quin.Gold

Burnt Sienna         Quin. Burnt Orange.

Vermilion                Quin. Burnt Sienna

Perm. Magenta     Perm. Mauve

There are others.

 

                 

 

These colors are all very transparent.  Shown are Viridian, Aureolin, Cobalt Blue and Rose Madder Genuine.

Each color was a single stroke.  Each was bone dry before the next color was placed over it.

Look carefully at all the different colors.   NOW DO YOUR OWN.

All colors are non-stainers.  Note - the white line showing the paint removed with wet brush.

That does not mean all transparent colors are non-stainers.

MORE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.

Q  -  I am just starting out painting and dread spending a fortune on paper.  What should I buy?

A  -  Just for practice a pad 140lbs. cold press, watercolor pad.

Strathmore 300 or 400 series.  These do not make a great final painting - they are just practice sheets.  You will notice a big difference between pads and a good quality paper.

Q  -  What does the weight of the paper mean and sizes.

A  -  Quarter sheet            11" x 15"                28 - 38 centimeters.

        Half sheet                    15" x 22"                38 - 56       "

        Full sheet                     22" x 30"                 55 - 76       "

        Elephant (UK)             20" x 27"                 51 - 69        "

         Emperor (US)            40" x 60"                 102 - 152     "

         Also comes in rolls 4' wide x 30' long.

WEIGHTS            POUNDS/REAM                GRAMS/2 METER

Light                    90 lbs                                   185 GSM

Medium                140 lbs                                300 GSM

Heavy                   300 lbs                                640 GSM

                             400 lbs                                  850 GSM

Q  -  My paper always forms ripples and buckles.

A  -  But heavy paper - 300lbs  -  640 GSM,  will not buckle as much as 140 Lb. -  90lbs. will always be a problem.

Another possibility would be to stretch 140 lb. paper (see Stretching paper Below )

Heavy papers are wonderful if you use lots of water when you paint will not buckle although there is always a first time

More water, more buckle, simple as that.  But, 300lb has never buckled on me.

If buckle on 140 lb., occurs, let it dry.  When dry, press it overnight, tissue paper over it, then some heavy weights (books maybe).

 

Stretching Paper

 

STRETCHING WATERCOLOR PAPER

The first question you might be asking is why would you stretch Watercolor Paper?  

While it is not totally necessary, stretching makes the surface of the paper lie flat and accept the paint without buckling.

For larger works, this is a big help, especially for heavy washes and large color applications.  Methods and materials vary, but there is surely a method that appeals to you and the way you approach your creative work.

A 1/2" sheet of plywood, this makes a heavy board, if this is a problem, try using stretcher strips that are tongue and grooved.  I make up sets for half and full sheets in size.  The most widely used stretching method is the taped edge technique.  You will need a smooth, clean board, this provides the type of surface against which the paper can lie until it is dry.  

Begin by thoroughly wetting your paper.  All papers but the very heaviest benefit from soaking and stretching.  The best place to soak the sheet is in a clean bathtub.  Allow the paper to lie submerged in cool water until you can gently curl up a corner with little resistance.    If you over-soak a sheet, you run the risk of dislodging the sizing and changing the overall performance of the sheet. Five minutes should be O.K.

Once thoroughly wet, lift the sheet by two corners and allow excess water to run off.  Blot the surfaces (both front and back) with a clean sponge, removing additional excess moisture.  Lay the sheet out on your mounting board and smooth with your hands.

STRETCHING PAPER

Staple one corner to board, next, second staple goes in the corner that is closest to the first staple.   Now staple with staples about 2" apart.  You now have stapled one of the two short lengths of your paper.  Now repeat other short side

  But before you drive in the  staples grab the corners and gently pull against the first set of staples, holding, drive in staples.

Now you have the two longer edges to staple, grab in the middle and try to gently pull towards you it will not move if any.  Drive in staples on both sides 2" apart.  Let dry overnight, paint on sheet stapled down. Dont laugh had one student remove it from the board  Back to square one.

Now used plain old masking tape around the stapled edges Happy Painting   It is a chore to do this but no more valleys collecting the paint no more buckles, surface will be tight as a drum

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