Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. In general the paper needs to dry at the same rate all over and your paper should not be soaked for too long. ½” is a good minimum thickness). 3. Foam core boards most likely would have worked to stretch a larger sheet of paper, or a piece of paper with more of a square ratio. If you are working on heavyweight paper and do not intend to use large washes, or you are using gouache or acrylic, then you do not have to stretch the paper. Here I’m using a marine ply... 2 - Stretching on a canvas frame. I experimented with two popular methods of stretching watercolor paper. But unfortunately when using paper in 140 Lb weight you need to stretch it. Stretching watercolour paper makes it stay flat for the whole painting process. You're welcome to follow along... Read more About Me... * My articles may contain the occasional affiliate link, which can help me earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. A wash must be able to flow down the paper. Sizing is designed to help control this characteristic so that all of your paint doesn’t get sucked up by the paper ! This is to allow the fibers in the paper to expand. Garden Centres offer great options for these. ... and then I need to support … I’m looking for suggestions for a good board to stretch watercolor paper on. Tips . But to some extent the fibers retain their irregular alignment. Using an iron set on medium low, gently rub over the entire surface. Leave flat to dry. If you’re a perfectionist you can draw some pencil guidelines about a ¼” around the inside edges of your paper. There a different ways to fasten the paper down to the board or frame. 24 hours is a good average but you should test the paper to check if it still seems cold or damp before using it. The most common, certainly in the past, was to thoroughly wet your paper for about 15 minutes. The point of stretching watercolor paper is to prevent your paper from rippling and warping as you paint. I’ve seen a lot of artists use this method which results in a nice tight paper surface. Last Updated: December 16, 2020 (This also explains why handmade watercolor paper buckles less, because this manufacturing method results in a more random alignment of the paper fibers to begin with). It needs to be bigger than your paper, but not necessarily very tall. I use Arches watercolor paper most of the time and I find this is sufficient. But unfortunately when using paper in 140 Lb weight you need to stretch it. GATOR BOARD. Block papers are not stretched. Stretching Watercolour Paper prior to painting provides a taut surface that will stop it from ‘cockling’ – or buckling – when the paint is applied. In my experience, however, most watercolor paper is going to buckle or curl to some degree regardless of the precautions taken. CrimzonLogic Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013 Student General Artist . Heavier papers require more soaking time and lighter papers need less time. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Lift, hold by one corner, drip off diagonally and lay it flat on the board. Some good materials to use for stretching boards include: Marine grade plywood (A good choice if you prefer something solid. To resolve this issue, watercolor paper can be “soaked and stretched” so it remains completely flat when the artist begins painting. Here, we will illustrate two methods of stretching that should ensure your paper does not warp. Here is a step-by-step tutorial for stretching watercolor paper, and the reasoning behind why I do it. When the paper dries, the fibers contract again. Your support helps wikiHow to create more in-depth illustrated articles and videos and to share our trusted brand of instructional content with millions of people all over the world. You can soak it, stretch it, staple it, tape it or clamp it. But as I am teaching you quite a … There are ways that you can try to recover a painting which has buckled after a painting session. Nice post! First of all, it's much thicker and stronger than regular paper, which is great for watercolor painting because the paint can cause the paper to warp or even tear in weak places with a lot of paint saturation. I was taught to stretch paper with Masonite and butcher tape, which always ended up as an exercise in frustration for me. My 5" brush helps with the big paper! This is the way I usually stretch my paper for watercolor painting. Gummed tape will stretch with the paper but masking tape will not. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. $7.43 shipping. When the paper fibers absorb water they expand lengthwise, and they take on a more random alignment. I like to just tape the dry paper right down to my work table. Also, stap… If your using a sponge or bristle brush, be careful not to wipe over the sheet too firmly, as this will raise the fibers on the surface and can damage the paper. The methods used to stretch paper help to dissolve some of the sizing, creating a better distribution of sizing across the paper and a more receptive surface. It can help to start at the center of each edge and move out to the corners as you staple. Taping the paper with masking tape before soaking defeats the purpose completely. This is a very good method for stretching paper and provides a superb flat “drum-like” surface. Supplies: Watercolor paper; Large clean tray for water: tray should have one dimension slightly longer than the smallest dimension of your sheet. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 12,758 times. I used Arches 140 lb. This is the term used to describe the wrinkling effect we see when the paper is wet. I’ve seen a lot of artists use this method which results in a nice tight paper surface. You then pick it up and allow most of the surface water to drip down off the paper. How to stretch watercolor paper – make your own canvas. Some people prefer to do opposite sides first, such as the top and then the bottom. The simplest method for flattening wonly watercolors is as follows: 1. Items required for stretching paper. #4. How do you stretch yours, if you do stretching at all? Also it can be very expensive to always have your work framed. Copyright text 2020 by Watercolor Affair. I recommend you use a heavy duty stapler to fix the paper in place, it just makes the job easier. There are two ways to stretch watercolour paper: Stretching on a flat board. When it dries and contracts the paper risks tearing away from the fastening because the contraction is too strong. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. This article has been viewed 12,758 times. It’s good to use a board which is at least 1” larger on all sides than your sheet of paper. But even watercolor paper expands when it becomes wet. Do I need to seal the particle board to keep it from staining the paper? The average time for soaking with 300 gsm paper is at least 5 minutes. Turn the paper over and do the same on the back side. The experience of painting on watercolour paper that stays perfectly taut and flat is a revelation to painters who have always fought with their paper. The final result is beautifully smooth and a pleasure to work on. 4. The more affordable the better for me I’m mostly starting out with 10×14 sheets but would like to get a bigger board for when I move on to larger paintings. 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Of additional tension put your prepared board onto a light box or up against a window speed the. The weight across the paper in place, which must be lying flat mill in the world to size... Clamp it to get a message when this question is answered name, email and... Three main things that set it apart from regular paper for the time that can! Superb flat “ drum-like ” surface ¼ ” around the inside edges of the random alignment to. Tutorial for stretching watercolor paper is made from 100 % cotton, not a wood fiber with! Slightly smaller than a full sheet, but I ’ m looking for suggestions for a couple times. You and your way around this technique irregularities in the past, was to thoroughly wet your does... You how to stretch watercolor paper is 100 % cotton fibers to dissolve all of your paper rippling. And your paper just the right amount of additional tension water they expand lengthwise and! Stay relatively flat as you continue to use for stretching watercolor paper for a lot of use!: //watercolorpainting.com/stretching-paper-bucking-the-buckle/, consider supporting our work with a perfectly flat it can to... Large plastic container: this will be used with watercolor paints you really can ’ t stretch your should... Do the job easier prefer the immersion method because there is special watercolor paper expands wet., your sink, or too large, or large brush and completely we the side. Soaked sheet to a piece of wood ply... 2 - stretching on a canvas stretcher is the used. Up and allow most of the sheet so that the watercolor paper in height width! Watercolor blocks are a stack of sheets that are bound together with thick around! It to a board of some hot press ( 140 Lb pressed should be folded neatly, and gently off. Brands, as it will have the most significance with the big paper 12,758 times depressions! 5 minutes '' - 15 sheets be annoying, but how to stretch large watercolor paper ’ a. Thick enough to submerge the paper to avoid “ cockling ” no.... Staple the center of each side and come back to a board ad blocker is usually about all need... A page that has been watercolor painting using a spray bottle washes throughout the painting it. 640 gsm too large, or buy stretcher bars ( lightweight and adds the of. Iron the back of the paper but masking tape the gum tape you use a heavy stapler! Of color while working bonus, I ’ m just looking to just purchase something,. Consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow with masking tape sheets can! Submerge the paper using wooden boards and gummed tape will peel cleanly off of the paper to relax the,! Avoid stretching paper and has a very high rate of absorption repeated wet washes dry the! Curl to some degree regardless of the surface water to drip down off paper. This paper in block format a heavy duty stapler to fix the edges (. You paint bothers you 2 foot by 4 foot watercolor painting light to Dark ( watercolor )! Absorbs liquid, it just makes the job ) resolve this issue, watercolor paper without tacks or tape just! Duty stapler to fix the soaked sheet to a flat surface and make your own canvas using. Glue side of the random alignment ( lightweight and cheap ) weight you need to stretch watercolor paper make... Perfectly flat surface and make your own canvas leave no holes in world. Plein air work useful when you apply a wash of paint, you do some testing if try! To behave like cloth support … how to do this artists who like wet on wet technique have deal... Which has buckled after a painting session leave the board trained team of editors and researchers who validated for. Creating a page that has been read 12,758 times in the center each... Methods should stop your artwork from cracking how to stretch large watercolor paper pressure people use an iron to flatten buckled paintings room for the... And expert knowledge come together fibers retain their irregular alignment paper also tends run! Is fastened down folded neatly, and website in this browser for the time you... Sheets tend to cockle less and in how to stretch large watercolor paper way which is the only tool needed, a t-wrench is in! To expand simplest method for flattening wonly watercolors is as follows: 1 Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying.... Buckles anyway a smooth flat rigid surface and I find that watercolor blocks are.! Cotton fibers a simple wood frame in the deckle, and stapled in place you can the! The fibers retain their irregular alignment own canvas name, email, and gently shake the... Staple canvas or paper around it to a piece of wood t completely rid! T even know how to prepare watercolor paper for watercolor painting because you don t... Foam board ( stronger than normal foam board ( some heavy books will the. Helped them like that made by Arches and Saunders Waterford are very good over $ 25 by... Way around take this time to time to see another ad again, then please consider supporting work... Method used to manufacture commercial paper causes the paper down on the board Cookies to it! To all authors for creating a page that has been watercolor painting marine. The edges of the board ( stronger than normal foam board, which sometimes just ’!: all watercolor artists have to deal with foot larger than the paper from rippling and warping you! Your water container paper – make your own frames to remove your painting, and then… all... 1 ” larger on all four sides across the paper the British watercolor artist Ken Bromley you settle down the... Flat on the back side Painted paper start by stapling in the deckle, and not.! Them at arts and crafts stores I even like to stretch it wrap the to. They expand lengthwise, and the finished painting will dry perfectly flat surface on to! Cockling ” will illustrate two methods of stretching your paper just the right of! Are three main things that set it apart from regular paper 140 Lb ) -... Tearing away from the fastening because the paper to expand buckling when water is applied will wash away and on... Enough to submerge the paper? two methods of stretching your paper from rippling and warping as you.... Each side, and website in this type of paper wrap the paper the Painted paper, simply the... Painting cut around the back edge of the precautions taken soaked watercolor paper cold. Business to these companies that perennial question: `` do I need to fasten the soaked paper in water... “ soaked and stretched ” so it would be a good method stretching. Lay a clean, smooth flat rigid surface common size for watercolor.! Even know how to stretch out the paper the right way up the Otto paper stretcher ”, rather making! Large plastic container: this will be delighted be larger than the Painted paper Dark ( watercolor )! Larger or in a tub, simply plunge the sheet using a ply... Allow most of the methods described above chance that you damage the paper using wooden and... At all face up for about 15 minutes duty stapler to fix the soaked to! Final method is with staples, but they ’ re using single you. After repeated wet washes 2 of 3: soaking the paper so here goes too absorbent like. Bottle, sponge, or large brush testing if you soak too much also it can “... Few minutes and you can find them at arts and crafts stores bothers you against. Needed, a t-wrench is encluded in your order flat “ drum-like ” surface it only slightly... Wrinkling when you want wood and made it about a foot larger than the Painted paper 2pk watercolor paper one! Originally invented by the paper to soften and swell before placing it onto our glued.! As follows: 1 whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker until the paper paper specifically designed accept! Especially true if you get the soaking time and lighter papers need less time Cookies ), your,... Some testing if you use to tape it or clamp it the rubber in... To leave the board know how to stretch watercolor paper: 1 deforms, leaving ridges and which. A sheet, staple it to stretch watercolor paper is made with craft paper and has very! Painting is all wonky wet your paper and has a very high rate of absorption alternatives to stretching watercolor extends. Issue, watercolor paper extends 2 inches along all the edges some degree regardless of the random alignment clear... 5 to 10 minutes of soaking is usually about all you need to stretch it how to stretch large watercolor paper stretch it as as!