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Monday, January 28, 2008

Stretching Watercolor Paper

I have been getting ready for a couple of exhibits and have perfected my process of stretching my watercolor paper so that I almost enjoy it. I have heard it is not necessary to stretch good quality paper 140lb paper, I am using Arches, but I find it gives me piece of mind to do it even if it does not need to be done! I have tried watercolor blocks twice but both times they buckle even with a wash that is not very wet, I don't use a huge amount of water so they should be able to withstand my washes...

I float the paper in a pan of filtered room temperature water for 45 seconds and then hold it from one corner until it stops dripping. I then tape each side with watercolor tape, 2 times, 1 piece overlapping the other for strength. I then give each corner a quick staple and wait for it to dry overnight.

I only have a few more pieces to do for my first exhibit I am preparing for and just discovered the perfect paper stretcher, not my opinion, that is it's name. It has been around for a long time so I do not know why I have not heard about it sooner as it seems to work quite well from reviews I have read. I found a video of it's description on uTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Z2zeS0oVi4 The guy, not sure if it is Ken Bromley, the creator is quite funny. So I am going to have to give it a whirl and see how it handles. It would be so nice not to have to muck with that sticky tape anymore. Not sure which is worse touching it wet, yuck, or scraping it off the board after the painting is finished.


Billie Crain said...

i've seen this stretcher somewhere before but not sure where. i'm dying to find out how you like it!

Tracey said...

will do, it sounds great and so simple. You can add a mount to it to screw onto a camera tripod so it also acts as a portable easel. You can do it with any board but I never thought it would be worth it before but for this I think it would be nice.