Wetting and Stretching Watercolor Paper

Cheap Joe's Test Studio: Wetting and Stretching Watercolor Paper

Joe Miller demonstrates how he stretches watercolor paper to prepare it for painting. Here is a transcription for those that can't turn their speakers up.

Hi, I'm Joe and I'm back again. I'd like to show you how I stretch 140 pound watercolor paper. I find that the easiest way in the world to do a watercolor is on stretched paper. So I'd like to take just a couple of minutes and show you how you can do the same thing.

I have my watercolor paper with my drawing on it, my Gatorboard, and I can actually turn my Gatorboard over and get rid of the marks on it. I have a 2 inch flat Golden Fleece Wash brush. I have my water that I've added a little bit of color to so that you can see it. I simply start applying water to my watercolor that I'm going to be doing. The thing to remember is that you cannot get it too wet. So we're going to soak this thing and once it's absolutely soaking on the front, I turn it over on the back where I have scribbled and I soak it again. We're going to take a little break and let this water soak in and we'll be right back to show you the whole process.

We've saturated the paper on both sides. It has soaked for about 15 minutes and now I'm going to turn it over. This is the side I'm going to paint on. This is a very important step so please watch carefully. I take a roll of paper towels and lay across it like that. I take another roll of paper towels and lay across it like that. Take some more paper towels and lay across it. So now I have two layers of paper towels at the top. I take my hands and in the middle press down very hard while pushing to the sides. What I'm doing here is taking the excess water off of this paper. Lift the paper towels up and lay them to one side so they can dry and now I am ready to paint right now. You would say "You can't paint on that because it's going to run". Well it isn't, watch what happens when I do this. Look there, it stay right there. It allows me all of this time to come in here and saturate this color in here without getting hard edges. I can work and work and work now. And I save my detail until the very end.

That's how you stretch watercolor paper. It's the easiest way in the world to do a watercolor because you can soften those edges or you can wait until toward the end, dry it with a hair dryer and put all the detail in that you want to. Happy art, thanks for your business, we'll be back with more tips soon.

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