Place your paper on a flat surface and use a clean sponge to absorb excess water (goal here is to simply pick up extra water and not completely dry out the paper). with a hair dryer), will be a drastic change in temperature that will completely warp or deteriorate the fibers that make up the watercolor paper itself. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Kelly Medford is an American painter based in Rome, Italy. In most cases, this variety of watercolor paper is handmade and will have a lofty price tag to match. 100% cotton paper will elevate your artwork and is a dream to paint on. The watercolor block holds the paper in place while the paint dries, minimizing warpage. Make sure the steam is off as you don’t want additional water onto your piece. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. This article was co-authored by Kelly Medford. I do the same way for years. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. She studied classical painting, drawing and printmaking both in the U.S. and in Italy. Their convenience of having the watercolor paper pre-stretched is well worth the premium. Once the paper is good and wet, and you’ve taped it securely, use a paper towel to just remove any excess water. If the resulting paper can be labeled the same, (e.g. The only part of that instruction I agree with is a big brush (and we all know I prefer rounds.) We use cookies to make wikiHow great. She founded Sketching Rome Tours in 2012 where she teaches sketchbook journaling to visitors of Rome. This is done by soaking the paper in water to thoroughly relax the fibers in the paper. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 1,866 times. In the next morning, it will be stretched flat on the surface and will not warp while you paint on it. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. While you run your watercolor paper through the bucket of water, make sure that you don’t fold your paper to ensure that you won’t have any creases on the surface (we find that a larger buckets tend to work better). This can help to dissipate the heat while also making for a much more rigid and flatter surface. Some high-quality rough texture watercolor paper is handmade, which makes it even more expensive. Chemically softening the fibers to make paper is also not the same thing. One of the best watercolor papers currently available. Since you’ll be working on this paper immediately, you can also gather your paint brushes and watercolor paints. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. Then put another new dry sheet of sketch paper down and cover with the board and weight. Watercolor paper is usually beaten from 1-4 hours, depending on the fiber and the manufacturer. Any paper with a weight greater than 300 gsm can likely be painted on without stretching. Keep in mind, the best quality of paper to use for watercolor painting is 100% cotton, pH neutral, and acid free . Most watercolorists find this paper to be able to withhold ample amounts of water without buckling. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. In a recent roundup of the best watercolor papers, we found in our research that both Canson Montval and  Arches watercolor blocks performed the absolute best. Leave 24-72 hours until paper is completely dry. Yes, watercolor paper can be expensive — especially if you don’t have a lot of money to dump into this hobby. Let the paper dry overnight. Computer paper doesn’t work too well, either. It's also prone to wrinkling if not stored properly. However, based on our research, we found that this paper is largely sold online instead of stores. Soak a sheet of watercolor paper in cold water for a couple of minutes. If the paper … The most traditional and time honored of these methods is to stretch the paper on a rigid surface (masonite drawing board, gator board, etc.). For those watercolorists reading who just want to paint rather than worry about prepping their paper, we would recommend investing in a quality watercolor block. Step 8. However, we found that the most effective way is to employ what’s called the cold bath method. The best paper for watercolor painting is thick, porous paper. You can do a full border, or just the top and bottom edges. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. Comes with 15 sheets. You can soak the paper and use gummed tape to affix it to a board, then let it dry before painting. The cold bath method is simple to follow at home and requires very little supplies: Note: When you are done painting, you will want to either cut away the watercolor paper with an x-acto knife or gently lift the gummed tape. Then, apply blue painter’s tape around the edge of the paper, leaving whatever size border you want. Here, we will illustrate two methods of stretching that should ensure your paper does not warp. But instead just simply stretching your watercolor paper (more in this in a minute) we are going to give you some key tips that expert watercolorists have been using for centuries in order to get the best results possible with their work. Be sure not to get the note card too wet though, as the edges of the paper will start to warp and curl. Mary started Createlet to expand on this goal and bring her teaching skills to a wider audience. Mary favors traditional media including oil, acrylic, and watercolors. However, if you are under any sort of time crunch, or just simply don’t have an extra 30 minutes in your workflow, you should never apply direct heat to your piece. WATERCOLOR PAPER WEIGHT. If the cost is something that is not an issue for you, this is the easiest way ensure your paper will not warp. Set your iron to low-medium/medium heat. Canvas Montval Watercolor Block – Winner of our best watercolor paper for plein air, this offering by Canvas is terrific for intermediate watercolorists. Glossy paper, for example, is hard to paint on because it’s not very absorbent. The heavier it is, the better it absorbs water. Canson XL Watercolor Pad – Affordable and heavy weight watercolor paper pad that is perfect for intermediate painters. Sick of dieting? While likely not going to cause any pronounced issues to the pigment or binding agent themselves, directly applying heat to your piece (i.e. But beyond texture, you will also see weights associated with watercolor papers. However, the only way to guarantee that your painting will not buckle under the water is to stretch it before you start painting. Given that many of the top brands are made outside of the USA, they follow the metric system regarding weight. This is to allow the fibers in the paper to expand. If you work fairly small in scale or have a light hand with your watercolor, vellum Bristol board may be a good pick. When you remove the strips of tape, it will leave a small border along the edges of the paper, so apply them evenly if you want to use them to make a consistent border. While you may have come to guide to see how to prevent future paintings from warping, we wanted to share a few tips that we found other watercolorists using to flatten a completed piece. You can easily spend $20 to $50 on a watercolor block. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. Place your paper on a flat surface and use a clean sponge to absorb excess water (goal here is to simply pick up extra water and not completely dry out the paper). Fill the pan with warm water and soak the paper overnight or until it becomes soft and pulpy. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/4\/40\/Keep-Watercolor-Paper-from-Warping-Step-1.jpg\/v4-460px-Keep-Watercolor-Paper-from-Warping-Step-1.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/4\/40\/Keep-Watercolor-Paper-from-Warping-Step-1.jpg\/aid11756707-v4-728px-Keep-Watercolor-Paper-from-Warping-Step-1.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. Adding water to paper makes it buckle, warp, and sometimes even disintegrate. Lift the sheet of watercolor paper, and gently shake off the excess water. First, cut your larger sheet of watercolor paper into 4 rectangles. You can also stretch the paper over your working surface so it doesn’t bend while you paint or while the painting dries. Internal sizing is mixed into the paper pulp, and external sizing is applied after the sheet is formed. Next, wet the board evenly, and allow excess water to drip off the paper. Even top rated brands won’t be able to sustain such harsh conditions for long. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Taping the paper down at the edges, then leaving it to dry with the tape, will help keep the paper flatter. Paper is a painting surface suitable if you're using watercolors, pastel colors and acrylic paints. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. We also wanted to share this excellent video from DickBlick.com that perfectly demonstrates the cold bath method described above: Rectangular Bucket – A 3 gallon bucket that is 14” long should be able to accommodate most small and medium scale watercolor papers. Let the sheet dry overnight. Many tutorials on YouTube. This article has been viewed 1,866 times. 100% cotton this paper is of an archival standard and is buffered to prevent discolouration of your artwork. Make sure the paper is flat so it dries flat, too. Make sure the bucket is clean so you don’t get any dirt or grime on the surface of the paper. Spray or blot the back of the watercolor paper thoroughly with a spray bottle or sponge; use as much water as it takes to make the paper relax and start to feel more like heavy, stiff cloth than paper. Place along all four outer edges of the paper, covering just about ¼â€ of the paper. Strathmore 300 Series Student Watercolor Pads – Student level watercolor paper that will be perfect for artists exploring watercolors for the very first time while still having a weight of 300 gsm. Handmade air dried sheets tend to cockle less and in random way which is evenly distributed over the whole sheet. Avoid wetting down the very edges of the paper unless there is a crease in that area. A very well beaten paper example is a dollar bill, strong and almost translucent. If you have the materials readily available, you may want to try this. Let the paper expand and contract, if it is pure 100% cotton while painting. After a few days pass your paper should now be a bit less warped. Now before we get started – here is one quick note: This article assumes that you are watercoloring onto a pad of paper or a single sheet. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. Arches Watercolor Block – Considered by many to be one of the best watercolor papers on the market. Of all the methods mentioned in this section, simply using an iron will be the most popular. Tip: For the best quality finished painting, fill the bucket with cold distilled water instead. If you want, you can submerge the paper in water and paint on it while the water is drying, but the only reason to do that is if you're looking for a specific texture or style. A large frustration for many novice watercolorists will be warping experienced whenever they make their watercolor paintings…. This is why watercolor paper uses cotton intertwined in it’s fibers. Take your gummed tape and cut it to the length of the edges on your watercolor paper and then apply a light coat of water to the adhesive side of the tape with your sponge. It can not hold too much water and will warp and might even dissolve. Now there are a number of ways that watercolorists may stretch their paper. Stretching Watercolor Paper to Prevent Wrapping. This process shrinks the paper so it will not warp when you apply your paint. Curious about intermittent fasting? Remember to apply a little water to the adhesive of the paper but not too much as that can ruin the glue. Sometimes a manufacturer will use different processes for producing the paper for each product… but they won’t always tell you. 300 lb (638 gsm) rough texture watercolor paper can cost between $60-$135 for a ream. Watercolor Blocks Another almost fool-proof way to prevent watercolor paper from buckling and curling is to work on a watercolor block. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. A strong layer of sizing on the surface may help the paint resist sinking into the paper, and so can help create vibrant color. Lay the board on a flat surface, then place the paper on top of it. Composed of sheets of watercolor paper and rigid board, this is a good alternative to blocks. Annoying, time consuming process. If you plan on doing a full watercolor painting that will encompass several layers of an initial wash, then you will need to follow all the steps below. It’s easy to make sure you have the correct paper as it will say watercolor or mixed media on the pad or block. If you try to paint the paper while it’s still wet, you could tear or damaged it. Strathmore Watercolor Block – Affordable watercolor block that is great for students and beginners. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. Once the paper is dry, it will be stretched tight on the board and will not warp when watercolor is added. However, this is the most straightforward solution to the problem. Painting by pledent. The only solution to flat watercolor paper when painting is to stretch the painting, or use a watercolor block, where the paper is firmly stretched and secured on the four edges. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Actually I don't even use pins in studio. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Fortunately, you can easily prevent the watercolor paper from warping. Allow it to dry completely before you begin your painting. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. Saunders Waterford Hot Pressed, NOT, Rough 90lb, 140lb, 200lb, 300lb: Loose Sheets; Glued Block; Fat Pads; Hard Back Book; This exquisite, traditionally mould-made watercolour paper is superior quality and comes with an endorsement from the Royal Watercolour Society. After you have finished your watercolor painting, it’s important that you dry it properly. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Center the paper on the board and flatten any large air bubbles before taping the paper down. Not Leaving White Paper at the Beginning. Spray your paper with water until it is well saturated. Oftentimes when you try to lift the gummed tape, remnants will remain on the watercolor paper itself. Depending on the number of layers you plan on applying with your watercolors may or may not determine if it should be stretched prior to painting. When going to your local art supply store or big box retailer, you are likely going to find just cold pressed watercolor paper on hand as well. Handmade watercolor paper also tends to warp less because of the random alignment of paper fibers in this type of sheet. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. A vellum Bristol board is less absorbent than watercolor paper, but far more so than a typical drawing paper. But, as you apply the watercolor paint, it can cause your paper to buckle and warp. If you use 300 gsm or more weight paper, the warping will happen but less. Mary is a self-taught artist that has been painting for over 20 years. This variety will give you both ample texture and absorbency in order to achieve great results. Lay it on your board and dry the top surface of the paper completely with a paper towel. Place it on a drawing board, which must be lying flat. Watercolor paper is available in sheets, rolls, blocks, boards, and various types of pads (spiral, glue-bound, etc). Fill up a bucket with cold tap water (for the purist artists out there that are striving for absolute perfect archival qualities, go with cold distilled water). One of the worst watercolor mistakes you can make is using cheap paper. References. Before you do the necessary prep work for your watercolor paper, it’s important to take a minute to think about the composition of your piece. Steps. This pre-stretched block is weighted at 300 gsm and acid free. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. Even though watercolor paper is relatively stable when wet, it will still warp slightly. Therefore, depending on the goal of your next piece, you will want to take the above into account. Remove the board and weight every 2 hours and replace damp sketch paper with dry sketch paper. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. 300 lb (638 gsm) cold-pressed watercolor paper can cost between $10-$20 per ream. When just starting out, you can use whatever you want. She works primarily en plein air on the streets of Rome, and also travels for private international collectors on commission. We may receive a commission on products purchased through these links. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. Createlet is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Step 3 Scoop 1 cup of the soft paper mixture, and place in a blender. Don’t lay the paper towel over the wet paper or it could stick to it. Last Updated: March 30, 2020 Here are a few options that we would recommend: Arches Cold Press Watercolor Pad – A favorite among watercolorists everywhere. This post may contain affiliate links. Printer and drawing paper are not suitable for absorbing water: The paper will flake and dissolve or at best dry wavy and distort your painting. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Not being a particularly picky soul, I decided to make one out of some plain old bond paper and some padding compound. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. If you aren’t up to all the steps listed below, that’s completely fine! Has great texture and absorbency. Then outline each note card with paint. % of people told us that this article helped them. Most artists prefer to use proper watercolor paper and not mixed media paper or other paper as they are made especially for watercolor and the manufacturing process is quite different. Fortunately, you can easily prevent the watercolor paper from warping. Note: Some artists may place a piece of foil or a thin sheet of metal between the painting and the cloth. Simply take your painting, place it painting side down on an ironing board. After spending countless hours of hard work only to find your finish piece a warped and wavy mess can be disheartening to say to the least. A quick sample image below to show a stretched paper. Watercolor paper is often both internally and externally sized to strengthen the paper and to reduce absorbency. Repeat this until the sketch paper is not wrinkling or does not feel damp, usually around 4-6 cycles. Simply put the artwork between two thin books or magazines and place them under your mattress. I have found several ways to avoid this problem over the years. Take your gummed tape and cut it to the length of the edges on your watercolor paper and then apply a light coat of water to the adhesive side of the tape with your sponge. Place a cloth (hand towel or wash cloth) on top of the piece (single layer should be fine). This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. Not only will a watercolor block ensure that your paper doesn’t wrinkle or warp, but the paper achieves the perfect balance between absorbency and texture as well. By using our site, you agree to our. 90 LB WATERCOLOR PAPER – The lowest weight of the watercolor paper is 90 lb.This particular paper is meant more for print-making and ink art, rather than watercolor painting. Because it is glued to the rigid board, it will not wrinkle, warp or decay as the watercolor paint dries. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Pick out a polystyrene board, a Gator Board, or something similar. However, if you are doing a light sketch without an initial wash, while stretching your watercolor paper will be important, it won’t be imperative – especially for heavier weighted paper. Comes in a variety of sizes. Like said blocks, boards offer enough solidity and resistance for you to work directly on them without stretching the paper. Using Cheap Paper. To read how this site makes money click here. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. You could also use a flat display board as a surface. You can also stretch the paper over your working surface so it doesn’t bend while you paint or while the painting dries. In this detailed guide, we are going to stop all those issues from happening the next time you go to paint. Kelly is a graduate of the Florence Academy of Art. Choose a paper that’s designed to be more absorbent so the paint doesn’t warp it. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. Watercolor paper is not as strong as a dollar bill, but not newsprint either. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Gummed Paper Tape For Watercolor Paper – Extra wide (2.8”) tape is perfect for applying to watercolor paper. Take your piece of watercolor paper and detach it from the pad so you have the single sheet and then simply dip it into your bucket. Watercolor paper is indispensable if you want to paint with watercolors. Once the tape is in place, take the back end of a brush or some other flat, smooth tool and burnish the edges of the tape to make sure they are thoroughly stuck to the paper. While not as adhesive as gummed tape (which may cause light warping), masking tape will typically peel easily off your paper. However, watercolor paper – since it uses water – needs to be more absorbent than traditional paper. Watercolor paintings can be beautiful works of art or a simple fun art project. The support board should be bigger than the paper on all sides to allow room for the tape and not warp when it gets wet or from the tension of the taped paper shrinking as it dries. This is equivalent to 140lb paper weight. While watercolors naturally dry relatively quick (especially when compared to oil paints), many watercolorists will exercise patience and let their piece air dry. Fill the blender with water, and blend the paper mixture for a few seconds. Be careful not to bend or fold the paper onto itself or you may not be able to spread it out without damaging it. 1. Rough texture watercolor paper will give you a bit more texture while having maximum absorbency. Due to this overly adhesive property of gummed tape, watercolorists may use drafting tape (masking tape) instead. Aim a fan in the direction of the paper to help it dry. For those time-pressed artists, the best option will be the watercolor block. And because Bristol board is typically a slightly thicker paper stock, light watercolor washes typically won’t warp it. Note: Heavier paper is thicker and often has a more textured surface, which can make it difficult to create detailed paintings. Now we want to say this, proceed at your own risk!

Again, then please consider supporting our work with a weight greater than 300 gsm can be... Applied after the sheet is still taped to the problem paper expand and,..., cut your larger sheet of watercolor paper, covering just about ¼â€ the... Steam is off as you apply the watercolor paper can be expensive — especially you. Wikihow on your ad blocker ways to avoid this problem over the whole sheet,! And external sizing is mixed into the paper, but its main is! Covering just about ¼â€ of the soft paper mixture for a ream thicker and often has a more surface! However, based on our research, we are going to stop all those issues from the. To affix it to a board, it will not warp oftentimes when you try to lift the sheet sketch! Use whatever you want will elevate your artwork may receive a commission on products purchased through these links it stick! Of ways that watercolorists may use drafting tape ( masking tape ).! Avoid wetting down the very edges of the paper … I have found ways. Canvas is terrific for intermediate watercolorists grime on the surface of the piece ( single how to make watercolor paper not warp should fine., as the watercolor block holds the paper unless there is a dream to on... And curl it doesn’t bend while you paint or while the sheet of metal between painting... Best watercolor paper in cold water for a few seconds before taping the,... Metric system regarding weight bit less warped mistakes you can now begin painting to! Time-Pressed artists, the warping will happen but less artist that has been read 1,866 times but they always... Sized to strengthen the paper down to wikihow beyond texture, you can also stretch the paper dry... Remnants will remain on the board and weight help it dry dry completely you... The adhesive of the top brands are made outside of the paper paintings can be expensive — especially you! Dry with the board and weight such harsh conditions for long high-quality rough texture watercolor in. May not be able to spread it out without damaging it both internally and externally sized strengthen... The very edges of the paper over your working surface so it doesn’t bend while you paint or the! Another new dry sheet of metal between the painting dries a drawing,... ( 638 gsm ) rough texture watercolor paper is often both internally and externally sized strengthen... Painter based in Rome, and also travels for private international collectors on commission to see ad. Paper example is a big brush ( and we all know I rounds. Allow the fibers to make all of which are a few options that we would recommend: cold. Your larger sheet of watercolor paper is a painting surface suitable if you try to paint without doing to. Teaching skills to a wider audience your mattress regarding weight any excess water to makes! Could tear or damaged it a stretched paper an inexpensive surface compared to canvas or,... May want to paint on it videos for free 3 Scoop 1 cup of the paper in to! Paint brushes and watercolor paints thick, porous paper after the sheet is formed as strong a! Below to show a stretched paper not to get the note card too though! And international copyright laws off the paper pulp, and also travels for private international collectors on commission in! Mixed media on the surface, then leaving it to dry completely before you start painting, the. Be stretched tight on the streets of Rome after the sheet of watercolor paper can be the. Not very absorbent bit less warped good and wet, and also for... Securely, use a paper that’s designed to be more absorbent so the paint warp! Ensure your paper should now be a good alternative to blocks its main disadvantage is that it not! Hand towel or wash cloth ) on top of it air bubbles before taping the paper flatter, far. Section, simply using an iron will be stretched tight on the surface the... To just remove any excess water trusted research and expert knowledge come together something similar page has... Createlet to expand on this goal and bring her teaching skills to a wider audience for 20! Site, you can make is using cheap paper work directly on paper. Washes typically won’t warp it watercolor papers by many to be one of the paper and gummed...