PDA

View Full Version : Drying watercolor paintings


jallenaz
10-11-2004, 12:08 AM
I am new to painting and have been doing a little experimenting with watercolors. The class I am taking I am using acrylics to learn to paint, but I would really like to paint in watercolors. One of the things I don't understand is drying a watercolor painting. I like the method of painting on a sheet of 140 or 200 pound watercolor paper after soaking it and then laying it on a board or glass, whatever. Doing a wash, then as it dries, wet on wet painting. Keeping the paper wet as you paint. But when it comes to drying the painting, how is that done. Do you have to use a hair drier and keep flipping the paper over and drying the opposite side as it curls to keep it flat? Or is there a better way.

The above method is something I've come up with from reading books. I don't know if it's the best way. I've read about taping the paper down, but then you lose some of your edges. But I guess it would dry flat. But when you wet it again, does it buckle because the tape is holding the paper?

Thanks for any help,

Jim Allen

Nandie
10-11-2004, 01:07 AM
Hi Jim,

Welcome to the watercolor forum! There's many ways to mount your watercolor paper, but here's what I do, and I mostly use Arches 140 lb paper.

First I lay it on a piece of 1/4" plywood (That's been painted with white latex to make it water-proof) that's a bit bigger than the paper. Then I "paint" the paper all over with a big brush and clear water until it's thoroughly soaked. Do this on a surface that you don't mind getting wet, because there should be enough water applied that if you tipped the board, water will run off. Then I wait about 20 minutes for the water to really soak into the paper as it sits on the plywood. Then I take an ordinary household/office stapler (not the carpenter's kind) and staple the corners of the paper to the plywood, while gently tugging it taut to get rid of any wrinkles. Then I staple the middle point of each edge to the plywood, then continue stapling all the way around with each staple about 1/2" apart. The paper will buckle a little bit as it dries, but don't worry - when completely dry it should be nice and flat.

This method was shown at a watercolor workshop I attended last fall, and so far it's the best method I've ever tried. When you use a normal stapler, it's easier to remove the staples later, then if you used a carpenter's stapler. Also, I don't bother to tape my edges any more now that I use this method. I find that using tape just gives me backruns anyway - there's no danger of that with just staples.

Now you don't have to worry about how to dry it so it stays flat - the pre-soaking and staples will keep it flat. I only use a hair dryer to dry my painting if I'm impatient and don't want to wait for it to dry naturally. BTW, if your paper feels cool, it's still damp. If it feels room/skin temp, then it's dry.

Hope this somewhat answered your question. :)

Roun2it
10-11-2004, 01:16 AM
Hi Jim and welcome to WetCanvas.

All these questions have been asked before and many many more. There are 4 forums in watercolour and it is best to search for answers like this in the Watercolour Technical Forum. There are thing called Sticky's at the top of the Threads list and clicking on some of those will answer all the questions you can think off!!!

In answer to your question see one of Rods Lessons on stretching paper CLICK HERE (http://www.wetcanvas.com/ArtSchool/Watercolors/RodWebb/StretchPaper/). Not all paper needs to be stretched but I like to stretch mine. It eliminates all buckling. Once you have stretched the paper you can slosh water and paint to your hearts content. You can let it dry and the wet it again without fear of buckling. I prefer to let my paper dry out naturally, it doesnt take too long, you can use hair dryers but if used too early in the drying process you can stop the mingling of the wet paint.

For the rest of Rods lessons hint and things CLICK HERE (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=72121)

{Edit} Andrea snuk in while I was typing, now you have 2 methods. Oh and if you do touch the paper to test for dryness use the back of your hand, your fingers can leave oily marks on your paper.

Uschi
10-11-2004, 08:34 AM
Welcome Jim!!!!

The method you have described works very well for painting wet in wet and no stretching needed. I personally just dry it on both sides with the hairdryer and have had no buckling, but then I use Winsor Newton 140 Cold Pressed and it barely buckles.
Uschi

jwcarroll
10-11-2004, 09:25 AM
Welcome to the funhouse by the way. You will like it here.

I paint on a thin sheet of plexiglass and use a small sheet of plywood for a drying rack. I forget whose book recommended that. I will have to look around in my library for the reference.

I have been known to use a blow dryer set on low heat and fan to help it along. Depends on the day I have had and my inspiration tank.

Jim

jallenaz
10-12-2004, 01:32 PM
I appreciate all the replies. I know I will enjoy the forum here. There is so much to learn here.

I just noticed the watercolor technical forum while looking for this thread again. I'll see what I can learn there.

Thanks,

Jim

juneto
10-16-2004, 10:30 PM
There are no set rules , if you need to dry a portion, you can use a dryer to hurry it. If you are doing a large wash on a large sheet it's best to let it dry naturally, flat and don't spill a drop
of water or paint on it or it will bloom into a big sunspot .
Most watercolorists do stop and start painting , that is waiting to see results and drying between stages of the painting. You will come to your own method as you see what your paint can do.