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Old 09-11-2019, 09:13 AM
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MarcF MarcF is offline
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Stretching Paper

I got a wonderful book - Iím a beginner.
Right in the first chapters, he says you should stretch paper before you paint on it. You are supposed to get it all wet and then tape it (with gummy tape you wet first) to a plywood board and let dry overnight. This takes all the buckling out.
Does everyone do this?
Itís great if it works and Iím pretty sure it will.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:29 AM
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CallMeCordelia CallMeCordelia is offline
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Re: Stretching Paper

Hi Marc. I don't stretch my paper. I tried, at first, and it was a terrible pain. It was pleasant to paint on a taut surface, but the process just isn't worth it to me. Now, I tape down dry, upstretched paper on all four sides with drafting tape and go, or if I am painting very wet, I heavily wet the paper and it sticks to my plexiglass board on its own. I've learned to handle the mild buckling, as the amount of water on the paper changes. With 140 lb., in small sizes, it's fine. I think if I wanted to work larger, like 1/4 sheet or more, I would look at 300 lb. paper. But, it all depends on how you paint and if it's worth the time and effort to stretch. I think not stretching is very common. I hope you find the technique(s) that suit you!

Noelle
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:33 AM
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calvin_0 calvin_0 is online now
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Re: Stretching Paper

I dont stretch any of my paper since I convert them into A5 sketch book... plus I'm using 300 gsm paper, so they dont really buckle, but they did curve slightly, sometimes...

the only time any of my painting buckle and ripple is when I'm using a 200 gsm paper...
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:53 AM
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Re: Stretching Paper

Ok thanks.
I wasnít looking forward to it anyway.
Didnít even realize I could get heavier paper than the 140 (?) I have. So much to learn in so little time. Itís wonderful.
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:55 AM
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Yorky Yorky is online now
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Re: Stretching Paper

I don't stretch my paper, I use 200lb Saunders Waterford which is stiff and doesn't ripple much. Working wet in wet I might wet it and staple it to a board.

Doug
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Old 09-11-2019, 11:45 AM
MarekB MarekB is offline
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Re: Stretching Paper

I don't stretch; if paper is thin, I wet back side and slap it on a sheet of plastic, so it "sticks", then add few clips in corners. If it buckles, pull a bit and adjust clips. done
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Old 09-11-2019, 11:47 AM
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Kaylen Kaylen is offline
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Re: Stretching Paper

Less and less people stretch there paper anymore, including me, but I did do it for years, I think for a half sheet of 140 lbs I still might,larger than that and it often buckles anyway so I switched to 300lbs or I just deal with it, smaller and its not buckling too much anyway. If you do I recommend that you use a spray bottle and a very soft brush, try not to agitate the sizing, disturbing it can cause issues when painting,,after the paper is soaked. I do both sides,then there is a number of ways to secure it to the board, I used tape of all kinds for years but switched to staples
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Old 09-11-2019, 11:59 AM
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Re: Stretching Paper

I've barely ever stretched paper, almost always preferring to work small or work on heavy paper, but that might have to change. Tomorrow I'm expecting a delivery of 90 lb paper and a roll of gum tape.
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Old 09-11-2019, 06:29 PM
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Re: Stretching Paper

I used to stretch by stapling instead of using tape. It worked OK, but I quickly went on to no stretching at all. I use 140# paper, and yes it does buckle, but I just go with it. After the painting is dry, you can easily flatten it out by turning it over on a flat surface, wetting the back, putting a piece of cardboard or matboard over it to help absorb the water, lay on some books and come back an hour later and the painting will be very flat.
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:47 PM
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Ted Bunker Ted Bunker is online now
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Re: Stretching Paper

I find small journal-sized sheets don't need stretching, but once you get to letter-size and larger you might want to strech the paper unless it's heavy 200#-plus.. Quarter-sheets and half-sheets need stretching unless 300# or heavier. I always stretched half and full sheets regardless of weight, they are just too-flexible at that size. Big sheets tend to get lots of water...and they move.

Plus some papers take watercolor better once wetted and stretched, it seems to activate the surface once it re-dries. It "opens the pores" so to speak. Some papers can be just surface wetted, others really need to be submerged in a pan and well-soaked before stretching.

Depending on your paints and favored technique, even dry Bristol or illustration board can be used instead of watercolor paper. I've not had good luck with multimedia paper.

Foamcore and Bristol are too flexible by themselves to stretch watercolor paper on, they bend or curl. BUT, i have layered them for traveling on a stiff backer. Tape Bristol down on the board all four sides, then stretch and tape a smaller sheet of WC paper to it. Once dry and tight, tape another piece of Bristol over it and repeat with another sheet of stretched WC paper. One board can have 4-6 layers of Bristol and WC paper. Once the top layer is painted-on and dry ...cut or peel the Bristol off around the edges and expose the next layer. Similar to a block of WC paper, it saves on the number of heavy stiff backers I need to cart around.

Similarly I do use heavy Bristol as a backer for prepared oil paper instead of canvas boards or stretched canvas for oil painting.
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:07 PM
oldey oldey is offline
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Re: Stretching Paper

it is so easy to flatten a painting after.
I just deal with any ripples as I go. Generally I attach to Gatorboard with staples or tape. It's not really as big an issue as it is made out to be!!!
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:43 PM
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Re: Stretching Paper

The stapling or blue painters tape both does the job of keeping the paper flat. Someone recently suggested using 3M surgical tape as a hold-down. I tried it and now it is my go to. The stuff works great and it is a neutral color.
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:56 PM
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Re: Stretching Paper

It really depends on how much water you use when you paint. As a controlled painter, I do not lay huge, wet washes. My elements are generally done wet in wet but they are much smaller than a big sky, for example. So... I don't need to stretch my paper. It really doesn't buckle much and I do use 140# cold pressed or rough.

When working on larger sizes, I do tape the edges of my paper down on a sturdy support using a good masking tape. This holds it down just fine and will control any buckling that might occur.
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:38 AM
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Re: Stretching Paper

The question of stretching watercolor paper comes up repeatedly.

Since we all paint differently, there are many applicable comments.

As for me, I paint full sheets and half sheets mostly, using wet in wet techniques, and wetting the surface of the paper before beginning.

I've never stretched in almost 30 years. I use bull dog clips fastening the paper to a foam core backing board. When the sheet begins to buckle, I simply lift one or more bull dog clips, stretch the paper taunt and resume painting.



Works just fine.

Sling paint,
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Old 09-13-2019, 09:36 PM
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Re: Stretching Paper

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZoj69_HhHw

video showing how to wet both sides of the paper, let it expand for a few minutes, and clip the paper to the board. Also how you can rewet the paper to continue working wet in wet.
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