I’m often asked how I flatten my watercolor paper once it’s become buckled and warped from all the washes. I’ve explained this in writing plenty of times for people who’ve messaged me and figured it was probably time to make a video explaining how I do this. I’m sure it makes a lot more sense actually seeing it as well. At least I hope so. Below I’ll post two new videos. One on flattening my art and another short demo on my painting technique. The second demo also addresses how I adhere my painting to the gator board. It’s really simple but I get this question quite often. Hope this clears some things up.
Here’s a work in progress shot of my new piece “The Secret of Oz”. It’s for an upcoming tribute to “The Wizard of Oz” group show at Gallery Nucleus.
Wow, this is great Eric. I'm surprised to see that none of your washes bleed–is your work coated with something in advance to prevent this, or is the media just naturally that durable?
Great videos, really interesting to see how you work – I'm also curious about how the washes don't bleed with so much water on them…?
Btw, loved the Jedi mind tricks *waves hand* You Did Not Hear That. 😀
Thanks for showing us how you work. I love to see your process and draw ideas from it to help my own work.
I come from a printmaking background so I just wanted to throw an idea at you because flattening paper is a common practice in intaglio printmaking (you print on wet paper, and it warps after it dries). Have you tried blotter paper instead of the white matte board? Blotter is designed to absorb water, kind of like a towel in paper form.
You use basically the same process an etcher except for the blotter paper. Give it a try, it might pull more moisture out so you won't have to hang dry it.
Isaac/ Dace – I'm painting in acrylic washes so when it dries it's fairly permanent and bleeding isn't an issue.
Kevin- Thanks for the tip!
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Nice video Eric. It's really interesting to see how you flatten/dry your paper. Have you ever used a drying rack instead of hanging your work? In hanging a finished painting, I'd be worried about splashing paint or damaging it somehow by accident.
@nida – great post, you learn something new everyday.
Your video is very interesting but it surprise me in the same time.
In the old europe ( with a long white beard and a quavery voice … just kitting ) my teachers make me stretch my paper before painting.
You will need a drawing board and a sheet of paper smaller than the board, submerge the paper in a sink full of water. hold it up by one end, let the surface water drain off, then lay it on the board. Use a roll of brown gummed paper to stick the four sides down, ( gummed paper half on board, half on paper) Leave it to dry naturally, overnight.In the morning, it will be as tight as a drum and it will stay flat while you work.
Here's a link to a video demo :
I hope this will be usefull but anyway your flattening process could be very usefull in many situation thanks for sharing!
I was going to make the same suggestion as ArinWaldan. Since you are already starting off with watercolor paper, if you prestretch it it should keep the paper from buckling at all, plus it'll help remove some of the sizing that manufacturers put on the paper which I find gives it a better working surface. Thanks for sharing your process – excellent work!
Sorry for the late reply. I used to stretch my watercolor paper. However, it ate into my workable surface area. Also, perhaps I had bad tape but it never quite help properly and as the paper dried it would pull away from the tape. So I ended up taping and stapling my water color paper and one day I was taking the staples out and damaged my painting. I think I was done at that point. Scarred for life.