logo

Home>Uncategorized> Watercolors > Flattening a Transparent Watercolor Painting on Paper

Flattening a Transparent Watercolor Painting on Paper

6 thoughts on “Flattening a Transparent Watercolor Painting on Paper”

  1. thanx for sharing! i’ve used this process for a number of years now only a bit rougher — no plastic or board, books as weights. i use 300# paper. i’m going to add the boards to my process!

    Reply
    • Hello Lisa,
      We find that using boards — especially the one on top– helps to distribute the weight evenly over the entire paper. This contributes to even flattening. If you have an even tabletop or counter space and no plans to move the paper press, the bottom board is not really needed. And I must admit that when I flatten my own watercolor paintings, I also use books as weights (usually art history books!).
      Happy painting,
      Cathy

      Reply
  2. Hi Cathy. Back in the dinosaur times, we were told to soak our watercolor paper in the bathtub with warm water to remove the sizing and then taping it around all edges with masking tape until dry. Is this no longer acceptable practice? I realize your methods are for people who have already painted and want to flatten the paper afterward, but do we ever talk about what to do prior to painting to ready the paper? Thanks! Janet Wise

    Reply
    • Hello Janet,
      Thank you for your questions. Today, artists paint on both stretched paper, and paper that has not been stretched. Soaking paper in water and then attaching it to a board continues to be the approach when someone wishes to “stretch” watercolor paper so the paper does not buckle when painting. The idea is that the paper will evenly expand as it absorbs water, then shrink as it dries. To attach the paper, gummed tape that activates with water is still an option, as are staples. There are also newer inventions that assist with stretching paper. Just be careful that the container in which the paper is soaked is completely clean– lotions and cleansers can float and impact the paper surface in negative ways. Soaking will remove sizing, which can impact the way the paint and paper interact.
      Happy painting,
      Cathy

      Reply
    • Hello James,
      We have not tested flattening a watercolor painting with an iron, however we have seen it done. We would suggest putting the painting face down onto the blotting paper on a flat surface. Mist or dampen the back of the painting with water and place a thin protective material over it. A another piece of paper, or a wrinkle-free lint-free cloth might work. The ironing then happens through the barrier rather than directly on the painting’s back. It would be important to do some testing and practice to learn how quickly the iron should be moved, and to check which heat setting would be best so the painting does not become too hot. We suspect that the painting would then need to be put under weights at least overnight to ensure the flatness remains.
      Best Regards, Cathy

      Reply

Leave a Comment

*

css.php