Tutorial: How to Stretch Watercolor Paper!

Howdy friends! I hope you had an awesome weekend. I did! I spent the day hanging out with mom friends as out daughters swam ALL DAY. The girls entertained themselves so well. They are all at an age where we can just let them go and have fun. We sat comfortably on the shore with our beverages and kept an eye on them as they swam and we got to have wonderful female adult conversation:) Gotta love easy summer days like that! Summer is also the perfect time to get outside and watercolor paint and a useful skill to have is stretching watercolor paper. For one it gives you a beautifully flat paper to paint on and for two you can use less expensive lighter weight paper. In this video I will demonstrate how to stretch 90# watercolor paper:

After I uploaded this video on YouTube I received quite a few questions, one was how to remove the paper. I decided to do a follow up video and answer those questions here:

This may be a bit of overkill for quick paintings and sketches but for paintings that you want to spend a lot of time on and frame it is worth the extra effort. If you are stretching larger than 11″x14″ sheets of paper I recommend using wider gummed tape. If you are stretching 140# paper I recommend soaking the paper for 10 minutes in cold water to fully expand the paper since it is thicker. My biggest recommendation is if this seems like too much work and you don’t want to bother with it than don’t, it’s OK, painting should be fun, not a chore. You can now find inexpensive blocks (I just got Strathmore 400 series watercolor blocks for under $10 at Blick last week) that will remain flat without stretching. I will talk about blocks in another video, I just wanted to give you this option but by no means tell you you have to do it. It’s nice to have choices in our art. I hope you have a fantastic night and til next time happy crafting!

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