Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday's Tips and Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Tuesday’s Tips & Techniques is Back!

I have gone through so many tips already having done this little column for over two years. I have received lots of compliments and lots of feedback from those who wish that I continue my Tuesday’s Tips. I think I chose to stop doing it because I no longer have my faithful furry friend Chloe sitting next to my desk as I type or under my art table as I created the little samples for photos. I’m thinking she’d probably nudge me now to keep it going. You’re not gonna believe this but as I’m typing this my little pal Scooter has hopped his paws up on me and is meowing. It must be a sign.

I love coming up with a new tip each week. Although now I have a feeling I may be repeating a few but hopefully giving them a new sparkle or perhaps you missed it the first time around. Refreshers and reminders are always good too. So here goes ...

Watercolor Paper

One of the important key features to a watercolor painting is the watercolor paper. You want to use quality paper that will stand the test of time. If you’re just learning to paint, many of the techniques are so much easier to learn if you’re using decent paper. The colors of the pigments and how they react with each other and react with the amount of water you’re using are also effected by the quality of paper you are using. You don’t want paper that will buckle and ripple if you use a technique that calls for small amounts of water or excessive amounts of water. You don’t want thin flimsy paper. Watercolor is a challenging medium to learn and you want paper that will stand up to the challenge.

I recommend using 140 lb., 100% cotton, cold pressed, acid free, neutral pH, watercolor paper. The brand choice is up to you.

My favorite paper is still Saunders Waterford. It’s manufactured by St. Cuthberts Mill in Somerset England. At the site of the earliest paper making mills in England. The quality is excellent and consistent. It is a mouldmade paper of 100% cotton and it is sized internally and on the surface with gelatin. It is acid free. Two edges of a full sheet are regular deckled edges. I’m guessing they make them in super long lengths and the other two edges are a torn edge. Of course it would be long in order to create the rolls. It is available as sheets, rolls and blocks. On the sheets, one corner has a watermark and the opposite corner has an embossed trademark. One of the things I love about this brand of paper is the watermarks and embossings are not huge. This paper is excellent, it stands up to a lot of abuse, aggressive painting techniques, lifting, scrubbing. It is an excellent choice for watercolor paper.

And yes, Scooter is still here by my side. He’s a cat who sometimes acts like a dog.

1 comment:

D. Tom Conboy said...

Thanks for the tips. I always enjoy reading them! I agree with you--the quality of the paper does make a BIG difference.

Thanks again,


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