Stretching on a flat board Spruce drawing boards (draughtsmen's boards) are the best option because they are hard-wearing and durable. However, they are not easy to find. MDF board can also be used but it should be sealed beforehand so that water doesn't penetrate.
What is the best surface to stretch watercolor paper?
You will need a strong board that won't warp under tension. I've had good results with both the Jackson's Wood Boards and Jackson's Smooth Panels, both used in this article. Jackson's Smooth Panels also work great. If you have old paper tape stuck to the surface, remove it before you stretch.
How do you stretch watercolor paper without a board?
4 Ways to prepare watercolor paper:
- 1 – Completely soak and tape with gummed tape. This is probably the most common method.
- 2 – Stretching on a canvas frame. I've seen a lot of artists use this method which results in a nice tight paper surface.
- 3 – Using a watercolor paper stretcher
What is the alternative to stretching watercolor paper?
Once your painting is dry, use a palette knife or similar tool to separate the top sheet from the block. Both methods eliminate the need for tape and thus, prevent potential damage or residue on your artwork. They're effective alternatives for stretching watercolor paper, ensuring your artwork remains smooth and even.
How long to soak watercolor paper before stretching?
A heavy paper (300lb/640gsm) must soak for 15 to 20 minutes, while a lightweight one (90lb/190gsm) needs only four to five minutes. If the paper is too large to submerge it can be soaked on the board, but allow up to 25 minutes soaking on each side to ensure expansion of the paper.
What is the best way to stretch watercolor paper?
Masking Tape and a Art Tote Board This is my favorite way to stretch paper – and I use it 80% of the time. To stretch your board this way – simple placing your watercolor paper – flat against a wooden board and taping all the edges down with masking tape.