Posts Tagged ‘paper’

h1

Improving My Watercolor Strainer Frame

April 11, 2018

The thumbtacks I used in my simple frame for the last painting worked okay, but I wanted to go back to the sturdier method of using binder clips as in my larger frame. I decided to just glue some wood strips to the sides of the frame.

This shows the back of the assembled strainer. I cut 4 thin strips of scrap chipboard to 1.5 inches wide, and glued them to the sides of the frame with contact cement. Now I can use the binder clips to hold the wet paper tight. Ready for another painting.

Advertisements
h1

New Painting Started: Over Her Shoulder

March 29, 2018

Okay, I finally got around to working up a new painting on that stretched paper I showed in my previous post. This will be taken from an old life drawing sketch I made a few years back.

I first sketched out the outline on the paper with a conte crayon, then used a wash of thin yellow ochre casein. I darkened that up by adding a little cadmium red. This cardstock paper is too thin for anything substantial. The water is really breaking it up, but not too badly to use for sketching. The paint layers from here on will have to be less wet.

h1

Stretching Light Weight Watercolor Paper

March 22, 2018

Not too long ago I picked up a package of light weight cardstock paper. It’s sold by Neenah, and I got it at a local Office Depot, $12 for 50 sheets. It works well for drawing, but I thought I’d see how well I could wrap it to a wood frame to use for watercolor, or actually water-based casein paint, and do some sketching on it.

Since it was 11×17″, I used a small 9×12″ wood stretcher instead of my custom built frame. A large plastic storage bin worked well for soaking the paper instead of the bathtub to use less water. It’s only 80-lb. paper, so small pieces tore off fairly easily as I pulled it around the frame. There are no tears on the front, so no problem there. I used thumbtacks to hold the paper in place as it dried, and will leave them there as I paint on the front. It dried as tight as a drum, so this should work fine.

h1

Plaster Coated Paper for Gouache Paint

May 4, 2017

As I get ready to prepare the surface for my new painting, I wanted to test out a ground to use especially for the grass area I’ll be painting. I’ll be using a large sheet of illustration board, and coating it with a thin ground made with spackling compound.

Spackling is a paste made out of (typically) calcium carbonate, silica, and glycol. You can find it at hardware stores, and it’s used for filling small holes and cracks in walls prior to painting. It can be thinned with water. I’ve added a small amount of acrylic medium to improve the adhesion and make it more flexible. In the picture above, I’ve drawn an area in pencil to show the rough texture it makes. It feels like a fine grit sandpaper. I applied just one coat. It creates a nice paint ground, but can lift if you use a very wet wash. Adding acrylic medium helps prevent that.

The main reason I’m using this particular ground is to allow me to lightly scrape away paint layers. You can see the marks I’ve made on the small test area of gouache paint in the picture. It will help me create a more convincing grass texture. The tools I used here are a bamboo pen and a solder scraping brush. The bamboo doesn’t dig too deeply into the plaster, and the steel brush gives a fuzzy, random scratch. I’m using various commercial gouache paint, as well as a couple of my own. This should work well for me.

UPDATE:
I’m adding a closeup of the painted area to show the scratch marks better.

h1

Watercolor Paper Stretcher – Version 3

November 1, 2016

My previous version of a paper stretcher worked well enough, but it was a bit awkward and bulky in the design, so I came up with another modification.

paper-stretcherb1

I replaced those 4 strips of wood clamped to the outside edge with several small strips of wood glued to the back of the frame and flush with the outside edge. Now I don’t have separate strips of wood to carry around or lose.

paper-stretcherb2

In place of the screw clamps, I’m now using 2 inch binder clips attached to these strips of wood. I can fold the wet paper around the edge, and use the clips to hold it place. Now I don’t have to tape the paper to the back when it dries in order to remove the clamps. I can leave the clips on while I’m painting.

paper-stretcherb3

The metal handles on the clips are also removable, which makes the frame sit better on an easel or flat on a table.

paper-stretcherb4

This frame is 16 x 20.” I may build a larger one, and have the four 1/8 strips go along the whole length of the outer edge so I can place the clips wherever I want. I didn’t have enough scrap wood for that this time, but this will work just as well.

h1

New Design for Watercolor Paper Stretcher

September 6, 2016

I thought up a new project to update my method for stretching paper on a wooden frame instead of taping it to the face of a board. I had made a post on this subject several years ago showing a cheap and easy way that I have been doing this. That works fine, but the pins or staples on the sides can eventually damage the frame to such a degree that I have to make another one. So I thought I’d try out a new design using wood clamps. This is my first rough of that idea.

paper-stretcher1

What I’ve done is build a small strainer type frame similar to that used for stretching canvas. The size is 16 x 20 inches. I’m using 3/4″ square strips of poplar, and thinner strips for the inner bracing. I have longer strips to fit the outer edges, and I’ve built small “C” clamps made of wood and 4″ bolts to grip the paper.

paper-stretcher2

Here’s a shot of the the whole assembly from the back with the clamps in place. I’m using 300# Arches watercolor paper. It had been soaking in a tub of water for 10 minutes. The paper wasn’t quite long enough to wrap all the way around the shortest distance; only up the sides. In this case, I’ll have to keep the clamps on those two sides until I’m finished painting. With paper at the correct length, once it dries I can tape it to the back, and then remove the clamps with the tape holding it tight.

paper-stretcher3

Here’s the front. I noticed that I had the clamps pressing against the paper on the top, and you can see marks they left in the paper. I pulled the clamps back a bit, and re-wet the paper to smooth it, and that got rid of the indentations. I think I’ll modify the clamps so that they have a beveled edge that can’t touch the paper. I might bevel the inner frame also, just in case.

This has only been drying now for about an hour, and I can already feel the paper getting very tight. I’ll check it in the morning to see how well it holds up. I can paint on this with any water based media without worrying about buckles or warping in the paper.

h1

Studio Tip – Binder Clips

January 26, 2016

I’m taking a short break from the painting to show a tip for using binder clips in the studio. I use them to keep my paint tubes organized, or for hanging sheets of paper or canvas. You can buy these at an office supply store in various sizes. These are “medium” size, 1.25 inches.

clips-on-hanger0

To slip the clip over the plastic hanger, I squeeze the metal handle and remove them from the clip. I then slide them over the hanger, and squeeze them back on clip.

clips-on-hanger1

I can now place the hanger on a rod and clip the bottom ends of paint tubes to them. This allows me to organize the paint by medium or paint color – however I need them. To keep them from sliding down the hanger, I can tie a wire “twisty” on the handle. The clips are strong, and will hold even a large tube of paint.

clips-on-hanger2

Alternatively, with this particular type of metal shelving I have, I can slip the clips over the metal rods, and not use hangers at all. You can also get some peg board hooks at a hardware store, and slide the clips on those.

clips-on-hanger2b

Another use for the clips and hanger is to hold sheets of paper or canvas using these plastic “slide-grip” binders sold for report covers.

clips-on-hanger3

They’re less likely to damage the sheets than the metal clips themselves, and will keep the sheets straight. This can be especially useful for wet surfaces that that need to dry. With the painted side facing the wall, dust is less likely to get on the surface.

clips-on-hanger4