How To Keep Watercolor Paper From Curling

Posted: March 12, 2014 in art, culture, drawing, lesson, painting, Uncategorized
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     When  working with watercolors, there is a tendency for the paper to curl. There are a couple of things you can do to avoid this from happening.

      First thing you can do is to just buy watercolor paper in “block” form, which is a pad where all of the edges are lightly glued down except one small 1/2 inch space. When you are finished painting and the painting is dry, you insert a dull knife/palette knife into this space below your top sheet where you just painted and run it all the way around to free your painting from the block. The only bad thing about using blocks is that they can be expensive. I’ve seen some blocks for $50 or even more.

     The other thing you can do is to get a board with a smooth surface (I use a wooden board), and then tape the paper down with artists tape. Artists tape looks like masking tape but it’s not as sticky. I’ve also found that the cheap masking tape from the dollar stores also works well because it’s also not very sticky. Tape the paper down on all four sides which will create a blank border. Do the artwork and let the painting dry, when the painting is dry just remove the tape. Viola! No curls.

     There is another method and that is to pin the corners of the paper down with push pins onto your board. The con to this method is that it leaves little holes on the corner of your paper which is why I prefer the tape down method.

     You can find watercolor blocks and artist tape in any good art supply store. Keep on painting!

–Roz Abellera


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