Sunday, March 14, 2010

Buckling Paper?

"Hi Eric!

First up I absolutely love your work and I'm having one hell of a
great time painting with gouache and acrylics on watercolour paper
thanks to your example. I was wondering how ever how you dealt/prevent
the paper from buckling? I know the whole chore of stretching paper
but I was wondering what you specifically do.

Thank you for the inspiration!

ps you're also the most handsomest, nicest guy ever. Seriously, extremely handsome"

Ahhh, he knows me so well. It's almost as if I tacked that last part on myself ;)

Some people stretch their wc paper. I don't. The main reason I don't stretch mine is because when I have it framed I like to show the natural deckled edge of the paper. And stretching the paper eats into the workable area which wouldn't allow me to use the entire surface of a full sheet of wc paper.

Things to try:
- try a heavier stock. The 300lb paper buckles a lot less than the 140lb. Esp on a smaller scale. ie 8x11" vs 22x30"

- It's inevitable that the paper will warp and buckle a bit with aquious mediums. If my paper is buckling enough that it's affecting my application in an undesirable manner I'll usually spray the piece with some water until it starts to relax a bit. Sometimes on the front and the back if it's being very stubborn. Afterwards, I sandwich the painting between two pieces of matte board. Then I sandwich that between two pieces of plywood. Put on a few of the 75lb dumbbells that I normally do curls with and let that flatten for a day or so. When I take the painting out I immediately hang it by a bullclip to let the piece dry out completely from both sides. If you don't do this the paper will curl up on the side facing up. I assume that's because the top is drying faster than the back(facing down and not getting any air) therefore curling forward. I hope this makes sense. I could totally be wrong. But I let it hang in the air for at least twenty min or so. It should be pretty flat. Then it's ready to work on. This is the same process I do at the end of every painting to flatten the work before framing.

-Keep in mind I'm using acrylic. And once it dries it's permanent. So I don't have to worry about it bleeding or getting muddy. If I were using just watercolor or guache. Something that isn't permanent I'd probably do the same process except that I'd only wet the back of the painting before flattening.

Hope that helps. If I missed something let me know and I'll try my best to address it.

Thanks for the great question!


SCIBOTIC said...

I ran a test with some gouache sketches I did on computer paper.

First test was a disaster, used too much water and the paint ended up getting wet, sticking to the plastic drafting board I had it face-down against and tearing the paper when removed.

Second test however turned out great, used a lot less moisture and placed it face-up against some greaseproof paper. I did so in the hope that it would be less likely to damage the paint when removed, I'll do another test tomorrow without it to check whether it actually made any difference at all.

I only gave a few hours for each and with the amount of moisture I used, it was somewhat dry by the time I removed it. I'm sure given some extra time it would be completely flat but I am already quite ecstatic with the dimension it removed from the springback binder I use as my sketchbook.

Thank you again for the wonderful response, this is definitely more fun than stretching the paper.

EricFortune said...

Another thing to consider in spray fixing the piece if finished. There are workable fixitifs(sp?)if still in progress. But I haven't experimented much with trying large washes over a fixed area. There's always going to be some trial and error. But that's why questions like this are good. Hopefully some find it helpful or at least it may put them in the right direction. Thanks for sharing.

Urwen said...

Thank you for the advice Eric!
I always have problem with watercolour paper cyurling. Now i'll try spraing from the back:)
So simple and i couldnt come up with it myself:(

Btw, love your work!

nlombardo said...

Hey Eric. Great meeting you at the Copro show. You're pieces were incredible. And thanks again for the work and time you put into your blog.

75 lbs dumbells haha!


Angela Matteson said...

To speed up the drying process because I have limited patience with waiting for these kinds of things, I always put down some white paper towels under and over the wc paper while pressing it flat. I change them out for dry ones as they absorb the moisture.

EricFortune said...

Copro was a great time. Just wish I had more of it. Nice meeting you as well. You must've seen the big guns at the show! 75 pounders are just my warm up;)

Angela great tip- once the paper is saturated using a paper towel is a great way to get rid of excess moisture. I wish I could flash dry paints at will.

難得 said...

thank you for you to make me learn more,thank you∩0∩

The Art of Kim Kincaid said...

Thank you for sharing this info as it's been something I've wondered about but was afraid to ask.(you being so strong and handsome and all).

Maria said...

Extremely useful post! I personally, because I care less about showing the torn edge, use a watercolour block. The pad of paper is gummed down on all sides (with a little gap at the top so you can separate the top sheet when finished) and I find this keeps my work beautifully flat. Its also great for location painting. It does, however, mean I have issues with using a lightbox. I end up transfering my drawings using tracing paper, and doing most of my final linework spontaneously. Sometimes it works, sometimes I completely balls up.