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I used the search function and went through 6 pages, but if I did miss something, please let me know and I'll go to that thread and leave you alone
Do you prefer Watercolor paper, water color canvas or watercolor block? I've been using the paper (Strathmore 140lb cold press) and not having good results. It tends to buckle and not layer well. I haven't tried stretching it yet, but I read that watercolor block paper is already stretched.
I don't mind buying the best of the best.
-300 lb watercolor paper is nice. It is thick enough so you don't need to stretch it and it has a nice texture to it.
-I like 140 lb hot press paper also. It is smooth and is nice for detail work but you need to stretch it if you like to use a lot of washes.
-Blocks are okay. I use them when I don't have time to stretch paper. They have them in post card size which is great for landscape studies. The glue stuff on the sides helps it from buckling but it isn't full proof.
Thank you thank you!! This was very helpful. I think I'll try a little bit of each next time I go to my craft store.
I like to mess around with watercolors, doing doodles and random landscapes, so the landscape block would be perfect for that.
Rives BFK is real nice. It's what I use mostly. It's a printmaking paper but takes watercolor and gouache real nice without too much buckling. To avoid a lot of buckling when working with watercolor, tape down the paper to a piece of masonite or drawing tablet. Strathmore Bristol board series 400 is very thick and hardly buckles.
if you do not want to have ANY buckling whatsoever, use some spray glue and glue a couple of pieces of paper together, that should do the trick.
This is one I remember... had some good info in it.
Equality724521: Thanks for the tips I do have some bristol lying around, and never thought to use water colors on it.
What kind of tape would you recommend?
Here is a helpful article about the different methods for stretching paper. Personally, I rarely have the time or patience to stretch my paper. I use a variety of Arches blocks and they are excellent and very convenient. One tip though, leave a border around your painting. That way, you don't have to worry about cutting off a section of your painting if you want to remove the gummed edges. Artists' tape works great to mask off a border.
Another thing to think about with blocks is that you can only make one painting at a time. If you like to have multiple projects you will need multiple blocks. This can get quite pricey depending on the brand of paper that you use. If you like to have many projects in the works at once, try the 300lb or 400lb paper that you don't need to stretch.
Another alternative is illustration board or watercolor board. It's a piece of board with paper mounted to one side and is available in cold and hot pressed. Some of the boards are inexpensive but may yellow over time. Make sure you know the quality of the product that you are purchasing if conservation is a concern.
Edit: a note about bristol board - you can certainly use watercolor on bristol board but it does not react to the paint the same way watercolor paper is designed to do. Your colors will not look as bright and vibrant and it is harder to make even gradients.
Last edited by Grendel Grack; February 24th, 2009 at 01:11 PM.
I have the same problem with paper stretching...no patience! I've used the arches block and so far it's been very nice. No buckling, easy to just get out and start painting. Thanks for the tip about using the tape to mask off the border.