Painting watercolors on thick handmade watercolor paper

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Tips for painting on thick watercolor paper

If you love the watercolor with its color gradients, you have to paint with a large and thick handmade watercolor paper. I wrote this post because I paint myself with enthusiasm large-format watercolors with watercolor board. Here are some tips on how to paint on this thick paper. The watercolor is usually only suitable for smaller image formats because the paper curls through the water. However, the art supplies also offer thicker paper grades, which allow greater stress on the paper. Quality and price determines the proportion of natural fibers such as cotton, hemp, linen or pulp, and the basis weight in grams per square meter. They are offered in different surface structures from almost smooth to coarse. They are made in hot or cold pressed as well as the thinner watercolor papers. The hot pressed papers have the finer and smoother surface, the cold pressed the coarser. 

Each paper gives the watercolor a very special character. For my painting I prefer hand-made single sheets, hot-pressed with 100% long cotton fibers. With a weight of 640gsm. So pretty thick. But it´s in any case to try out which cardboard fits the individual technique.

 

Painting techniques on thick watercolor paper

A watercolor board in the thickness of over 600gsm is very hard-wearing. You can paint it with watercolor paint, preferably wet on wet technique. Allow the paint to dry slightly and wash off all or just parts of the applied paint with water. The washing out works well with a spray bottle or even with a water jet from a measuring cup. Both leave very different color shades on the cardboard. After drying, you can continue to edit the painting. You can also push off the already dried paint again with a firm brush. This processing of the painting surface also leaves exciting traces of paint that you can paint with color glazes after a further drying process. It is of course important not to paint over everything completely. Thus, interesting shades are obtained from the first application of color to the end in the compled picture and can flash through. In addition to water color, I also experiment with airbrush colors and ink. Beautiful effects arise when you spray airbrush colors with a toothbrush in the already partially dried watercolor paint. Gouache paints, chalks and wax crayons can also be used to create something creative. The wax  crayons reject water and thus continue to shimmer after complaining of watercolor. In this way you can create very impressive and complicated-looking paintings. Therefore, the watercolor cardboard is ideal for creative and modern watercolors. In addition, most of these high-quality watercolor boards are provided with a two-sided deckle edge. You can put a successful work in scene, if you put it in a passe-partout that is larger than your picture then the deckle edge remains visible. Sure, a watercolor board is a bit expensive to buy, but painting on such a surface is an experience and worth its money in any case. I hope this post inspired you to paint and experiment on a watercolor board.

Enjoy and have fun!

Angela

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