Jun 28, 2018

Mounting 300lb Waterpaper on Wood Cradle - Painting & Drawing Tips


I bought the supplies; did the deed - My watercolour paper is mounted on the wood cradle and ready for painting.  OMG!  It really is big.  As excited as I am to get started I am also wondering "what the heck was I thinking, this is huge".

This is BIG - 2 FEET X 3 FEET, not my usual miniature of  2 inches x 3 inches!! 

But I am ready . . .

First job, mounting my paper on the wood cradle.

Okay, I must admit I took the chicken way out.  As you know I have mounted on wood before using Golden's Matt Medium.  However, because I was using 300 lb paper and putting it on such a large surface the Opus Staff member advised me to use something stronger, Golden Soft Gel Semi-Gloss.  It  has a thicker body which takes longer to dry and gives me more time to work with it.  So as the true chicken I am, I decided to try small pieces first.

Step 1 Finish the Edges:
I decided I wanted the wood grain edge so I didn't paint it.  But if you want to paint the edges now is the time to do that.  My little small panel has black sides.

Taping the edges to keep them clean
Once your side treatment is done tape the edges with a low tack tape to protect them. 

Step 2 Cut you paper to size:
Make sure your paper is at least 1/2 inch larger then your wood panel.  It is easier to place it on then trying to line up edges. 

Use a sponge brush or brush to spread the medium

Step 3 Your ready to glue:
It was easy to use my little spreader to get the medium spread.  It is a lovely consistency.  It is white but dries clear.  I was careful to make sure I got all the edges and corners covered.  Can't make it too thin a covering.

Place the wood cradle over the paper and press down
Step 4 Place the paper on the cradle
For my little piece it was easier to put the paper down and the block on top.  I pressed hard to attach and squeezed out any extra glue.  Then I turned it over and used a brayer to make sure there were no air bubbles.  Needless to say I was feeling very confident by now.  
I Checked it and  now it is ready for weights

Step 5 Ready for Weights
Everything looked good so I placed it facing down, on a clean surface and added some weights.  

Cleaning the edges.  Yes, that is Max in the background checking on my progress

This was an important moment as I realized with the weight on I had to clean the edges better.  Easier to do it now when it is wet than trying to remove that tape with glue stuck to it,  after everything has set.
It is recommended that it sit for 24 hours before doing anything more too it.

AT this point I was really flushed with success and ready for bigger things

I got my 11 x 14 inch wood cradle ready and set to work on it. Right away things were different, had to adjust my camera for pictures; took longer to spread the glue, realized I was going to need a bigger brush for the Big One; little trickier to place the paper, although using 300 lb paper means it is very stiff; needed more weights.

***Important Note: after I few hours I checked my paper to make sure all the edges and corners were sealing.  I found a loose corner so quickly slipped more medium in between the paper and wood.

The next day I was back at it . . .

Trimming was a little harder than expected - Note my example on the right: trim the corner before cutting the edge. 

Step 6 Trimming the paper
This proved to be a little more difficult than expected.  That 300 lb paper is thick.  I tried holding it to trim but found I was not strong enough.  It was easier to work flat with a self-healing cutting mat and exact-o knife. Here again I learned something.  Don't hesitate to change the blade as you work.  It really wears the point down quickly.  I also found if I trimmed the corners first it was easier to get a tighter cut to the edge.

Sanding the edges - notice my rough one, I should have changed the blade sooner
Step 7 Sanding the Edges
It doesn't matter how careful you are there will be the odd rough edge or overhanging edge.  Well there was for me anyway.  I used a really soft grade of sandpaper, Size 320.
Things would have been better if I changed my blade during the cutting process.  Cutting my little block wasn't hard on the knife point but cutting the 11 x 14 was harder on the point.  My edge got a little ragged.  I can see when doing the Big One, I will have to watch that.
The sanding proved easy.  The main thing was to keep pushing away from the paper; smoothing things down along the side.  I was amazed how quickly that 'rough edge' disappeared.

Step 8 The Test
Well really this isn't part of the process but it was something I wanted to check before I committed to the Big One. What will happen if I use a really wet wash of paint.  Will the paper pull away from the wood. 

Putting on a wash of water
I decided before I could do my Big One, I had to see what happened if I put a heavy wash of water on my mounted paper.  So I did it.  I waited. Nothing.  I waited some more. Nothing.  I left it for a bit. Still flat.  I left it longer.  I waited till it dried. Still flat. Looks like things will be fine when I do a big wet wash for the background.

Mounting the Big One meant a much Bigger Brush
I followed the same steps when it came time to do the BIG ONE.  There were however a few changes; bigger brush to spread the gel. You do have to work quickly to make sure things stay wet.
Fitting the paper on went well, the stiff 300lb paper was easy to shift and line up.

Definitely takes longer to roll the paper on the wood and make sure there are no bubbles
Every step takes longer and of course lots more room.  I rolled and pressed with brayer and felt that everything was tight.  
Once it was ready I flipped it over and weighted it down. 
A few rocks worked as weights for my small block but the Big One needed more - A case of wine and buckets of water gave me lots of heavy weights.
And of course, once your wood cradle is ready, you can always drink the Wine. 

I again waited 24 hours before trimming my paper. When I went to it the next day there was a surprise waiting for me.  It was no where near dry yet.  I waited another 24 hours. This time it was ready.  Next the paper was trimmed, sides were sanded, mess cleaned up. 

 I am ready to paint.  See you next week.

Did you start a Big Challenge?  How is your Challenge going?

Etsy Store: WendyMouldsArt  is always open and new things added all the time.  Original Artwork, prints and cards of Art by Wendy's Work.

Try Your Hand at Plein Air Painting: 

Plein Air Painting Festival - August 17-19,  KilbyHistorical Site, Harrison Mills, BC

Great Opportunity to Paint on an Historic Site with costume models, farm animals, farm scenery, old store and more.  Painting Friday and Saturday, & Sunday Morning,  Prizes, Luncheon, and Sales on Sunday Afternoon.  Great Prizes for all levels - Beginners to Advanced Welcome.

$15  Register  events@kilby.ca 604-796-9576 by August 15, 2018.  
This is an awesome event, there are juried prizes and draw prizes so fun for all levels.  Registration gets you on site for all 3 days.  I will be camped at the Kilby Campsite and there all 3 days so be sure and say hi.  

Drop-In & Draw Sessions: 
New people are always welcome.  Beginner to Advanced 

 Monday, August 13, 10-12pm & 1-3pm 

 Fall Sessions start Sept 10, 10-12pm & 1-3pm

Expression Art Gallery, Valley Fair Mall, 227 & Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge,
Choose a morning or afternoon session. Bring your sketchbook or project and come and work.  I will be happy to give you pointers.  $15 Pre-Registration Required.  Contact Wendy Here. 

Artists reading this also find the following valuable: 
The Story of a Painting in 3 Parts,  from start to finish - starts here
How to Paint/Draw Soft & Fluffy Animals, 2 Parts - starts here
How to Find Your Starting Point in a Drawing - here

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