Watch this space! I will be posting tutorials and step-by-step guides for improving your painting skills.
Stretching paper is advisable because it allows you to add lots of water to your paper without fear of buckling or creating unwanted pools. You will need a large board which you can buy from a hardware shop, some gummed tape and pva glue.
- Wash your hands to ensure they are oil free and only touch the corners of your paper.
- Soak your paper (ideally 300gsm/140lb) in cold water for at least half an hour. I use my bath for this.
- Take the paper out and let the water drip off. Place it on your board and lay a clean towel on it to absorb most of the water, just for a few seconds.
- Pipe a very thin line of pva glue around the edge of your paper. This is optional, but does guarantee successful stretching.
- Measure 4 pieces of gummed tape with a few inches extra for overlapping.
- Brush the first strip with a wide brush of water. Place carefully along one edge, about half the width of the strip on your paper and half on the board. Press down and make sure the strip adheres all the way along. Press out any air bubbles.
- Repeat with the other 3 sides. Lay somewhere flat to dry. After about 10 minutes check that no bubbles have appeared on the strips and that the edges of the strips are firmly attached to the paper. After several hours your paper should be dry.
Occasionally stretching can fail and you will discover an annoying bump or one of the strips has broken away from the board. This is normally because a small about of gummed strip wasn’t wet enough when laying down.
Ready stretched paper is also available to buy in paint pads from most art suppliers, however it is a useful skill to have so you can stretch your own bespoke paper sizes.