Stretching Watercolor Paper on Plexiglass: A Step-by-Step Guide (2023)
One popular choice for watercolorists is to stretch their paper on plexiglass, creating a rigid surface that prevents the paper from buckling and allows for easy framing. Here, we will discuss the steps for stretching watercolor paper on plexiglass.
What is a plexiglass?
Plexiglass is a type of plastic that is commonly used as a substitute for glass. It is also known by the brand name “Acrylic“. It is a lightweight and durable material that is often used in a variety of applications, including as a protective shield in public areas, as a substitute for glass in picture frames, and as a surface for stretching watercolor paper in painting.
Plexiglass is valued for its clarity, stability, and resistance to weather and impact damage, making it an ideal choice for a variety of creative and practical uses.
Can you stretch watercolor paper on plexiglass?
Yes, you can stretch watercolor paper on plexiglass. Stretching the paper on a flat, transparent surface like plexiglass helps prevent buckling and warping, which can be a common problem when working with watercolor paper. The transparency of the plexiglass also allows the artist to see their underpainting more easily, which can be helpful in achieving certain effects.
Additionally, plexiglass is durable and easy to clean, making it a practical choice for artists who want to stretch their paper. However, it’s important to choose a plexiglass that is transparent, flat, and free from scratches or cracks, and to choose watercolor paper that is heavy enough to be stretched without tearing.
Materials needed for stretching watercolor paper on plexiglass
- Watercolor paper
- Masking tape
- A large flat surface
- Sponge or brush
How to stretch watercolor paper on plexiglass?
Before you start stretching your paper, you’ll need to choose the right size of plexiglass for your paper. It’s best to choose plexiglass that is slightly larger than your paper to give you some room to work with.
Step 1: Moistening the paper
Moisten the back of your watercolor paper with a sponge or brush. Make sure the paper is evenly wet but not soaked. You want it to be pliable, but not so wet that it becomes difficult to handle.
Step 2: Laying the paper on the plexiglass
Place the moistened paper onto the plexiglass, with the wet side facing down. Smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles in the paper with your hands. The paper will naturally stick to the plexiglass as it dries.
Step 3: Securing the edges
Once the paper is evenly placed on the plexiglass, secure the edges with masking tape. Make sure the tape is tightly secured to the plexiglass to prevent the paper from lifting.
Step 4: Allowing the paper to dry
Let the paper dry completely. This will take anywhere from several hours to overnight, depending on the humidity and temperature in your workspace.
Step 5: Removing the masking tape
Once the paper is dry, carefully remove the masking tape from the edges. Your watercolor paper should now be securely stretched on the plexiglass, ready for painting.
For a more in-depth guide on the general process of stretching watercolor paper, be sure to check out our comprehensive article on how to stretch watercolor paper.
Stretching watercolor paper on plexiglass videotutorial
Check this vide on how to stretch your watercolor paper before you paint. It is much easier than you think:
Things to consider when stretching watercolor paper on plexiglass
There are a few additional points that are important to consider when stretching watercolor paper on plexiglass:
- Choose the Right Paper: When stretching watercolor paper, it’s important to choose a heavy-weight paper that can withstand the moisture and pressure involved in the process. Look for watercolor paper that is at least 140lb (300gsm) and has a rough texture. This will help ensure that your paper will not tear or buckle during the stretching process.
- Avoid Over-Moistening the Paper: Be careful not to over-moisten the paper when you’re preparing it for stretching. If the paper is too wet, it will become difficult to handle and may tear as you try to secure it to the plexiglass. Make sure that the paper is just damp enough to be pliable, but not soaking wet.
- Plan Your Layout: Before you begin stretching the paper, take a moment to consider the layout of your artwork. Make sure that the paper is centered on the plexiglass and that the edges are evenly spaced, as this will make it easier to frame the finished artwork later on.
- Allow Adequate Drying Time: Be patient and allow the paper to dry completely before you remove the masking tape and start painting. If the paper is not completely dry, it may buckle or wrinkle as you work on it, ruining your artwork.
- Store Carefully: Once you have finished stretching your paper, store it carefully to prevent it from getting damaged. Store it flat and make sure that it is not exposed to extreme heat or humidity.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your watercolor paper is stretched on plexiglass properly, allowing you to create beautiful and vibrant paintings with ease.
Stretching watercolor paper on plexiglass FAQ
Some of the frequently asked questions for stretching watercolor paper on plexiglass:
Yes, you can use any type of plexiglass for stretching watercolor paper. However, it’s important to choose a plexiglass that is transparent, flat, and free from scratches or cracks. This will help ensure that your artwork will look its best.
A good rule of thumb is to choose watercolor paper that is at least 140lb (300gsm) and has a rough texture. This will help ensure that your paper will not tear or buckle during the stretching process. If you’re not sure if your paper is heavy enough, you can test it by wetting a small piece and then gently tugging on it. If it holds its shape, it should be suitable for stretching.
To remove your stretched watercolor paper from the plexiglass, carefully peel off the masking tape that is holding it in place. Be sure to hold the paper at the corners and avoid pulling or tugging on it, as this can cause it to tear. Once the tape has been removed, you can gently lift the paper off the plexiglass.
Stretching watercolor paper on plexiglass has several benefits. Firstly, it helps prevent buckling and warping, which can be a common problem when working with watercolor paper. Secondly, the transparency of the plexiglass allows the artist to see their underpainting more easily, which can be helpful in achieving certain effects. Finally, the plexiglass is durable and easy to clean, making it a practical choice for artists who want to stretch their paper.
The main difference between stretching watercolor paper on plexiglass and other surfaces is the transparency of the plexiglass. This allows the artist to see their underpainting more easily, which can be helpful in achieving certain effects. In addition, the plexiglass is durable and easy to clean, making it a practical choice for artists who want to stretch their paper.
Stretching watercolor paper on plexiglass is a simple process that can greatly enhance your watercolor painting experience. With the right materials and a little patience, you can create a rigid surface that will prevent buckling and allow for easy framing of your finished artwork 🙂
- URL: https://www.ehow.com/how_5942808_stretch-watercolor-paper-plexiglass.html eHow provides a detailed tutorial on how to stretch watercolor paper on plexiglass, including the supplies needed and the process to follow.
- URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTx6Xu6-ljU In this YouTube video, the artist demonstrates how to stretch watercolor paper onto plexiglass, explaining the process as they go along.
- URL: https://www.justpaint.org/stretching-watercolor-paper This article from Just Paint explains why and how to stretch watercolor paper, including specific instructions for using plexiglass.