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Lesson 3: Stretching Watercolor Paper

We need to learn about stretching watercolor paper. I personally do not stretch and staple my paper down to a board, but for a beginner I recommend it in order to keep the paper from buckling, until you become more familiar with the medium.

Stretch Paper
  • To stretch your paper, make sure the board is about an inch larger all the way around. Soak the paper in a clean tub of water (maybe 5 minutes, until it has absorbed the water). Lay it on a towel to absorb the excess moisture, then place it on the board.


  • With a staple gun, begin stapling at one corner and continue to the end of that side. Move to another corner and staple toward the completed side, and repeat with the remaining sides.


  • Allow to dry, so that it shrinks and maintains a taught surface. Re-wet before painting to use it for wet-in-wet painting.
  • << Lesson 2: Value Scale

    Lesson 4: Watercolor Horizons >>

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