I am a true believer in watercolor and I wanted to give my watercolors the size and presentation that would allow them to compete with works on canvas. However, when I considered the glass and framing costs for my large size paintings it was truly daunting. Ampersand Art Supply has helped me solve this dilemma by offering an acid-free cradled panel that I use as a support and frame for my watercolor paintings. Golden has a range of acrylic gel mediums and varnishes that allow me to finish the watercolors without the need for glass. The results have elevated my traditional watercolor paintings to a new level of intensity and accessibility.
Here are the steps I follow:
- I use Ampersand’s Claybord because the surface is acid-free and will not affect my paper when mounted. This rigid smooth surface has a beautiful birch frame glued flush to the back edge of the panel. It gives my watercolors a whole new look!
- I cut my watercolor paper a bit larger than the panel size.
- I soak the paper just enough to give it a cloth like flexibility.
- Next, I layer Golden soft gel medium on the Claybord panel as evenly as possible.
- I then lay the wet watercolor paper on the gel coated Ampersand Cradled Smooth Claybord panel, working bubbles out gently.
- As the paper begins to dry, I begin painting into it using wet into wet watercolor techniques.
- I let my piece dry completely (I usually wait a couple of days) before carefully laying Golden’s soft gel medium over the painting. I concentrate on lighter areas first and darker areas last, paying close attention to avoid smearing. I let it dry and repeat this step a couple of times.
- I then trim the edges of the paper and decide whether I wish to paint or stain the edges of the cradle frame or leave them in their natural birch color.(9) As a finishing step, I varnish the piece with Golden’s UV resistant medium.
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