Deckle & Gesso your Watercolor Paper
Welcome back to another BobBlast! This week's features two tried-and-true studio tips:
- How to deckle all four sides of a sheet of watercolor paper.
- Why and how to gesso your watercolor paper.
Lately I have mounting my watercolor in floater frames or on cradled wooden panels. I prefer all four sides of the paper to show a deckle edge all around. To get that rough deckle, you tear - not cut - the watercolor paper.
Watch the demo on the video below:
First, I scored the paper - being careful to not score it so deeply that it cuts the paper.
Next, I crease the paper along the scored line. Then bend the paper back and forth.
Finally, slowly tear away. Tear it away - not toward the crease. Tear away from the crease and the watercolor paper will tear beautifully along the crease, resulting in a deckle edge.
Repeat until all 4 sides have that beautiful deckle edge.
The Why & How of Gesso
Prior to painting, I apply an acrylic gesso primer on my watercolor paper. I actually trowel it on - Watch the demo!
As you know, typically a canvas is sold already primed with gesso. Wanting my paints to respond and react the same way on 300 lb. paper, I trowel gesso on one side only with professional grade white acrylic gesso. Unlike less expensive brands of gesso, which tend to be too runny or gritty, I have found that the better gesso is thick, smooth and creamy. To apply, I cut up foam board scraps and use them as disposable scrappers and trowels. No clean up.