Waxing Watercolors – The Artist’s Street

Waxing Watercolors

nowing find out how to correctly show our completed masterpieces is a vital talent within the lifetime of an artist. Watercolorists have needed to wrestle with this since, nicely, ceaselessly, due to the intrusive and distracting reflections brought on by glass. Glass is used to guard the floor. The invention of UV museum glass has helped to attenuate dangerous daylight in addition to to cut back reflections and supply safety. Nonetheless, museum glass may be very costly, nonetheless causes some lack of readability and is prohibited in some exhibitions (as is all glass) as a consequence of the potential for breakage throughout transport or dealing with by exhibition workers. Plexiglass is commonly substituted in these instances, however right here once more, reflectivity and the unevenness of the plastic floor could cause issues. We would like our stunning work to shine, not the glass in entrance of it!

   There’s an alternate, in some situations, and this answer is gaining traction with artists. Each time potential, we now wax our watercolors with Gamblin Chilly Wax Medium. We first heard of this from famend watercolorist Sarah Yeoman. At first, chances are you’ll be reluctant to use something, a lot much less wax, to the floor of a watercolor. When you attempt it on a apply portray, you may be a convert. Chilly wax medium has lengthy been utilized in oil portray as a medium and/or a remaining varnish. It goes on like paste, doesn’t dissolve watercolor, and dries non-sticky to a protecting movie. When dried in a single day, it may be gently buffed, or left as is. The easiest a part of waxing watercolors is that now, there isn’t any want for glass! UV mild continues to be a difficulty, nonetheless, (as with every watercolor), however waxing does present stunning true-to-life presentation and safety. Plus, no want for a mat, which permits choosing from all kinds of frames, even the plein air types! We’ll present you the way it’s carried out.

Gamblin Cold Wax Medium








    We use Gamblin Cold Wax Medium. It’s produced from the best high quality purified white beeswax and is available in paste type for straightforward utility. It may be diluted with a bit of little bit of Gamsol if wanted, however we use it straight from the jar.



Applying Cold Wax Medium to Watercolor © J. Hulsey 

Applying Cold Wax Medium to Watercolor © J. Hulsey

   We apply it with a top-quality paper towel or lint-free material, working it into the paper in a swirling movement. In case you have utilized gouache wherever to your work, you should definitely check that individually first, to ensure it gained’t dissolve within the wax. You could notice a slight darkening of some deep colours from the wax. We discover this acceptable and even fascinating generally—much like the impact varnish can have on an oil portray, however, once more, it would be best to check on a apply watercolor to see if the impact works along with your work. We prefer to work on high of a giant piece of paper to soak up the inevitable extra when working the perimeters of the image. Permit to dry in a single day.

   The dried watercolor can now be mounted on a substrate or matted, and right here we have now many extra new decisions accessible to us that we didn’t have earlier than. With out the necessity for glass or perhaps a conventional mat, our creativity in presentation opens up. We like to begin by mounting the watercolor on thick baltic birch portray panels from Dick Blick. One can purchase an over-sized panel and paint it to create a “reveal” or float as a substitute of utilizing a mat when framed, and maybe play with the colour of this reveal to intensify the art work. Higher but, mount the artwork on a thick panel whose edges have been painted first. Then mount this ensemble onto a bigger painted panel to create a three-dimensional presentation when framed. Or, maybe mount your work on a varnished or painted, deeply-cradled panel with none body in any respect. So many new potentialities!

Cutting Backing Wood Panel

   If the artwork is to be flush with the perimeters of the panel, the panel should be reduce to measurement earlier than mounting. On thinner, 1/8” panels, one can do that with a mat knife and a heavy metal ruler or yard stick. It should require a brand new blade and a number of passes, however avoids the necessity for an influence noticed. Heavier boards would require sawing with a fine-bladed round noticed.

Winsor and Newton Matt Gel









   As an adhesive, we like to make use of high-quality acrylic polymer, utilized with a brush to the again of the portray and the face of the panel on the identical time.


Applying Glue to Backing Panel

   We first lay down a big sheet of fresh paper on the desk after which work the portray after which the panel on high of that. There will likely be extra across the edges. We use a big bristle brush dipped immediately into the jar of acrylic and generously apply a good coating to each surfaces. Word: Be very cautious to firmly maintain your portray in place when you do that! If it slides, chances are you’ll get acrylic on the underside, the artwork, with unpredictable outcomes.

Adhering Watercolor to Wood Backing Board

   Rigorously mount the art work onto the panel and press collectively, smoothing from the middle out. We normally measurement our panels barely—possibly 1/sixteenth” smaller than the portray, in order that the art work may be trimmed flush later. A lot simpler to trim the paper than to trim a board later! After the art work is down firmly, we use a smooth rubber brayer to do the ultimate smoothing and push any air bubbles or extra polymer out. Let dry in a single day by inserting heavy books on high of the mounted panel.

Weighting Down the WC and Wood Backing

   The following day, place the mounted panel face-down on a chopping floor and trim any extra paper from across the panel. Your watercolor is now absolutely sealed and shielded from filth, moisture and the ambiance, and you might be free to get inventive along with your framing presentation!

Trimming Watercolor to Backing Wood Board

   Listed below are simply two examples of waxed watercolors with conventional plein air frames. We expect you’ll agree that they appear nice with out the glass or the necessity for mats. We’d like to see every other watercolor mounting options which you will invent. Contact us with a photograph and we’ll put them on The Artist’s Street.

Waxed WC in Black Frame   Waxed WC in Gold Frame

An attention-grabbing different to glassing watercolor portray.

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