Stretching Paper

If you intend to work on paper using washes or a watery solution you need to stretch your paper first in order to stop it buckling. The fibres of the paper will expand when they come into contact with water making the surface of the paper very difficult to work on.

The process is very simple but allow plenty of drying time for your preparation.

Step 1/ Place your paper in a tray of water for at least five minutes or longer. This allows the fibres of the paper to expand.

Step 2/ Place the wet paper on your drawing board but dampen the surface of the board first.

Step 3/ Fix the paper down using gum strip. Wet the gum strip and place it round the four edges of the paper so the biggest proportion of the tape grips on the paper. Do not worry if you see bubbles on the paper at this point as the paper will shrink when it dries to a smooth tight finish.

Step 4/ Leave a small pool of water in the middle of the paper. This enables the outer edge of the paper (where the tape is) to dry first, allowing the tape to fix the paper firmly before its starts to shrink. Allow a good half a day for the paper to completely dry and then you will have a smooth surface to work on that will take water without it buckling.

Lined Paper With Drawing Space
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