okay now we're going to talk about papers now I showed this slide in week one in the overview of the class just to show you the various options that are out there and these air just this's maybe one fiftieth of what's available there's so many different papers and that kind of thing but there come from different surfaces they have different colors they're bright whites they're creams I mean this particular color right here is you know quite dark and you have to realize that the color of the paper will affect the painting so if you're looking for something that has a sort of italian medieval look to it you might purposely want to go out and buy a paper that has that sort of creamy cast to it because it'll it'll affect the way the paint's translate on the paper so there's ref press uh there's cold press rough hot press specialty papers the sizing is what keeps them from being too absorbent and and you need your paint to sit on top of the paper and to stay wet long enough for it to do tha...
t all the things that you wanted to do so sizing is really important it comes in different weights the most common weights are ninety pounds one hundred forty pounds which is the site the weight that I use the most often two hundred sixty pound and three hundred pounds and three hundred pound paper is is very thick paper I mean it doesn't buckle you khun saturate that paper on one side and it won't buckle so ah lot of people just use three hundred pound paper because they don't want to worry about buckling they don't want to stretch their paper they don't want to bother with any of that but three hundred pound obviously is more expensive this well paper can be handmade mold made or machine made and I have never painted on handmade paper one of these days I'm going to the paper that I paint on the most which is this one right here arches hundred forty pound bright white cold pressed is mold made paper and then there's machine made paper machine made paper is not as common as the mold made it's ah totally and completely consistent the mold made paper is like a a cross between hand made and machine made paper and so it has like the consistency that you like to rely on but more of the qualities in the characteristics of mold made aii the deck alleges that I like so much around the edge of the paper mold made papers have a smooth side and a slightly rougher side it's based on how they're put in the mold the smooth side is generally considered to be the right side and it usually has the watermark of the manufacturer right reading on the smooth side so look for your watermark and if you could read it rather than having to turn it over to read it then you're looking at the what they consider to be the quote unquote right side but you can paint on either side I mentioned that last week uh the texture and color of papers completely depends on the manufacturer there's so many out there there's arches there's fabri on oh there's kilimanjaro cinelli a lana quarrel daler round he makes a wonderful paper called the langton prestige saunders waterford strathmore cancer twin rocker makes a handmade paper they make wonderful product they're more than that so I just gave you you know what a town or so research it again daniel smith has it great section in their catalog on papers and the various manufacturers and the characteristics of it you can learn a lot just spending time on that chart make sure you get acid free paper it has to be acid free in order for it to archive well otherwise overtime your paints will change color and you don't want that and also make sure that when you start matting and framing you get acid free math s and acid free backing board for framing now some people some artists used printmaking paper there's a wonderful painter in town named linda cameron and she paints on a paper called reeves be esque b f k reeves b f k it's ah it's a smooth paper it's more absorbent doesn't have the sizing in it but she loves to paint on that paper she does some really wonderful organic abstracts I've seen her in workshop and that's almost exclusively what she paints on now this was a couple years ago she may have changed by now but try that out to their your printmaking papers khun paint beautifully all right so different papers paint differently and the painting on the left was painted by my instructor who have talked about many times ted not all on the one on the right was painted by my other instructor dan lemley you can take a look the one on the left was painted on hot press the one on the right was painted on cold press you can see how the hot press takes the paint differently now he has a tendency to paint in a pointillist iq style but back here he didn't back here he was doing washes and you still see the streaks of the pain continue khun see all of this little sloppy dots and things like that very very readily and that technique doesn't work that well on cold press paper I tried it it works okay but for that particular technique it's better off to paint on hot press dan's fluid style where you know she loves her colors to bleed in and she loves to get the dry brush rough strokes in there that works better on cold press paper because it has a rougher surface and it holds the water longer on the surface and it's my favorite paper cold press now this is the same paper with different results these two paintings were done by a friend of mine her name is renee st peter and she's a wonderful painter the painting on the left was painted on a water color block but it was painted on arches hundred forty pound cold pressed the painting on the right was done on arches hundred forty forty pound cold pressed sheet paper she started the painting on the block and didn't like what was happening and you can see a clear difference I mean she painted them she said I painted them basically the same I did the same thing on one that I did on the other but look at the difference in the effect that she got on this sheet paper so blocks they say that they're the same paper but but they can paint differently and the only way for you to know is to go out and buy your own supplies and test it out then there's a rough paper which is the toothy assed deeper wells they're really good for large areas building texture not good for detail it's very difficult to get high detail fine detail on rough paper the cold press we've talked about's great for washes most commonly used it's great for granule ation and texture the hot presses the smooth surface it's good for large area washes and paint runs runs on smooth paper very very easily so if you like that look and you want to get controlled runs in your painting you might consider using hot pressed hot press can be very difficult for beginners because it does show the strokes like you could see here and it dries fast and so it doesn't give you much time you have to be a bold painter in a sort of confident painter when you paint on hot press and the pain has a tendency to slide around the surface until it starts to soak in which is also another characteristic that's hard for beginners to deal with we've got a question from online what when you refer to block paper what does that refer to I'll show you I brought one think I put it so far out of reach okay this is paper that comes in a block this is water color block cold press watercolor hundred forty pound it's glued and sealed I can't figure out which way to go okay there we go it's glued and sealed along the edge all the way around so that the paper is pre stretched on the block and and I was told that it's actually you know almost like pre soaked in away at it it's it might be put in the block before it's been completely dried or what have you I'm not real sure the technique that they use right here on the side is an opening where you can stick a razor blade underneath the top sheet and slide it along and slice the paper off the block this is very convenient when you're going to go out and paint on plane there you want to go outside you're not going to use an easel you're just going to put your board or put your block on your lap you're going toe put this on your lap hold your your little travel palette in one hand and just paint these air very convenient people do love them I never use them because like I mentioned last week I just love paper I just left paper but this is a block very handy now specialty papers this is the u po paper that I've talked to you about before and it's a plastic paper very very smooth surface doesn't soak up the painted all the paint just sits and drives on the surface of the papers so you can practically lifted back to white uh it's they even have a translucent version of this and so that you could run your photograph out full size put the translucent version down on top of it and just trace right onto the paper and then painted that time uh it's a great paper it's a lot of fun but it has a very particular kind of look to it and you can see it streaks if you get your fingerprints on you poe paper the grease from your hands will transfer to the paper and you won't be able to print paint over it and I'll show you an example of that later in the painting exercise that we do right down here you can see how it drips and runs I mean it it creates a very unique look and some people are just excellent add it and make it work to their advantage I think this painting is wonderful this was done by george james who sort of considered the master of u po then there other papers there's rice paper rice papers made from grains and it doesn't have a sizing on it at all so it's very very absorbent it's very fragile and it can't be stretched in the way that watercolor paper can now they asian artists know how to back it up with another paper and and make it secure and things like that but it's a it's a very interesting process because the papers so thin there's water color board and I had brought a sample of that as well this is water color board I don't know if you can see the surface on this it's kind of old so it's great along and light is making it but this is a watercolor board it's just a piece of card of cardboard rag cardboard and they actually adhere the watercolor paper to the surface of it and this has been in here with a rough paper then you know this has some you don't have to stretch this either and it doesn't buckle and and all of that and but it comes with very clean cut edges and uh it it works pretty well a lot of people love water color bored a lot of people paint unjust illustration board this is just a piece of crescent illustration board there's a a wonderful artist or any westermann I think his name is he paints on illustration board and he puts it vertical and lets the paint run he also uses ge washing his pain so he doesn't paint with transparent watercolors but he paints on board and his paintings air magnificent he's magnificent artist there's clay board there's something called aqua board which is a a a sealed would actually with very hard surface it retains its colors beautifully though and then there's watercolor canvas that's been primed with a code of jess oh and the color is a very vibrant on that and it stays wet longer and it lifts easily so when it comes to papers and boards and blocks and canvas is and everything else the look that you're looking for will help you determine went to by now this is I mentioned this before this is the treat of treated paper technique and I don't know if you remember when I told you about a painting that I did in a workshop and I spilled water in the hold upper left corner was gone well that whole upper left corner okay my mouse takes the little trips on me sometimes that whole upper left corner is up here so but this is a detail of that painting and what this is is acrylic gloss medium on hot press paper so it's the smooth paper but it takes the gloss medium really well the gloss medium adds a bit of texture and you can see the texture in all through here there's hardly anything that's really smooth on here but you can get deep dark colors you can lift backto white these areas have just been lifted backto white with a clean paintbrush so the tree to pay protecting really really works well there are gloss mediums matt mediums they're even have jails that you can put on in layers and let him dry in between to create three dimensional texture on your paper that you can paint on in top uh back to that so there's so many techniques in so many ways to go just explore and have fun there's a detail of that painting down in here you can see the texture I actually I love to paint this way I think this is fascinating I couldn't you know I can get lost and treated paper techniques okay so here's a full sheet watercolor standard size twenty two by thirty the standard matt sighs for this sheet of paper would be probably thirty two by forty thirty by thirty eight and and these mats have different size openings depending on what you're looking for some of them have have wider margins around some of them have narrow where some of that often depends on the manufacturer that you buy them from there a lot of places online where you can buy mads uh daniel smith smelt sells mats although size is sort of very paper comes in four different ways it comes in sheets it comes in pads it comes and blocks that we talked about and you can also get it in roles as I mentioned before the sheets or what I paint on but you can actually get watercolor paper spiral bound and in various notebooks that you can take with you a lot of painters do travel journals and they paint in them and they use thes spiral bound notebooks it comes in pads pads usually have about twelve to fifty sheets and them depending on the weight of the paper that's in the pad and they comes and they come in various sizes comes in blocks that we just talked about blocks usually have anywhere from fifteen to fifty sheets in them depending on the weight of the paper and then rolls rolls or anywhere from forty four to sixty inches wide that's pretty wide that's five feet and usually about ten yards long and there are a lot of painters out there who paint very very large and they all paint on roll paper and if you really want to be economical and you have the space to cut rolled paper yourself it's ah it's a way to get end up with your sheet paper at a more economical price uh first and foremost when you handle watercolor paper make sure your hands are clean because you that the oils from your hands will transfer onto the paper especially hippo okay so the next sheet size that I talk about and I talk about full sheets half sheets quarter sheets and eights this's a half sheet it's basically your full sheet and half fifteen by twenty is the final size the standard matt sizes for a half sheet would be twenty two by twenty eight maybe twenty by twenty four again it depends on how big you painted your image on the paper and how much of it you want to show the next sheet sizes the quarter sheet and in this class that's pretty much what I'm painting on completely that's what the board size fits and that's the paper size that I've been painting on the most the mat standard matt sizes air sixteen by twenty you khun do fourteen by sixteen and you could do eleven by fourteen and you can even go smaller if you paint in the middle of the paper a very small image of course and then there's the eighth sheet the eighth sheet is what you tear to create your notebook samples that's what I did all my little paint samples on and thinks like that matt sizes for an eight sheet would be twelve by sixteen eleven by fourteen nine by twelve eight by ten they even have five by seven so you know again it just depends on the size that you make your image so let's tear a piece of paper and I'll show you how to do that what I would do first is I would make sure that I had my smooth side up because I usually like to fold my smooth side in first in case I have dirt or paint underneath my fingernail that I don't know it's there I protect the for the smooth side first then you fold this over now what I do now they're different ways to do this other artists do something different but what I do is I fold it put my finger down press through until I get x in the paper in the middle and then from the middle I used my fingernails and go out to one edge and go out to the other edge and you press hard to try to get a good clean fold and then if you have dirt on your hands or you've got paint on your fingers or anything like that it gets on this paper rather than another side then you turn it over you start in the middle and you burnish again if you have a burnished her you can use that instead I usually since I'm doing when she did the time chris when I was preparing all the samples for everybody in the class I just cut them because my finger would have died on may I think and you just burnish until you get nice smooth crease you turn it over and you burnish it again you keep burnishing and turning back and forth until you can feel that the paper has broken its bond you can feel that it turns easily and it has a sort of loose feeling to it then when you go to tear it you just make a starting rip right there you hold the other side down you don't tear big chunks at a time you move your hand down to make sure that you keep the tension on your paper correctly and voila you have a nice deck old edge tear that still looks like a piece of mold made watercolor paper and that's how you do it it's not that hard put good pressure make sure you get a really good strong crease fold it back and forth and back and forth until you're sure that the bond in the paper and the and the fibers have been stretched and broken and then you rip so there's a question on line molly about how you get a cleaner sharper edges they're a tool that you can use to do that if you want to clean a sharper edge it's I would use an exacto and a and a ruler I have a nice big paper cutter that could take all the way up to twenty four inches uh that's what I did all the class exercise files with paper cutters work but you have to make sure this paper's thick so when you use a paper cutter paper because cutters have a tendency to you know twist the paper so you have to make sure you put good pressure on the part that's that you're holding down but anything exact does work really well and if you really want to initiate yourself into the world of eggs actively do you have to cut yourself a least once at least once then you know then you know you're good but exactly and if that's the case make sure the right side of your papers facing down that's exactly right and we have another question there is there ah grain direction to the watercolor that that I know of because it's mold made and what what it's what happens is they take the paper fibres and this rag content and they mix it all up with water and it's just random fibers just sort of all over everywhere and it's pressed in a mold that's how you get that little deck alleged around the side and all of that and so but it's not big long fibers and there's no warp and woof on it like in mitting or in fabrics that you get in a fabric store it's just pressed uh so no not that I know of now I don't know I probably be worth doing some research on but I have never heard that there was a grain toe watercolor paper and we have another question here it's like how do you tell which sizes up is it obvious well for the most part they have two sides one is a smoother side and the other one is a rougher side and the smooth side is called the felt side and that is the part that's pressed down on top but not facing a screen the bottom side of the paper is actually a screen and that's where I'm my mind says I've never seen this process done but my mind says that's where the water goes the water's pressed through the screen and the screen of course is a very pattern you know definitely pattern and so the backside will be a little bit rougher and we'll have a definite pattern to it the topside or what I call the right side of the paper is a smoother surface and it's more uh distinctive has some character to it the depressions in the paper or not every centimetre or every sixteenth or every millimeter anything like that it has more character to it and you paint on whatever side you feel like painting on based on exactly depends I mean if I were going to do a painting that I wanted to be just straight rough dry brush I might turn the paper over in pain on the back now again it depends the manufacturer's some manufacturers don't put the same sizing on one side of the paper that they do on the other because they consider that they have a good and a bad side practice you just try the papers and find the one that you love and know that once you find a brand of paper that you love it's your unless it's a handmade paper it's probably gonna be pretty consistent whenever you buy it is that in on questions we have another one that says ask about using a bone folding tool yes absolutely burnish er sure people were online saying I if this I have that in mind bamboo like sure sure I have a wood burning share that I got so many years ago when I was doing mechanicals using exact o's and putting hot wax on the back and I still use that so yeah burnish your works great cabrera a roller but I can't get the kind of pressure with a roller that can with burnish okay I went back I didn't know I could do that okay this is to stretch or not to stretch now these air two paintings that are only half done the one on the left is a painting that I started and I didn't stretch it because I was painting small areas at a time I was painting one area like one leaf the grapes and I just thought well I do that then let that dry and I probably wouldn't have to have to stretch it but I ended up wedding larger areas and it ended up buckling quite a bit the painting on the right also have finished of a lumber yard which has some of the techniques were going to play around with in the last week uh I did stretch I soaked the paper completely and stretched it and I did my underpaying ting on it right after I had stretched it and the paper was still wet they're both dry now but you can see the difference between the one on the left and the one on the right and I just prefer to stretch if I'm if I'm going to sometimes I'm just in a hurry and I don't or I don't wantto wait for the paper to dry before I start painting which is what happened here and I knew I was going to do one isolated area at a time but there's one thing you you I can do if you end up with a paper that severely buckled like this and you want to put it in a show or something like that you turn it over put it on a hard flat surface spray the back with a little bit of water put your gate aboard or whatever board piece of masonite whatever board you've been painting on down on top of it and then put a whole bunch of books or magazines or something like that on it and leave it there until you know like the next day or something and then when you lift all that stuff off you have a really flat painting and you haven't put so much water that that it soak through the paper and gotten to the other side where your painters so it's a good way I mean again there's a fix even if you end up with the problem if you want to soak your paper in your bat bathtub or something like that never use hot water because it weakens the fibers of the paper so you don't want you don't want to go to the hot water around you all of you definitely don't want to use hot water for your brushes when you get to the end of your painting session and you want to wash your brushes and a little soap and water make sure you use tepid are cold water completely because hot water will loosen the glue down in the rule and it and it can cause your brush shares to fall out okay so this is an exercise that we're going to do well I don't need to show you those let's take out your varied pieces of paper you're remember we got paper samples from daniel smith I would search through your paper stack this is the u po paper I've already cut a strip off of it and used it much some minds a little bit smaller but definitely put your you poe paper in stack that sheet number sixteen and then this sheet number two is far briana one hundred and forty pound rough it has a very rough texture I would use that one sheet number five is your arches one hundred forty pounds uh sheet number two so you're sixteen is your you po and sheet number two is your fabbiano rough sheet number five is your arches cold press but their other cold press papers in here try another one because you've been painting your samples on your arches you've already been painting on that sheet number three is is ah fei briana cold press you might try that I think I'll even try that and then hot press I believe there's one sheet number thirteen is a hot press but that still has some tooth to it and that's let's go sheet number fifteen let's try that one cause that's the really smooth paper sheet number fifteen cold press now what I would do and if you want to do them in the order that I did them on the screen then what you do is you put your you put paper down first and if you have tape you might want to get a little bit of tape out you don't need to tape it just yet you might want to have some tape ready to take these down on top of each other so they don't slide on your board speaking of taping molly people had some questions online about how do you stretch your paper once it's wet because it's kind of hard to take when it's wet oh yeah that's right I forgot that I went through that last week but you you soak your paper and get really good and went and what I do while everybody's setting up there I take a piece of paper and I used my thick squirrel brush and I wet the paper back and forth back and forth back and forth I turned it over I wet the backside with absolutely clean water I keep turning it and wedding it turn it what it turned it wet it and then eventually the paper gets so wet and so full of water it'll stick down to your board without any bubbles in it and when that happens it's good and wet and then what you do is you take a utility stapler with some good staples in it that air shorter than the depth of your board and you staple every well I've seen people staple every like a soon as they do a staple right next to it they do another one in another one in another one I put him about two inches apart and you staple all the way around the edge of your painting and that's a stretched that stretch watercolor paper you can also use big rolls of white tape that our samples in our pack and that is gum tape that you went with the sponge or something and you run along the edge of the paper and it seals the paper down but that's that actually sticks to the paper but if you're painting on the outside and it's going to be under a man it doesn't matter if it sticks to the paper when you lifted up if it pulls a little bit of the paper off because it's going to be under your mad anyway and do you ever use like a hair dryer to dry your paper I d'oh d'oh and I use a hair dryer to dry my paint when I have something and and it said a stage that I really like and I don't want it to do anything else you can use a hair dryer at that stage to sort of seal it where it is if you're just impatient you can use a hair dryer you can use a hair dryer to actually push the paint on the paper if you get it close I usually hold it up here because I don't really like the high heat on the paper and if you've got miss kit on your paper you don't want it to get too hot because the misc it can kind of melt down into the fibers of your paper so you know it but I use one all the time I keep one in my studio and we use them all the time yep absolutely okay so what I did was I did the u po on the outside and then I did the hot press then I put the cold pressed down I think I'll turn this round then I did the cold press and then I did the rough press and you might want like I say you might want to take just a few pieces of paper of tape to tape these to your board so they don't slip around all over the place okay so what I would do is mix up you're warm and cool primaries again we keep going back to these but you'll need it's a good thing to do you definitely want to get used to your paints what they paint like and how they look on your paper color that they make because this stuff singing and subliminally and eventually you'll just start reaching for the right color without even knowing what it is because you're so used to knowing the cool tones and the warm tones and all of that and you'll start knowing exactly what you're looking for so with your large brush just stroke across your paper then go to your next color now that was oriol and that's the cool so our next colors going to be the eliza rin one thing that it's good to do in water color because once you mix a color it's very hard to go back in and mix it again and as a beginning student you're so prudent with your paints and what you end up doing most of the time is mixing two little pain and then when you go back in to try to mix it a second time it's almost impossible first of all you're a beginning student and you don't understand the properties of the paint so if anything mix more than you ever think you're going to need because if it ends up in your palate it dries and you can paint with it again because you all you have to do is add water now let's paint our lizard should've started higher I'm gonna be crowding myself out when I get down to the bottom they have to switch to a smaller brush ok the next is our ultra marine uh touched my loser and crimson with my ultra marine over on my you post side I'm getting quite an interesting bloom there but you can see the difference between the rough paper and the smooth paper and the cold press in between you can clearly see that the cold press in between is a mixture of those two it's right in between the smooth surface of of the hot press and the rough surface of the rough okay let's go to our new gambo jt you poets fascinating I may have to start paying a little bit of stuff on you pope because it's just doing some interesting things now you pose not a paper that somebody who's a control freak will want to pay it's just a you know it's a very very interesting paper and you have to you have to love the mystery of it it's very much like a plastic kind of paper that's exactly what it is yeah it doesn't rip or tear but if you can you can barely stretch it and it's I think it's the ancestor teo all those electronics that you buy that you can't open distant yet uh regal relative now I love the rough paper too I really do but I have a tendency to be a much more realistic painter and it's yeah I have never done a painting in my life that didn't have some detail in it and rough is just hard doesn't do detail very well so that second red I put on was our pyre als scarlett now I'm going to go to arthur fellow and I always like to leave a low last because boyd your water gets dirty from that moment on so we had a question um about the specific paper that you use arches hundred forty pound cold press ok and then they wanted a model number two but a model number yes to my brush no for you for your paper so just are just hundred arches hundred forty pound cold press that's it great answer the number excuse will be different wherever you buy it so that's k use now you can see that amazing bloom I got up there this is a bloom right here that's where one color are the witness from one area hits the wetness of another and the area that the wetness came from has more water in it then the area the wetness is going into and so the water pushes the wet paint away would like down here there's obviously some uh maybe oil from my fingers or something like that because I painted over that area twice and it didn't take the paint you khun can you see that that sort of area right there just has some grease on it from my fingernail like I guess but this is a really great way to see what your different papers do now also notice I used pretty thick paints but look how light they're drawing back I mean if I had really wanted these to be deep deep deep dark vibrant I'd have to go over them again or I'd have to mix the paint even twice twice as thick as I did but I wanted to make sure I had enough water on the brush to go across all four papers at the same time so the question that I was supposed to ask you was not the kind of paper used with the palate the name of the palate and specific oh it's a uh masterson palit masterson palate yeah we talked about that last week that several people have said them certain straight but I was thoroughly chastised on online for asking the wrong question oh heaven forbid shame on you jason all right so that's our paper test on our various papers um I don't know if daniel I have talked with someone at daniel smith about the possibility of taking that sample pack and cutting it down into quarter sheets I don't know that they did that that may not be something that they were able to do so I would just go to uh your art supply store and get various paper samples from them they usually have them like mounted on the wall or something you know this not everyone to be able to do this but in the chat room you should start saying more you're from and maybe you khun hit up maybe four of you in the same area in the same town khun go buy that's a good idea buy a pack together and that's a good idea among the four of you that's a good idea great idea it sounds like the days when you were sixteen and trying to sneak cigarettes get everybody together you could buy without anybody going go paint in the shelter of your home oh that's funny all right so that's your paper test I was thinking about rolling paper so you know that anyway I'm out now we're also going to do some brush brush strokes later so you you might want to try some of your breast strokes on your various different papers uh for sure that would be a really good thing to do
Molly Murrah began painting in watercolor 20 years ago on an excursion to Greece. To date, she has exhibited in many national and international shows, and has won several awards. She is a past President and currently involved volunteer for the Northwest Watercolor Society, an international organization and one of the top watercolor societies in the country.
Absolutely loved this class! I've been fiddling with watercolor for the last year, but have never really taken any art classes. This was the perfect intro level class in so many ways, covering basic principles of color, composition, etc. - and always in a warm, encouraging atmosphere. I learned so much about watercolor as a medium, and I would recommend this to anyone interested in getting involved with it. Would love to take a class with Molly again!
a Creativelive Student
I absolutely love this medium and have owned the material for about 5 or so years now, afraid to waste them. I've bought books but realizing I am both a visual and audio learner, this is the format for me. It is so important for me to be able to replay and review the information that taking a local course is just not as convenient as this has been for me. Molly is a delight to watch and listen to, she is such a wealth of knowledge. Thank you Molly and thank you CreativeLive!!! I am in love with this site.
Molly is captivating! Her soothing voice exudes her love of watercolour painting! She is very organized and knows how to paint with watercolours and how to teach it as well. Not all painters can teach... I was drawn into her 'teachings', loved listening to her wealth of knowledge, and signed up for her course. Oh, I recommend it totally!