Why does my watercolor paper crease

stretch watercolor paper - the nightmare

J├╝rgen Stieler

Hello Susa,
I am copying parts of what I wrote some time ago in artundgrafik.de:

Loose sheets have the advantage that you are not so stuck when it comes to the format. But with larger formats, stretching is such a thing. In principle, it is not difficult at all, but requires additional utensils.
First of all, in contrast to some textbooks, I recommend placing the bow in a large bowl or the flat-filled bathtub / shower tray and letting it soak. The paper has to be really soaked, that can take 20 minutes! Then it is "slapped" onto a wooden board or chipboard (16mm thickness is not a luxury), in such a way that it "sticks" to the wood parallel to the edges. The wet paper is now stuck all around with a wet adhesive tape (this is gummed paper tape) on the wood - it is enough simply to press the cut strips each half lengthwise onto the sheet and the wood - the water from the paper is sufficient to moisten the whole strip. For larger formats (from around 40x50 cm) narrow tape is no longer sufficient: The tension when the sheet dries is so high that the adhesive tape tears! I once stretched a 50x65 sheet that tore 6 cm wide wet adhesive tape while drying! So I got a big one in a packaging factory role Got fiber-reinforced wet tape (the roll cost 20 euros, and that was still a friendship price!). That held, but the 12 mm thick chipboard was bent open like a pillow and the painting paper was stretched as smooth as an eardrum!
For surface treatment: You no longer need to treat such a stretched bow. For blocks, I recommend moistening the paper - it accepts the color better and it dries without leaving any edges. The paper should be damp, not wet; Although it can ripple a little, you have to take that into account when painting (experience will be your best teacher!).
Wait until it is really dry before removing the painted sheet (THAT TAKES!). If it is still not smooth or you really wanted to paint another picture: Moisten it VERY LIGHTLY (REALLY ONLY VERY LIGHT) from the back and let it dry between two wooden panels.
So, I'll let this be good now, others want to ...
Have fun and best regards - J.