Waxing Watercolors – The Artist’s Highway

Waxing Watercolors

nowing correctly show our completed masterpieces is a vital ability within the lifetime of an artist. Watercolorists have needed to battle with this since, properly, without end, 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 reduce dangerous daylight in addition to to cut back reflections and supply safety. Nonetheless, museum glass could be very costly, nonetheless causes some lack of readability and is prohibited in some exhibitions (as is all glass) as a result of the opportunity of 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 may cause issues. We would like our stunning work to shine, not the glass in entrance of it!

   There’s an alternate, in some cases, and this answer is gaining traction with artists. Every time attainable, we now wax our watercolors with Gamblin Chilly Wax Medium. We first heard of this from famend watercolorist Sarah Yeoman. At first, you might 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’ll be a convert. Chilly wax medium has lengthy been utilized in oil portray as a medium and/or a ultimate 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 a want for glass! UV gentle remains to be a difficulty, nevertheless, (as with every watercolor), however waxing does present stunning true-to-life presentation and safety. Plus, no want for a mat, which permits deciding on from all forms of frames, even the plein air types! We’ll present you the way it’s achieved.

Gamblin Cold Wax Medium








    We use Gamblin Cold Wax Medium. It’s constructed from the very best high quality purified white beeswax and is available in paste kind for straightforward software. It may be diluted with somewhat 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. When you’ve got utilized gouache wherever to your work, you should definitely check that individually first, to ensure it received’t dissolve within the wax. It’s possible you’ll word a slight darkening of some deep colours from the wax. We discover this acceptable and even fascinating most often—just 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 wish to work on high of a giant piece of paper to soak up the inevitable extra when working the sides of the image. Enable to dry in a single day.

   The dried watercolor can now be mounted on a substrate or matted, and right here we’ve many extra new selections out there 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 should 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 paintings. 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 prospects!

Cutting Backing Wood Panel

   If the artwork is to be flush with the sides of the panel, the panel have to be reduce to dimension 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 can 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 unpolluted paper on the desk after which work the portray after which the panel on high of that. There shall be extra across the edges. We use a big bristle brush dipped straight into the jar of acrylic and generously apply a good coating to each surfaces. Be aware: Be very cautious to firmly maintain your portray in place when you do that! If it slides, you might get acrylic on the underside, the artwork, with unpredictable outcomes.

Adhering Watercolor to Wood Backing Board

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

Weighting Down the WC and Wood Backing

   The subsequent day, place the mounted panel face-down on a slicing floor and trim any extra paper from across the panel. Your watercolor is now totally sealed and shielded from dust, moisture and the environment, and you’re free to get artistic 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 give the impression of being nice with out the glass or the necessity for mats. We’d like to see another watercolor mounting options which you will invent. Contact us with a photograph and we’ll put them on The Artist’s Highway.

Waxed WC in Black Frame   Waxed WC in Gold Frame

An fascinating various to glassing watercolor portray.

Copyright Hulsey Trusty Designs, L.L.C. (besides the place famous). All rights reserved.