Why Do I Need to Stretch Paper?

As a beginner many get confused about stretching paper, what does it involve and why would you need to stretch paper?

Why Stretch Paper?

Stretching paper gives a perfectly flat surface on which to work and your paper won’t buckle when you use watercolour or other water-based media.

Paper is usually stretched for watercolour work but it is useful for any media as papers of less than 250gsm usually buckle.  Paper doesn’t always buckle it depends on the amount of water you use and how much the paper has to absorb and the type of paper.  It is always best to stretch paper to ensure a non-buckled perfectly flat surface.

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How can I Learn Painting Techniques?

This was a question I have been asked a few times, especially when a learner wants to be able to paint something specific like hair for example.  Learners can get very hung up about techniques and how to learn them.  Techniques need to be thought of as ways to apply or remove paint to create a visual effect, that is all they really are. Some techniques are extremely simple although at first glance you may not be able to tell how the painter achieved the effect.  Some techniques are more complex and require more of a knowledge of materials.

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