Ken Tolmie’s Watercolour Technique

Introduction
1. Stretching the Paper
2. The Drawing
3. Background Wash
4. Underpainting
5. The Long and Winding Road
6. The Coup de Grâce

Step One: Stretching the Paper

The first step is to prepare the paper. For watercolour work, Ken Tolmie uses exclusively 300 lb cold-pressed Arches paper; before it can be painted on, this paper must be stretched on board with staples. The paper absorbs a great deal of moisture from the watercolour paints, causing it to buckle; the staples help the paper to return to a flat plane as it dries.

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