Friday, February 11, 2011

Mountain Chickadee Wilderness Art Challenge

Painting number 11 of 28 for my February Challenge.  This is painted from a reference photo by Gary Keimig for his Wilderness Art Challenge.   

Gary is an extremely gifted wildlife artist and photographer, when you have a chance you should take a look at his work.

To my watercolor followers, I would love to hear your tips on if you stretch your watercolor paper, tape or staple, support that you use, weight of paper and you how you prevent buckling of the paper.  And as you mat and frame how you get the watercolor paper to be flat!  As always your suggestions are much appreciated!


  1. Yet again.. another great painting by Maria! I just love it!

  2. Thanks Jennifer and Theresa, my brain is starting to hurt, it takes a lot of thinking to paint every day, start and finish one, and my house is not very clean, the dust bunnies may take over before March!

  3. Why thank you, I do believe this is my first bird painting, nothing is off limits this month....but I do need an idea for tomorrow....

  4. Gorgeous! You should be proud of this ! xx

    as to the paper questions, I do have two paper stretchers I bought from a man on ebay - they are excellent when I know I'm going to start with really wet washes. My boards are marine ply, cut to just over quarter sheet and just over half sheet size - and they're varnished to protect them form the odd spillage. No staples, therefore for me. They would pierce the protective layer.
    I use Arches 140lb rough and sometimes that does buckle. I was told by an old tutor that the easiest way to straighten is to turn the painting over, slightly dampen the back of the painting and then stack a pile of books on it. That always works. (unless you only read by kindle :lol:)
    Never mat until its flat.

  5. Thanks Pat, that info is so... helpful. I need to get some good boards to work on. I will give your method a try.

  6. Hi Maria, beautiful bird and beautiful little boy. Your colors are great on him. I used to stretch but don't anymore. I use arches 140lb cp or hp or winsor newton 300lb cp. sometimes fabriano. with 300 lb you won't get many buckles if any but as you know it's expensive and truthfully I like the 140 most of the time. I tape my paintings down mostly on either a smoother piece of plyboard or a special board from jerry's artarama. When I do get buckles and everyone does, I take it to the kitchen and use a plain clean piece of watercolor paper. lay that down on your countertop tape it down, then tape the painting face down onto it-- get my hairdryer, a tea towel and a large brush, with a container of clean water. Brush the water on the back of the painting but don't get it over the tape. try not to get it under the tape(CATASTROPHE) and blow dry and blot with towel. It should flatten out. sometimes I have to do it twice. The buckles may come back as the weather changes while painting is in frame but I say that is the nature of the watercolor paper. hope this helps. Diana