Framing watercolor paintings can be expensive - Properly framed, they look great, right?
I accumulate many paintings starting as warm up sketches or demos during my workshops and travels. But - framing can be a big expense for me so I decided to present my paintings as did early Egyptian art work... painted paper glued onto wooden panel. So, it's not a new idea.
Using acrylic gel medium as your adhesive, mount the artwork into a canvas or wooden panel. No framing, mats or glass. Plus I like the contemporary presentation!
The watercolor paper starts off a little smaller than the wooden panel - I tear the paper a quarter-inch smaller than the panel dimensions. The effect here is to "float" the paper on top of a black background panel. I buy Cheap Joe's Really Good Wood Panels.
Before mounting the paper, I paint the wood panel sides and an inch on the top - all the way around - with black or dark charcoal paint. After drying, mount the paper on the wood panel with a gel medium "glue."
... And that's it! Paint the sides and top first - then mount the paper. Watch the video for a step-by-step.
Quick studio tips:
*This technique is ideal for 300 lb watercolor paper. 140 lb can be problematic (air bubbles).
*Use plenty of gel medium to adhere the watercolor paper to the surface (canvas, board, wood panel, etc)
*Let the gel medium dry thoroughly before putting the plastic slip sheet on top.
Have fun with this - it is very cool!