Deckle & Gesso your Watercolor Paper

Welcome back to another BobBlast! This week's features two tried-and-true studio tips:
  1. How to deckle all four sides of a sheet of watercolor paper.
  2. Why and how to gesso your watercolor paper.
Lately I have mounting my watercolor in floater frames or on cradled wooden panels. I prefer all four sides of the paper to show a deckle edge all around. To get that rough deckle, you tear - not cut - the watercolor paper. 

Watch the demo on the video below:
First, I scored the paper - being careful to not score it so deeply that it cuts the paper.
Next, I crease the paper along the scored line. Then bend the paper back and forth.
Finally, slowly tear away. Tear it away - not toward the crease. Tear away from the crease and the watercolor paper will tear beautifully along the crease, resulting in a deckle edge. 
Repeat until all 4 sides have that beautiful deckle edge.

The Why & How of Gesso
Prior to painting, I apply an acrylic gesso primer on my watercolor paper. I actually trowel it on - Watch the demo!

As you know, typically a canvas is sold already primed with gesso. Wanting my paints to respond and react the same way on 300 lb. paper, I trowel gesso on one side only with professional grade white acrylic gesso. Unlike less expensive brands of gesso, which tend to be too runny or gritty, I have found that the better gesso is thick, smooth and creamy. To apply, I cut up foam board scraps and use them as disposable scrappers and trowels. No clean up.


Here's a quick reminder about some upcoming workshops and dates. If interested, sign up now!

October 25-29, 2016 
Contemporary Abstract Figure Painting & Collage
Sedona Arts Center, Sedona, AZ
Contact (888) 954-4442 or (928) 282-3809
Click HERE for Bob's Workshop info.

November 16-20, 2016
Burridge's Loosen Up, Abstracts and Figures + Collage
Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Contact Carole Marie Stuart,

January 21-28, 2017
Burridge's Tropical Painting Workshop
Casa de Los Artistas
Boca de Tomatlan, 10 miles South of Puerto Vallarta
Contact Robert Masla, (413) 625-8383
Click  HERE for Bob's Workshop info.

Check out the Art of the Carolinas Trade Show:

November 10-13, 2016
Jerry's Artarama Art of the Carolinas
Raleigh, North Carolina
Click HERE for AOC Website

View Bob's Workshop Schedule, click here.

Hope you have enjoyed these short, weekly blasts! Sign up on my website and keep watching. There are lots of them! 

Click HERE  to view BobBlast Issue 119
"Deckle & Gesso your Watercolor Paper " video.

Deckle Edges and Gesso
Love, Peace & Happiness,
Robert Burridge
Sign Up for the Weekly BobBlast*
  *Or scan the QR code on the right!
Click here for BobBlast Archive