Preparing the panel:
- Usually, the panel comes from the manufacturer fairly smooth, but it is always a good idea to check it for any chips, dents or rough patches. Also, paint the edges of the panel if this is the look you want.
- If you find any chips or dents, you will need to putty them up and then sand the surface smooth. Brush off any dust.
- Coat the panel with 3 coats of GAC-100. This seals the wood and protects your paper from any rising stains that may come through.
- Cut your paper a little larger than the panel. You need a little bit of wiggle room to make for easier placement. Set aside in a clean area.
- Apply a good layer of Matte Medium (I use Liquitex). Make sure you give the edges and corners a lot of attention.
- Place your paper on top of the medium. Make sure all the wooden surface is covered.
- Use the rubber brayer to firmly adhere the paper down onto the panel. Always roll from the centre outwards and make sure not to get any medium on your brayer as this will mark your paper surface. Make sure to roll over the edges, so they crease a little downward.
- Immediately put a sheet of brown paper over the paper and weigh your surface down. This can be down upside down on a tabletop with heavy objects like books or boxes on the back, or if you are doing two the same size, you can clamp them together.
- After 24 hours you can take the weights and brown paper off to look at your new panel.
- To get the best edge, it is important to sand the excess paper off the edges with a downward only motion.
Create your art!
Sealing and varnishing your panel
- Once you have vanished your work, it is important to seal it. This can be a matter of trial and error so perhaps do some tests on scrap watercolour paper before you commit to an artwork.
- If your work is water-soluble, then you need to seal with a spray. I have very heavy watercolour pencil work, so I have to use Mod Podge spray sealant 5- 6 coats. But watercolour or acrylic work may not require this stage.
- Add a coat of GAC 100 to seal the work properly.
- Add a hanging wire and hang your work on paper without a frame.
Rather than cut the edges of your paper with a blade, did you know you can use sandpaper to neatly trim the edges?